In the Shadow of a Grinding Death
Hip Cops’ In the Shadow of a Grinding Death has been floating around the interwebs for quite a while now after their relationship with a prior label soured. But the quality folks at Bullshit Propaganda have stepped in to give craphounds like me another 7-inch slab of lovely wax to clutter our lives.
These spunky young gutter punks like to pretend music hasn’t stumbled a step forward since From Enslavement to Obliteration as they worship at the altar of Lee Dorian’s screechy scream and guttural gurgle and Bill Steer’s repurposed punk riffs played at a quick time march. In a testament to songwriting economy, Hip Cops hit it and quit it (with one exception) in a respectful 60 seconds or less. They’ve sheared off any extraneous protuberances that might cut down the music’s aerodynamic sheen, leaving behind a lean baker’s dozen hits of blasting shrapnel that are out the door in nine minutes. There’s plenty of ambient guitar noise; crispy, crunchy bass buzz; squealing, squalling leads and subliminally tattooing snare drum thuggery to fill up that 15 percent of an hour.
Like a leaner version of Suffering Mind, with whom they’ve shared a label, Hip Cops are an unpretentious distillation of nearly 30 years of grindcore history, a tribute to the simplicity that has stood it in good stead for all that time. This is not the flashiest band in the world, though the pyromaniacal shred of “Grind Life” is a welcome multichromatic moment, but Hip Cops encapsulate the frenetic, free form energy that keeps the style plugging along.
[Full disclosure: BS Propaganda sent me a review copy.]