King of Dirt
Putting on King of Dirt is like boldly striding face first into a tornado of glass shards. It’s a maelstrom of whirling slivers intent on rending your flesh, a vortex of unremitting insanity. Sick/Tired will leave you panting and breathless after all 19 minutes of vertiginous noise lurch to a halt with the groaning lumber of the title track, a five minute mutant that’s not quite grind, not quite sludge and one of the rarest examples of successfully pulling off a slow song at the end in all of grind’s history. But that’s probably to be expected considering it was penned by Adam Jennings who also wrangles sublime noise with electronic neuromancers Winters in Osaka.
I can’t say enough about how Sick/Tired have turned in one of the noisiest, most hostile grind albums I’ve heard since Blood I Bleed’s Gods Out of Monsters. And I fucking love Gods Out of Monsters. This Chicago mob hits somewhere between Threatener's serrated fastcore and Anodyne gone full grind. And I fucking LOVE Anodyne.
King of Dirt snarls away from that precariously balanced perch between unlistenable chaos and production sharp enough to open your veins with the copious amounts of guitar feedback that get unlimbered like audio nooses on a gibbet of blasting death. Every song manages to surprise as the band bashes and hammers away at fragments of grind, beating each splinter of song into a twisted wreck distinct from the others. You won’t be humming along to Sick/Tired’s onslaught, but every song prickles the skin in a different way, giving King of Dirt a constantly evolving personality that staves off boredom even after compulsive re-listens.
This is simply one of the best records I’ve heard in years. It’s absolutely everything you can ask for in a grind album. Even after days spent listening to King of Dirt on endless repeat, Sick/Tired’s twisted hulks of songs have ways of refracting into new and more interesting shapes. Come get your tickets to the car crash.
[Full disclosure: the band sent me a download.]