Monday, January 17, 2011

Death by “Manipulation:” A Sneak Peak at Wormot’s Impending Dirge

[Update: I've heard three other tracks from Dirge now, and frankly I'm mystified Rasyid thinks they'll lose fans. While the songs are uniformly awesome, I'm left wondering if it's not too much of what we expected. Is that something on their end, or a function my of sky high expectations. I'm still pondering that, but I guess we'll all hash it out in May. Meanwhile, discuss amongst yourselves.]

I don’t know, realistically, how much you can extrapolate about a new album from a single tune – especially one that falls just shy of the minute mark – but Wormrot’s “Manipulation” has had me grasping at straws for a week now, tossing out poorly founded conjecture as to what the upcoming Dirge may have to offer.
The song whips you around like Jason Voorhees hefting a sleeping bag, and I've dissecting it like a Cold War Kremlinologist poring over Politburo photos vainly trying to discern who’s in Khrushchev’s good graces this week ever since Earache honcho Digby Pearson sent the track straight from the band’s marathon two day, 30 song mixing and recording session.
Dirge was recorded, mixed and completed in 2 days. This little fact tickles me no end,” Pearson said.
Guitarist Rasyid breaks it down by the numbers for you:
“For those of you who likes statistics, Fit and I recorded our parts on the same day from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.,” he said. “Fit did his drums in 2 hours 30 minutes (no breaks), I recorded 2 layers of guitars in 6 hours (minus 3 hours because of a recording setback which led me to re-record 11 songs, plus a 3-cigarettes smoking break), and Arif did his vocals sparingly at home in a total span of 2 days if I’m not wrong.”
Since Pearson and I talked, Earache has posted the song for all to enjoy (which some of you with sharper eyes already noticed), but let me walk you through my first listen or 12:
  • The first 15 seconds, well shit, this is kind of boring. Why did Wormrot slow down to skipping skate punk? I guess the sophomore jinx caught up with them. Oh shit, that’s just a prelude…
  • From 0:16 to 0:20 blaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaast. Why is that steam shovel pounding pylons into my noggin? And why do I like it so much?
  • From 0:21 to 0:25 sweet merciful Shiva can Rasyid write a ripping, galloping riff. It’s like the best parts of “Born Stupid” condensed.
  • From 0:26 to 0:30 Wormrot make the case for forming a killer sludge band under another moniker if this whole grind shtick doesn’t work out.
  • From 0:31 to the end, yet another sweet ass galloper of a riff over a giddy-up, hiyo-Silver bit of drum gymnastics. A lesser band would have made two or three songs from the bits Wormrot stitched together, which they toss out like a newly minuted rapper's benjamins at the strip club.
What all this may augur for Dirge, coming this spring, the band isn’t saying.
“Personally, I do not want to reveal anything about how the album would sound like cuz i want it to suckerpunch you like how Abuse did,” Rasyid said. “All I can say is that this is unlike Abuse. We’ll lose some listeners with this one, but I’m sure it’ll please many grindheads. But fuck yea 'Manipulation' is a fun song to write!”
The band you guys named the fourth best in the world (and they’re humorously annoyed at losing out to GridLink, btw) is not shy about admitting to feeling the pressure when the time came to ready their second album. Where Abuse exploded out of nowhere, Dirge will come burdened by everyone’s expectations as well as the imprimatur of Earache shoving them out into the public eye.
“Dude, we started feeling the pressure the first second Earache knocked on our door,” Rasyid said. “Abuse was a labour of almost a year of finding our own feet with the band and writing at our own pace. We can never recreate Abuse or the painful yet memorable journey it took us three. It was almost the case of the right release at the right time for the right people.”
As the hoary musical adage goes, bands have their entire lives to write their first album and about a year to write the second. Coming off their first taste of international touring, Rasyid said the band faced the prospect of hitting the studio without an album’s worth of songs in hand. Where the guitarist would previously hash out songs at his leisure, later working over the parts with drummer Fitri, Wormrot took a more collaborative approach to crafting Dirge.
“We tried this new approach whereby we come into the studio with nothing and the first question we’ll ask each other is ‘so how do you want this song to sound like’ and we’ll pick a reference song or two from any band, throw in as many ideas and try out as many possible riffs and drums patterns,” Rasyid said. “Maybe I’ll start with a riff and Fit joins in, or vice versa. It turned out to be more organic and personal: each of us talking and listening to each other, having fun creating a song from nothing, a better flow and transition in song. I realized that we had captured the true meaning of ‘jamming’ in the short period of time we had. I have to be honest that when we were writing, I was skeptical cuz I am not used to letting the steering wheel go and see where it brings us, but after hearing the final product, I’m so proud of what we had accomplished.”
Dirge is due this spring and the first run of CDs will also come packed with a DVD that includes footage from their North American and European tours as well as in-studio footage, including Rasyid’s impressive command of Malay profanity.
“Yes, I will teach you a Malay profanity,” Rasyid said. “It’s good.”


Luke Oram said...

Can't wait, this band is great in every sense.

Alex Layzell said...

I look forward to this release so much, pre-ordered Rotten Sound also, let the 2011 Grind Wars commence!
P.S I think a bracketology for the best Grind album of the year would also be a good idea.

atanamar said...

Fuckin' bring it.
I've been trying to fend off any and all hype for Dirge, but this piece got me more than a little bit revved up. Thanks.

Ryan Page said...

There's nice things about both styles, but I really enjoy records that are recorded quickly, as they tend to be really cohesive. I'm really looking forward to this. Good year for grindcore.

By the way, andrew, have you heard the new wadge? I've been laughing at their "multinational corporations" parody for way longer than I should.

Anonymous said...

Nice write up. Really looking forward to the album now.

Andrew Childers said...

ryan: i did the dl thing on that from grindcore karaoke but i probably won't get a chance to listen to it until tomorrow. it got shoved aside by another album i got that's unexpectedly awesome. details to follow....

to all: i'm really impressed with wormrot admitting upfront about being nervous by all the attention. most bands will bullshit you and say they just write music for themselves and don't care. i'm also glad to see the haven't varied their recording process at all despite the resources that are probably available to them right now.

Shanetera said...

I liked the whole song and await grind goodness.
I love the one word album titles But iit being called "Dirge" scares me. "Abuse" is concise and straightforward. But that's me looking too far into it. I still can't wait to buy this.
Oh and I like Wormrot more than GridLink( it's close), but what you gonna do? Besides wait for them to tour the US again. Did they mention if this will be on vinyl Andrew?

Andrew Childers said...

it didn't come up when i talked to rasyid or dig but i'll ask around and see what i can find out.

Shanetera said...

Disregard some of that, had questions answered at Invisible Oranges.

Andrew Childers said...

sniff, sniff. you're seeing other blogs behind my back...?

GrindNinja said...

2011 is going to rule so hard. Many good releases to come out, this and Gridlink are my most anticipated. New AOA should be good too, wonder what they will sound like with their new singer?

Wet Nightmare said...

If anybody is a fan of sulaco, they have a release coming out this year.

Shanetera said...

I'm only seeing Cosmo and IO on the side. Youre still my main squeeze.

Zmaj said...

GrindNinja, many thanks for reminding me of AoA.

As for Dirge, I'm not sure why I'm so skeptical lately! Fitri naturally delivers, but all they did in Manipulation is cram a lot of stuff that we've already heard together. Hoping for much more blasting and some more of that Abuse freshness (but hey, I know that a debut's a debut, and Abuse is - Abuse).