The Oily Menace
Wow, I’m gonna sound like the old ass fart that I am, but have we actually reached the point where fucking cassettes have a retro chic? (Ahh, memories of rewinding Sepultura albums with a pencil in chemistry class.) But there it was in my mailbox, a toxic green spool of tape courtesy of Michigan’s The Oily Menace, who dropped the cash for a custom cassette treatment for their Slayer-referencing demo (like I wouldn’t notice that, kids).
The oleaginous punks mix power violence loom and gloom and with Capitalist Casualties-style blast fests. While it ably soothes ’90s nostalgia, The Oily Menace are not an amber trapped tribute to a bygone era. The vocals are also more of a grindcore gargle than your typical hardcore bark, mixing in a modern element to update the sound.
And oh what a sound: winding guitar ratchets around broken blasts and whipcrack cymbal smacks. “Antibiotic Markers” corkscrews and thrashes, striking out like a wounded cobra. The classic hardcore sound of “Scion and Vice” gets updated with modern growled vocals while “Stepping into Daylight” is sub-blast cacophony.
It’s all been done before and The Oily Menace have yet to distill that certain something that will set them apart from the retro-blast hordes, but it’s good enough to make me wish I had a yellow Sony Walkman cassette player (which my parents cruelly refused to buy me) so I could jam to this on the bus ride to school. For those of you with more modern sensibilities, download it here.