Thursday, November 4, 2010

Grindcore Bracketology: The 2-7 Winners/The 4-5 Matchups

I know I’ve done my job properly when I see you sobbing in the comments. The matches are getting more even and the choices are only getting harder from here on out. No upsets yet, so here’s your 2-7 champions. I didn’t pick em so don’t blame me.

North America
Despite some spirited defense of Noisear, GridLink’s 12 minutes of grind perfection (don’t forget the track from Our Last Day, folks) ruled the day by a vote of 11-3.

Asia and Australia
Absence (absinthe?) makes the heart grow fonder and despite not gracing our turn tables with new noise in four years, crust busters 324 narrowly out blasted left field loonies Swarrrm 9-6.

What Splitter will be mourning will not be unknown because everyone should have seen Sayyadina’s victory coming. They outlasted their countrymen by a vote of 13-3 with the most robust defense of the round.

Continental Europe and the United Kingdom
Bleed for me, bitches. Holland’s Blood I Bleed talked shit and spit blood all over Cyness by 8-3. While I agree with Shantera that Massgrav won the split with the Dutch band, anyone who’s basked in the glory of Gods Out of Monsters knows what I’ve been raving about.

As always, the full updated brackets can be perused here. Meanwhile, your toughest task yet is before you with the 4-5 faceoffs. You've got until Tuesday. Now if you'll excuse me, the Blues-Sharks game is on.

North America
Brutal Truth (4) vs. Total Fucking Destruction (5)
Brutal Truth shook off the munchies long enough to drop a trio of the most essential grind albums of the ’90s. But that’s ancient history. After a decade hiatus, it’s time to ask the New Yorkers what they’ve done for you lately. Reupped and rearmed with ex-Lethargy/Sulaco guitarist Erik Burke in tow, Brutal Truth gave us a handful of songs on the first This Comp Kills Fascists and Evolution Through Revolution, a 21st Century blend of Need to Control ferocity and Sounds of the Animal Kingdom experimentalism. However, does the new batch stand up to the glory days or are they just milking the nostalgia circuit?
Rich Hoak certainly didn’t sit idle after Brutal Truth went the way of the dodo. Left with a load of free time, a love of jazz and a yoga driven rejuvenation, Total Fucking Destruction has been pushing grind into ever weirder corners with each release. Blast jazz, acoustic grind and stand up poetry screeds all get hotboxed by his coterie of likeminded cohorts. The only rule: nothing is off limits.

Asia and Australia
Agents of Abhorrence (4) vs. The Kill (5)
Any band that comes with Zmaj’s imprimatur is one to take seriously; the Blogfather knows his shit. Agents of Abhorrence earned the Cephalochromoscope seal of approval for their brew of Discordance Axis acceleration and strains of power violence with Iron Lung and Neanderthal getting namechecked. Taken together, their influences brew up an exemplary example of modern grind’s potential.
Featuring members of Super Happy Fun Slide and Fuck…I’m Dead, you wouldn’t expect The Kill to suddenly start spouting tea time niceties. Instead they set the intentionally stupid to the deliberately thrashy. It’s the point/counterpoint of lethal precision musically and the frat boy humor sentiments of “Tracksuit Pants are Thrash,” the abortion-riffic “Dead Babies” and unambiguous sentiments of “Fuck Emo” that set them apart. Agents of Abhorrence list the Kill as an influence. Who does it better?

Gadget (4) vs. Crowpath (5)
Go, go Gadget grindcore. Gadget ringleader William Blackmon’s sci-fi steeped grind has only gotten more focused over two full lengths even as he’s broadened his vistas with expertly deployed downbeat interludes. Sleek, composed and poised, Gadget distill Ridley Scott’s interpretation of a Phillip K. Dick dystopia into its audio essence, alternately embracing its potential and pitfalls in ways that are consistently thought provoking and electrifying.
Crowpath’s dystopias strike closer to our temporal home – their last album was a Swedish serial killer concept that crawled out of a miasma of grindcore and power violent sludge. Maruta may have taken the sound in grungier directions, but Crowpath’s music is marked by a sociopathic sense of control that's eerie. They’re the frightening musical secrets lurking behind Jeffrey Dahmer’s everyday guy normalcy.

Continental Europe and the United Kingdom
Looking for an Answer (4) vs. Nashgul (5)
The pain from Spain will sear into your brain. It’s just a question of who does it better.
Denak descendants Looking for an Answer brew up a savage beating that harks back to grindcore greats all in the name of animal rights and crushing noise. Their raucous rage consists of to the point songs strung together into an interlocking chain of blast driven noise. The master craftsmen have increasingly refined their sound paradoxically by shedding the modern sheen, connecting with something more primal and atavistic with time.
Nashgul have blinkered themselves to the last 20 years of grind evolution. Instead they blew the dust off their copy of Horrified and took that as their template, banging out tunes derived low budget movies and zombie lore. Their musical inspirations are drawn from the same era as the films they pillage for inspiration – Mad Max, Toxic Avenger and the finer slices of the Fulci cannon all get musical nods. For all the talk of rotting corpses, unsightly horrors and other monstrosities, Nashgul keep everything appropriately light hearted and limber.


GrindNinja said...

North America - Brutal Truth

Asia And Australia - The Kill
Just a side note on this one, it was extremely hard to pick between these 2 after seeing both live numerous amounts of times and listening to all they have to offer many times as well I feel at the moment the kill have the upper hand due to there latest release Live To Air, however if the Extortion split and live performances are anything to go by Agents next offering will be unbelievable, both are single pedal so this made the choice even harder. The Kill having singers from Super Fun Happy Slide, Blood Duster and Undinism (3 of my favourites) does not hinder the choice either.

Scandinavia - Gadget

CE&UK - Nashgul

DRJones said...

na - bt are welcome to tour but should not have recorded. tried tfd many times but just cant get into them. i pass.

a&a - agents get my vote if only because i burnt out on the kill.

scand - gadget all the way. just when i had forgotten about them the split with phobia kicked me back in gear.

ce/uk - should have been "...inflames your brain." stick with the vocal assonance, yo. nashgul for me, please. i like lfaa, always have, but at this stage of my grind path i need a little more than low gutterals and double-picked riffs at the speed of blast.

SunnyvaleTrash said...

N.A. - I don't listen to either very often, but TFD was just too wonky/out-there/something for me. BT wins.

A&A - No Vote

Scandanavia - I am a big fan of both bands, but I've gotta give this one to Gadget. I think I listen to The Funeral March about once a week. They've got a great thick and full sound and some quality songwriting. Maybe it's due to repeated listens, but so many of their riffs and parts are stuck in my head from just thinking about them.

UK&E - No vote.

Alex Layzell said...

North America - Brutal Truth
Although I love TFD, evolution through revolution was a nice come back in force.

Australasia - Abstain
Cant remember what Agents of Abhorrence sound like, and never heard the kill.

Scandinavia - Gadget
Gadget offer something unique for Grind,that I love.

Europe and U.K - Looking for an Answer
Possibly the toughest decision, so I looked at my library statistics and I had 12 more plays of LFAA than Nashgul, so decided that would be the answer.

geeheeb said...

NA - Brutal Truth, TDF sucks, sucks sucks.

Australasia - THE KILL, but these are both great bands.

Scandinavia - Crowpath

Europe and U.K - Looking for an Answer, animal rights and better music.

DesiccatedVeins said...

North America- Brutal Truth. I like some of TFD's music, and "Seth Putnam's Wrong About a Lot of Things, But Seth Putnam's Right About You" is without a doubt the single best song title in any genre ever. However, the first album had some samey/unnecessary songs, and the new one just fools around too much and grinds too little. Maybe if I ever get on a big Zappa or Naked City kick my vote will change, but I don't expect that to happen any time soon.

Australia- The Kill (should be pretty obvious if anyone follows my blog.) I've just never gotten a good feel for AoA's sound; I respect the Discordance Axis influence, but it seems a little too loose for my tastes.

Scandinavia- Gadget. I wish they would play faster and not try to be Nasum, but I like them better than Crowpath.

Europe and the UK- Looking for an Answer, because I wasn't crazy about Nashgul's earlier stuff, animal rights are fun, and dreadlocks are sweet in the right context.

Bill Willingham IV, Esquire said...

NA: Brutal Truth. I really dig the last TFD, and their new tune sounds promising. However, their back catalog is patchy as hell. Every BT album is tittays.

AA: No clue.

Scandi: Gadget. Not a huge fan of either band, really. Gadget would be better if they'd dirty up their sound a bit (a lot).

Eu/UK: Nashgul! Both are rad, but Nashgul get the edge for being way more fun to listen to.

Anonymous said...

Brutal Truth. tfd just sucks. why won't people say it aloud?

The Kill

Gadget. Crowpath is good but inconsistent.

Looking For An Answer by a mile

Zmaj said...

Anon, maybe 'cause it's not their opinion, but your opinion? (It is, in fact, an opinion.)

Andrew, sorry that I don't participate. It just wouldn't be my style. And, well, I change and so do my favorites. Discordance Axis, the only constant!

Somewhat relevantly, I might do a sort of modern grind anthology or something by New Year.

Unknown said...

Brutal Truth. Not at all a fan of Total Fucking Destruction although I like all the aesthetics. The band name, song titles, artwork. Love it all, but the music makes me want to hurt myself, in the bad way. SMOKE GRIND SLEEP!
I haven't heard much of either band really, only a couple of Agents of Abhorrence songs (that suck), so I guess I have no vote.
I haven't heard more than a song or two from Gadget that were unmemorable. And my fondness for Crowpath is not unknown. Crowpath all the way.
This is the hardest match of all for me. Both bands are new loves of mine. Both verbalizing in Spanish with different themes. One band is more about groove and the other is frentic punk metal. Old hands at worn grind or neophytes of the fastest hardcore. I guess I have to go with Looking for An Answer. Simply because their songs get stuck in my head.

Unknown said...

NO TFD VOTES? I think Brutal Truth's newest output is good. I like the sheer ferocity of their comp tracks, and Evolution through Revolution is definitely a solid listen, but TFD is really one of the most innovative bands in modern grindcore. There is no band that is willing to blend jazz and grind/punk like TFD. And acoustic remixes? What other band has the balls to even put that out? TFD has a truly unique sound that is instantly recognizable. They have no imitators. They are one of the few bands that has made me want to learn about musical theory so I can tell what the hell is going on.

Ive seen both live, and again, while BT def knows how to rock, TFD bring the energy to a whole new level.

I love Brutal Truth and respect what they did for grindcore, but TFD is the future.


Unknown said...

Two words for you: Le Scrawl. Takes jazz grind to a whole new level.

Flesh Monolith said...

Swarrrm's out, nothing left to live for.

brutal truth

Hopefully the Rangers will beat the blues, that might cheer me up. I'm liking the Blues in the west this year; Halak was such a great buy.

Andrew Childers said...

them's fightin' words fm. i've had so little to live for the last five years. don't take this away from me. now if somebody will do something about the lack of scoring and atrocious special teams play....

HAG said...

brutal truth- easily. i haven't given total fucking destruction much of a listen but i really like all brutal truth, and the new one is really killer.

agents of abhorrence- i like this band. earth water sun is a good album. i haven't heard more than a few songs by the kill.

gadget- i really like this band. i over listened to the funeral march when i first got it.

nashgul- this one was hard because i do like looking for an answer alot, maybe equally, but i just put on nashgul way more.

brutalex said...

USA - Brutal Truth, TFD don't really do anything for me.

Australia - The Kill, hands down. I like AoA but the Kill are absolutely ballistic.

Scandinavia - Gadget only because I don't consider Crowpath to be grind.

Europe - Nashgul, but not by much.

PatrickDM said...

NA-brutal truth....i love expirimentation in grind, just not how TFD does it.


scand-crowpath...only because i am a huge fan of crowpath. i agree with alex. i dont really consider them grind...more of a prog sludge band


Rosemary said...

North America

Winner: BT

I've stuck with this band since 1992. Probably my favorite all time band. I'm a bit close to both parties, but it has taken a lot of time to get TFD to where it is at today. There is a long trail of amazing musicians who have played in TFD, like Paul Herzog, who is a Cynic style/prog metal band in Chicago now, and Dan O'Hare is a great guitarist that compliments Rich Hoak's spastic jazz style. I think TFD is a lot of fun musically and to piss people off, but BT still kill me after all these years.

Asia and Australia

Winner: Agents of Abhorrence

I like their moments of grind experimentation. Great to hear band pushing its limits. I think Agents have a lot more of an organic grind feel than The Kill


Winner: Gadget

"Boredom Suits Me Fine". The Relapse Swedish Assault compilation spells it out for Gadgets grind entry, as well as for Sayyadina after their "When Fear Gave Us Wings" record on Sound Pollution. Gadget is one of my favorite bands and a great band live as well.

Crowpath are a great band and great live, but not grind.

Continental Europe and the United Kingdom

Winner: Nashgul

I enjoy the older Nashgul sound. I did not enjoy the latest record. I enjoyed searching out and collecting all their vinyl releases. I was disappointed in the new record, because I think the band lost their heart somewhere, however all the past material still makes me a believer in this band. The guitarist has a Genocide SS inspired side project band.

Looking For An Answer seems to get better with age, but it has taken time for me to have that patience to give them a full listen and appreciate.