Thursday, October 21, 2010

Grindcore Bracketology: Battle of the Bands

I asked you guys for suggestions on projects to try next, and you weren’t shy with your opinions. Luckily, you guys came loaded with some pretty great ideas. So backpacking off of Miskatonic’s request for more information on modern grind classics and Dessicated Veins’ suggestion of a grindcore tournament, I present you with G&P’s grindcore bracketology.
It’s pretty simple: Miskatonic wants to know which bands are worth his/her/its/their time and effort. I could easily (and selfishly) pontificate on my personal favorites, but why not let you all do the dirty work for me? So l’ve created a bracket system where you can vote for your modern favorites. It’s like that lame NCAA office pool but with blastbeats and no cash prizes.

G&P Bracketology

Here are the ground rules:
1. Active bands only, so no Nasum (*sob*), no Discordance Axis (wait, what?), no Parlamentarisk Sodomi (oh noes!) and no Insect Warfare (sorry, Gamefaced).

2. I’ve divided 32 bands into four geographic regions: North America, Asia and Australia (thanks to Zmaj for his expertise here), Scandinavia and, finally, Continental Europe and the United Kingdom. I’ve ranked the bands and they’ll compete within their region with the winner of North America taking on the best the Pacific has to offer while the two European contingents will square off. The winner of each of those showdowns goes mano a mano to decide who will reign like The Highlander. There can be only one!

3. I’ll periodically post the matchups for vote. Tell me which of the bands you think comes out on top. While I’ll probably defer to the will of the majority, as a benevolent(ish) dictator, I reserve the right to sweep democracy aside in favor of a well argued defense of an underdog. So come armed with reasons to back up your vote. And yes, I’ve intentionally gamed the rankings to ensure some interesting discussions.
Here are the initial rankings. Like the hockey playoffs, the matchups will be 1-8, 2-7, 3-6, 4-5 with rankings reseeded after each round. Get to know your competitors before the arguments kick off.

North America
1. Pig Destroyer
2. GridLink
3. Kill the Client
4. Brutal Truth
5. Total Fucking Destruction
6. Graf Orlock
7. Noisear
8. Phobia

Asia and Australia
1. Wormrot
2. 324
3. Magnicide
4. Agents of Abhorrence
5. The Kill
6. Unholy Grave
7. Swarrrm
8. Super Happy Fun Slide Captain Cleanoff

1. Rotten Sound
2. Sayyadina
3. Afgrund
4. Gadget
5. Crowpath
6. The Arson Project
7. Splitter
8. Infanticide

Continental Europe and the United Kingdom
1. Napalm Death (the current incarnation)
2. Blood I Bleed
3. Suffering Mind
4. Looking for an Answer
5. Nashgul
6. Attack of the Mad Axeman
7. Cyness
8. Agathocles


Shanetera said...

Despite the fact 324 would win everything, I'm pretty sure thy broke up. The Venemous Concept split was two years ago and they're not playing shows.

Andrew Childers said...

they did an interview in decibel about six months ago saying they're still kicking. they booted one of the members but plan to record again later this year/early next. until i hear otherwise, i'm putting them in the "live" category.

Orthodoxyn said...

This is a kick as idea that you have implemented very well, I look forward to voting and seeing the results. Btw even though Parlamentarisk Sodomi are dead, they have a new split out with Laserguys which might interest you.

Flesh Monolith said...

how the hell did you leave Cripple Bastards and Machetazo off!!!!

I'm hurt.

Flesh Monolith said...

great idea though, when do you think voting will start?

gamefaced said...

apology accepted. grudgingly.

Andrew Childers said...

flesh: voting will start on monday. i'll try to do two rounds a week in addition to the regular posts. i may tinker with that if it doesn't seem to be working.

gamefaced: i know. when i realized the bands that wouldn't make the cut, i had stabbing heart pain.

DesiccatedVeins said...

Haha, EXCELLENT! Wow, North America has some matchups. I like that BT and TFD are pitted against one another; I'm pretty sure I know the outcome, but it'll be pretty interesting anyway.

Kind of strange that Super Happy Fun Slide gets a slot and Captain Cleanoff doesn't; or did CC pack it in when I wasn't looking? They are a bunch of slackers, so I guess that wouldn't be surprising.

And yeah, 324 are still at it. They have a new vocalist but haven't recorded any material yet.

DesiccatedVeins said...

Oh, I ALSO really like that current Napalm Death is pitted against Agathocles. They've both been around for almost the same period of time, aren't afraid to experiment and have catalogs in the double digits; it'll be interesting to see if Agathocles' speed and relative consistency in sound can win out over "slow" Napalm Death's acclaim, superior recording quality and increased profile.

Miskatonic said...

This is great! Now I will be privy to the opinions of grind freaks everywhere! I appreciate the deference, but I can't really contribute much since I'm merely a grind dabbler. I'll just kick back and bask in everyone's hard work. Thanks guys/girls/things!

Wet Nightmare said...

I agree with desicated that captain cleanoff should be on the aus/asia list. Saw them at maryland deathfest this past year. Blood duster's bassist was playing with them.

Andrew Childers said...

not being an expert in the asia/australia realm (turned to prof. zmaj for some guidance) maybe i'll swap out CC for super happy fun slide instead.


Bill Willingham IV, Esquire said...

Yeah, Cleanoff should be there, fo sho. They hit stuff like MDF and seem to have a head of steam going, maybe.

I am super excited about this. It sort of marries my love of fantasy ball (which already married my love of football and rpg's) to my love of grind. Fucking righteous bigamy is at hand!

Andrea said...

I second the disapproval towards the exclusion of Cripple Bastards!

DesiccatedVeins said...

If you haven't checked out Captain Cleanoff, you definitely need to get their 2008 LP 'Symphonies of Slackness.' It marries some of the best sonic qualities of goregrind with more straight-up old-school grind, while not skimping on the rawness and ferocity.

Also, I checked their Myspace and they're alive and kicking, with a split with The Kill (!) in the works to drop (hopefully) soon.

If Capt. Cleanoff do get subbed in, Wormrot are going to have a MUCH tougher fight on their hands...

Ryan Page said...

Is ANB not here because of pxdx?

Andrew Childers said...

ahhh music nerds. i love my people. we love to make lists and argue.

as the cripple bastards, i considered it but the idea of a napalm/agathocles show down was just too perversely appealing.

ryan, i considered anb to represent for the drum machine, but i have to admit, as much as i love frozen corpse and altered states, beyond that, they've been rather inconsistent with a lot of filler. it was a very narrow cut in favor of phobia. i couldn't see any way to leave BT, ND and PxDx off, but i didn't want to simply rehash the dirty baker's dozen.

brutalex said...

where's the love for the little guys? Worlds, Cellgraft, Sakatat, SMG(I think they're still going...), etc. Not enough material maybe? Almost said Warsore... kinda forgot they finished quite a few years ago.

Glad to see Swarrrm are still around. They're about due for new material, I'd say.

Zmaj said...

Can't agree on the Captain Cleanoff at all. Super Happy Fun Slide, Roskopp, and The Kill are where that sort of grind's at.

DesiccatedVeins said...

I feel awful that I have to be the voice of the masses in this case, but I feel like Cleanoff bring a certain level of grind eminence that Roskopp and SHFS lack. If it were a case of The Kill vs. Captain Cleanoff, it would be no question, since The Kill are just pure attitude and ferocity, while still being technically pretty great.

But I mean, you could put 'Symphonies of Slackness' up against many of the more conventional grind milestones in a blind (aural) taste-test, and it would win hands down.

I normally err on the side of noisy, and it took me a long time to be converted to the Cleanoff side of things, but I feel like they carry a certain amount of grit and irreverence that still transfers into something palatable for the grindcore plebeian.

DesiccatedVeins said...

And in regards to Shane's comment all the way up at the top, I feel like 324 might have a run for their money in Swarrrm, at least if Japanoise-leaning grinders have their say.

Anonymous said...

I'll take the Bryan Fajardo bracket. New Kill The Client slays.

Zmaj said...

Nigel, I understand what you're getting at, but fuck, I disagree BECAUSE of it being grind / don't want to take them into consideration FOR being more approachable and easier on the ears, and I couldn't care less whether you dudes saw them on MDF unless you saw the other bands in question play live as well (something along those lines). Captain Cleanoff plays riffs while Roskopp plays grind is how I look at it. I see the bands as based on completely different approaches. Obviously, I'm assuming my own pretentious understanding of grind as the law here, that one band has got it "more right" than the other - the one blasting away.

And I actually enjoy Captain Cleanoff is what's funny.

Andrew Childers said...

i understand where you're coming from, z, but if captain cleanoff can inspire this kind of passionate debate, i'd like to see where it goes.

besides, they're going up against womrot and i reserve my dictatorial right to overrule the will of the majority. so i expect to see some serious argument if they're gonna pull the upset.

Wooderson said...

*clap* *clap* *clap*

Outstanding idea! Man..I wonder if there is a Kill The Client hockey jersey??

Wet Nightmare said...

Captain cleanoff isn't doing anything incredibly new, but their music makes me want to destroy stuff....hooks galore. The thing that always drew me to anything punk is it's catchiness. I think CC could be a little dirty sounding production wise though. I consider Word Extermination one of the most perfect grind albums in my eyes bc of 3 things...rawness,speed,&catchy as fuck. Most of the grind bands i hear hit these 3 things i want to hear, but not all of them at the same time.

Zmaj said...

S'what I'm saying. We're completely subjective about our music, even grind. From Captain Cleanoff I do not get what I look for in grind (at least not in an amount sufficient that I would put them on this list), while you do. Like Andrew put it, the discussion is (if not passionate, at least) interesting, so that's pretty cool, and it is most definitely not about imposing one's view on the other.

Wet Nightmare said...

The discussion's here are another reason this blog rules.

Anonymous said...

sad to see plf lose a spot to brutal truth. never mind that i thought they were cooler 15 years ago - they just came out of decommission and their first effort was clearly death grind.

and what about mumakil? seriously?

xCOOCOOKALx said...

Where do we vote for Magrudergrind?

Shanetera said...

I was just about to voice my opinion onPLF but I was beat to it. Speaking of which they just did a split with In Disgust. Too bad it didn't come out earlier so they could be on here. In Disgust RULES. Same with Cellgraft. No IW but wht about w sick band with an IW wot as a name.

Andrew Childers said...

cellgraft.... funny you should mention then. check with me in 24 hours.

thedowngoing said...

cellgraft slay.

agents of abhorrence to win.
earth water sun is all good.