Saturday, May 16, 2015

Headless Death - "Poxy Death" EP

Australia Alert!!! Another brilliant provocateur of brutally from the magical city of Melbourne. And honestly a very new one for me. Even though Headless Death have been steadily putting out dynamite material since 2012. A quartet from Melbourne, who play a what I can only call bestial grindcore. Or super heavy, deathy, war grind. A style they bring out in full honest force again on their newest tape, "Poxy Death". On here we have three new songs, and a rerecording of the title track of their last EP called "Under the Mushroom". As well as a track that I guess is a Ringworm cover at the end. But I don't listen to Ringworm, and a quick Youtube search shows me a song much different then HD's interpretation so I'm lost. "Poxy Death" for the most part is perfect example of brutal hyperblast grind done perfectly well. In a very Australian way, I can say now. Distinctly rich with the same sounds that countrymen Internal Rot and Coffin Birth have perfected. Though with a much, much, much rawer recording. The musical performances here are relentless, particularly in the drumming. The speed that Headless Death maintain would make any average-joe-band sweat trying to keep up. The death soaked riffs are here at some of their most primal and savage, HD keep the variation levels nice an balanced. Definitely letting in a lot more space for more groovy, headbangable passages. The opener "Underground Existence" has a pretty sweet hXc mosh part that pops every now and again. The following track "Not A Worthy Death" opens with a very attention grabbing bass and drum riff, and utilizes some twisted dissonance and melodies. I'm not too hot on the closing, mysterious Ringworm cover though. The slow-song-at-the-end cliche is getting way too, well cliche for me. This track unfortunately does nothing to change that. The super sluggish punk beat towards the end is where I especially loose interest. What "Poxy Death" gives we on the whole first half though is completely fantastic. Headless Death are yet another knight in shining armor for Australia's grindcore army.


~VII

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Limbs Bin/Sidetracked - Split cassette

The cancerous infection of harsh electronics and experimentation in the grindy world is spreading deep. Now showing up from the fastcore lords of Washington, Sidetracked. Jay's incredibly heavy output coalesceing with Josh Landes/Limbs Bin mission to be the king of splits. Tons of release from both of these artists, they've all been great to just incredible, and them teaming up for a tape is just too much to handle. Sure to be another beautiful package from Josh's own label Follow Me Into The Laser Eye. Limbs Bin open up with another dated track, "Fourth of July 2014". This ladies and gentlemen, is some of the harshest stuff he's created since "Total Anguish". I'm definitely dubbing it his "gorenoise moment", but done completely Limbs Bin. Raging for a beautiful 2 minutes, this side is total chaotic, cathartic brutality. Brown noise walls of bass drums, echoing layers of screeching vocals and noise box abuse. It's a steady assault of impenetrable noise with those devastating drum machine bursts. There's a particularlly wonderful part in the middle where the reverbed synth noises and the vocals match up in the best way, total ear candy. Teaming up with Sidetracked is an obviously exciting partnership, and it's one where I really didn't know what to expect from Jay and the band. Sidetracked has never really been a group to experiment with noise, outside of arguably the the rougher recording quality they've used through the years. I really loved the few tracks posted from the noise-ridden "Abandon" EP, so I was hoping it would be some weird, Sissy Spacek-ish noisecore. Listening to it over and over, I am, sadly a bit disappointed with their side here. Another on-the-money two minute mini-opus of 10 drum and vocal bursts (aka Sidetracked songs). All held together by a hypnotic, sliding guitar drone. It is definitely something meant to be listened to as one piece, trying to pick each song apart would just end up adding unwanted effort. Each drum stab is a different fill or beat, staying away from just doing obvious blasts. Jay's trademarked one-lyric punctuations are basically the sole lyrical effort you'll get here. As the piece goes one, both drums and vocals stick around longer and longer. Finishing off with a 3 second hardcore beat and silence. Not what I would call the most enjoyable effort from Sidetracked, but to their credit, "Abandon" does sound incredible so far. I am eager to see what the final product of that will be. The tape will be out in May, in limited quantities, and can be purchased from Follow Me Into The Laser Eye or the Limbs Bin bandcamp.


~VII

Sickmark - "s/t" II"

The name Sickmark might not immediately strike any bells with most of you. If you were around the ol' internet circles a lot last year, you may have stumbled upon their first 7" EP. What was actually one of my favorite records of 2014. A particularly filthy gem of a powerviolence EP. In that super negative/super serious and mean style of the genre. The first self-titled EP met all the criteria I give bands of that style, and more. Displaying serious technical and frantic songwriting chops, and having a very gruff recording and aesthetic that was also loud as fuck. I really dug the bass in one channel, guitar in the other sound too (fun fact, they switch which channels they're in on this record, haha). Sickmarks newest self-titled offering, which has some seriously baddass cover art, yet again, immediately shows that they are comfortably and confidently sticking to their comfort zones. A bit of a more lo-fi recording this time around though, but the band still sounds incredibly tough and relentless. Sickmark are still an impressively quick and tight unit, and the songs they write on here are brutally breakneck. I did pick up on a lot more focus on grooves this time around. Lots of sprinkles of blasts sandwiched between disgusting breakdowns, too a largely great effect yet again. The track "Hammer" has a particularly big WTF groove in it. Very strong influences are taken from the negative heavyweights, maybe even more so now. Bands like Sea of Shit (they even have a track with the namesake on here), Socially Retarded, and Despise You are obvious comparisons. Or like if Spazz really hated life. This kind of style does tend to sound pretty familiar after a while, and the songs on this EP honestly do tend to all melt together. There is almost no real trace of variation here, which is totally not a bad thing at all, don't get me wrong. But a little bit of the excitement is lost for me when I can almost predict what's going to happen next. It's a solid, consistent filth storm, a very good follow up. Their first EP definitely did have a little bit more going on, but this new EP is still a total ripper. Definitely check this band out, and try and see them on their upcoming August USA tour with PA's, Constraint.



~VII

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Hyperemesis/G.O.D. - Split 7" Review

I've made it pretty frickin apparent lately how much I adore BC, Canada's best goregrind unit,
Hyperemesis. For years now, lone grinder Andy Ringdahl has been crafting festering piles of crucial gore/mince jams. Either recording and performing every instrument himself, or with the newer recruit, Detroit's Issac Horne on drums. At long last, Hyperemesis have a vinyl release, the first of many upcoming. This split 7" with Ontario's long running gore band Grotesque Organ Defilement (G.O.D.). For some reason goregrind has a pretty sour reputation in a lot of grindcore circles, and I can't help but think that most people are listening to the wrong stuff. You know, the transparently cartoony and offensive stuff.  Both bands here really work with the of the early greats of the genre; Dead Infection, Regurgitate, Last Days Of Humanity, etc. There is very little to no outright goofiness or sarcasm on either side, just straight punishing grind that will rip your body into pulsating viscera. Hyperemesis half is a few years old, and was performed entirely by Andy. Three originals and two covers and it's dynamite the whole way through. This is a very good recording for Hyperemesis, the guitars and bass are super thick and soupy, but the riffs aren't suffocated lo-fi harshness. The drums are especially well played, Andy slams the shit out of that snare. That beautiful, tinny, clanky snare. The last two songs are covers, "Slaughterhouse Visit" by Blood Suckers, where Andy pulls off some seriously impressive drum tempos. And "Alexandrian Dissection Exhibition" by Meatus.
G.O.D. come at you on the flip side with a raw and relentless 4 minutes of blasting. Sticking with tradition, the recording is still quite lo-fi and gutter basement quality. But performace wise, G.O.D. don't really pigeon hole themselves to just replaying the same gore-riffs and grooves. For the most part, the music on here is pretty Swedish-sounding grind, but with deep gore vocals. There ain't not a single slow moment or chugging mosh riff in here what so ever. Real deal grind, with a very tasteful Dead Infection cover to close this split up. Buy this!!!

~VII

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

New Fuck The Facts and Fistfuck Song's Premiering Off Their Split 10"/CD

There's a whole lot of fucks going on in that title. And there's a ton of fucks you should give for the upcoming split 10" and CD between these two long running Canadian grind machines. Between constant touring, recording and producing other bands, and performing in other bands, Fuck The Facts have holed up long enough to record a metric ton of new material. Enough for an as-of-yet untitled full length album, and this new split with Quebec's Fistfuck. A mandatory release for 2015, already.


If you haven't heard yet, the members of Fuck The Facts have started their own label, Noise Salvation. Which is partnering up with d7i Records from Montreal in releasing the actual vinyl version of this split. The CD is being released by PRC Music. Fuck The Facts seem to be reaching back more into their grindcore roots with this one. 10 tracks plus a Warsore(!!) cover make up their side. For those unfamiliar, that's practically a full-length's amount of tracks for FTF. Judging from this song I'm honored to bring you, entitled "Nukestalgia", my hypothesis is only strengthened. Fuck The Facts are keeping it short, concise, to the point, but still fully realized. They've perfected their style of heavy music so well, that no matter what they do it sounds just like Fuck The Facts and nothing else. I love this band to death, and "Nukestalgia" is a ripper among the 10 others it's partnered with.

Fistfuck is a band who I've seen pop up every now and again, but have just never paid any attention to honestly. Pretty much just because of the name, it just didn't strike me as "yeah, I need to hear this". Low and behold, Fistfuck is actually a solid, heavy, thrashy grind unit. This new track "Scream For Screaming" was a brilliant introduction for me. Crisp, metallic, and loud, only increasing in intensity as it progresses. This track along with 6 others make up their side, surely to be a very proper companion to Fuck The Fact's half.

Pre-orders for the 10" version and CD are available now. 400 on black vinyl and 100 on clear, and the clear is DEVASTATINGLY close to being sold out as of this writing. You can also hear two more tracks from Fuck The Facts and Fistfuck over at Ondes Chocs. Both formats will be officially released on May 12th, and I'm sure many tours will follow.

~VII

Friday, February 27, 2015

Interview W/ Doug Brown (Dir. "Slave To The Grind")


One of the most amazing things about a genre or culture of music is when hundreds and thousands of it's loyal fans and followers can band together and all fully support a developing piece of it's history. Doug Brown, a filmmaker from Toronto, is the spearhead for this unity by creating the first feature length documentary about the history of grindcore. "Slave To The Grind", is a film that has had a profound presence on the internet, and has weaved it's way through the grindcore scene worldwide. Teaser trailers, kickstarter campaigns, and the genuine, humble and enthusiastic attitude of Mr. Brown himself have been shared and passed around by fans, musicians, and labels over the past year. The anticipation of a professional documentary about our favorite genre is exciting enough, but Doug's obvious passion and dedication to making sure the story gets told correctly solidifies to me that "Slave To The Grind" will be a masterwork. Eager to find out more information, and do my part is spreading the word, I decided to interview Doug via email. Please enjoy. 

Operation Grindcore: Hello sir! Please introduce yourself
Doug Brown: My name is Doug Brown.  I’m a schoolteacher; grind freak, record collector, filmmaker, and concert goer.  I have a wife and daughter that I love very much, but do not like grindcore…

OG: Explain the genesis of "Slave to the Grind". Where did the idea first come to you?
DB: My last documentary was on collectors and why they collect.  While it was a great experience, I found that my topic was too broad. I interviewed people who collected everything from My Little Ponies to Cadillacs. I knew that I wanted to continue investigating topics that influenced my life, and I knew that I wanted to do it on something more specific.  Collectors are very passionate people, and I find that grind fans are too – so it was a logical next step. Plus, I collect grind records – so it made sense. Outside of my personal love for grind, It was about time for there to be something retrospective on the genre.

OG. What was your first exposure to the grind, and how your passion for it grew over time.
DB: My first grind album I wouldn’t even consider fully grind – Soilent Green’s "Sewn Mouth Secrets". I would likely call it sludge-grind, though that damn guitar tone is filthy. I still love S.G. to this day, and I was happy that Ben was the first interview that we got for the film.                 
Soilent are a great entry point for those not fully ready for grind. Keep in mind it was 15 years ago when I first heard it, so my tastes have gotten more aggressive since then. I grew up on thrash, then got into death metal, then death grind, and now I’m digesting grind at an absurd rate.  

OG: To my knowledge there hasn't be any in depth documentation about grindcore ever before. A little in books like "Choosing Death", but never about just specifically grindcore itself. Is this lack of exploring into this genre surprising to you?
DB: It is and it isn’t.  To me it’s all about timing.  When "Choosing Death" came out it was a huge step for heavy metal documentation. I remember reading that book front to back in awe of all of the stories and anecdotes from the musicians. In the last 10 years a lot has happened historically. Jesse Pintado passed away. Seth Putnam passed away. Brutal Truth got back together, then broke up again. Dave Witte recorded another thousand albums.It just seemed like the right time for a film.  An original title for the film was ‘The Complete Fucking History Of Grindcore” – but we realized that there was two things wrong with that.  1) There was no way we could capture all of history (Yes, we will include history…but I think people will be happy that this film will be about passion more than anything) and 2) By the time people watch it, history will have changed. 

OG: I've been loving the trailers that you've been posting. You've interviewed so many people I actually want to listen to. Like Dave Witte! Tell us about that, experience. Obviously he was a big part of one of our favorite albums.
 DB: Dave Witte is  one of my favourite drummers of all time. I’ll admit, doing that interview was one of the first times I was nervous to meet someone. As you will see in the film, he is an unbelievably relaxed, controlled, and pensive person. Beyond loving grind, Dave has played with an unbelievable breadth of musicians, in an absurdly diverse quantity of styles. Being able to talk about all of it was a treat. I’ll admit that I got a little side tracked when interviewing him.  I know it won’t make the film, but we chatted beer, jazz, and cats. It was totally badass in the nerdiest way. 

OG: Do you talk about the genre's that were created out of grindcore's influence at all? Like powerviolence, goregrind, deathgrind, etc?
DB: For sure. It’s important to investigate the reach of grind. This said, I know that the film will be 90 percent grind, but expect a slew of offshoots. Also expect bits on proto-grind, (The genres that contributed to the sound).  

OG: Talking to the pioneer's, Napalm Death, must have been a high honor. You mentioned Shane Embury was one of your longest interviews, is he an opinionated fellow on grindcore and were it is now?
DB: I am going to not say much about this interview. Mainly because it is so fucking good I don’t want to spoil it. Embury is the man. 

OG: The wide spread support for "Slave to the Grind" is incredible. I've seen everybody from Agoraphobic Nosebleed and Fuck The Facts to the littlest up and coming bands spread the word of your movie. This kind of support has to really goes to show not just how excited people are for it to come out, but just how much people love grindcore, and care that it is properly documented. Response?
DB: What is particularly exciting is know that people truly want this film made, and more importantly, people have been assisting me to make it properly. I’ve received nearly 2000 emails since December from fellow grindheads, musicians, and label owners sending me positive vibes. I’ll admit that it has far surpassed the reach that I anticipated, but I’m not shocked by the strength of the underground.   

 OG: You've got some very alluring merch up for grabs on your kick starter to help fund production. Kickstarter has been a pretty polarizing way of funding yourself. Is that the suggested way to go? Seems like a win-win to me.
DB: I believe that Kickstarter is good to kick start a project that might struggle getting funding in a traditional way.  I’ll admit it was a huge decision for us. We knew that making a film on grindcore was going to need a lot of support from the community.  From day one we have been asking for fan filmed footage, audio from up and coming bands, photos shot by fans… It only made sense for it to be funded by the fans. I’m not going to lie – I know it has frustrated some people, though I need the world to know that we had meetings where execs offered us money to make this film.  In fact, more money that we will likely get from the Kickstarter campaign. BUT, there was limitations on content, swearing, and they would have say on the final cut of the film. No way in hell were going to allow this to happen. Like Kickstarter or not, for us to make this film in a timely manner AND to have control of the output is dependent on this campaign.  Many extreme music genres are already ostracized, and while I am not trying to make Grindcore mainstream – I do believe it should be humanized. The last thing I was to do is make a, ‘These bands scream and are abrasive – Isn’t that silly?’ film, which many investors wanted us to make. So fuck it – we went with a Kickstarter. If anything, having so many people pre-order it is just going to egg us on to make it as good as we can. 
The perks are set up as exclusives.  The only way to get the bonus featurette and the uncut interviews is by donating in advance.  In turn it will help us make a better film, and fans can have a little more than those who will buy the film when its actually released.

OG: You definitely seem like a guy who'd connected to what's happening in the underground. Your "Underground Shout Out" posts on the "Slave To The Grind" FB page obviously say that. Are you a lurker of bandcamp like all of us? Interested and connected to the the smaller bands and scenes?
DB: Oh, I’m a huge lurker – I have been for years.  I can’t tell you how hours of my life have been spent on Grindcore Karaoke,  Bandcamp, and blogs like Operation Grindcore. I often buy a 7” directly from bands and small labels, which is something I suggest that everyone does.   
From a documentary stand point; I am starting to think geographically.  I love that there are mini scenes popping up where there are a 5-10 grind bands able to play regularly.  While I live in a city with an amazing metal and punk scene, It’s a shame that we have so few grind bands. 

OG: Are there any bands active right now that you find particularly impressive?
DB: There are endless bands that impress me. I was recently sent an unreleased recording of the next Organ Dealer release.  If you are a deathgrind fan, you will dig this. I’ve also been enjoying a band called Deboned quite a bit.

OG: Now, we've actually done an interview before for a very short lived column on OG. Point being, I know you are an avid vinyl fan. Any great scores as of late?
 DB: Killer score – I just got a first pressing of "Ready For Freddie" by Freddie Hubbard.  I’m a huge jazz head as well, and I likely spend just as much on Jazz as I do on grind.  
 I also just got a collection of nearly 1,000 classic rock albums.  Mainly things I have, but I’ll be doing some upgrading and swapping with friends.  I have a lot of albums…

OG: What even are Mr. Brown's favorite grindcore albums?
DB: Ugh… this is tough.  And I bet I will miss a few. I own an absurd quantity of records, so  I’ll do 15 (IN NO ORDER)
1)   Terrorizer – World Downfall
2)   Insect Warfare – World Extermination
3)   Napalm Death – From Enslavement to Obliteration
4)   Rotten Sound – Exit
5)   Nasum – Human 2.0
6)   Noisear – Subvert The Dominant Paradigm
7)   Lock Up – Necropolis Transparent
8)   Brutal Truth – Sounds From The Animal Kingdom
9)   Repulsion- Horrified
10)   Pig Destroyer – Book Burner/Prowler at The yard (pending on the day)
 11)  Fuck The Facts – Die Miserable
12)  Assuck – Anticapital
13)  Discordance Axis – The Inalienable Dreamless
14)    Dahmer - Dahmerized
 15) Antigama – Warning

OG: Do you think we'll ever see a "Slave To The Grind Part 2" in the future? I'm sure there is more that can be told haha! And you know we'd love to see it!
DB: No. We are going to do this once, and do it right. There is a lot to be told – that’s for sure. We are currently offering a ‘bonus film’ with anyone who pre-orders the film on Kickstater. This is our way of addressing that we will have way too much footage to cram into a feature.  It is also a way of thanking those who had faith in the project from day one.

OG: What do you think the next great grindcore subgenre will be? 
DB: Murderviolence (which I actually read on a forum the other day as someone said ‘if Slave To The Grind doesn’t include any Murderviolence bands, they are fucking too mainstream.  I hope it was a joke, as I was very confused) .  

OGAny final words?
DBI said a lot… is anyone still reading? 

Slave To The Grind Kickstarter: HERE
~VII

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

New Music: Noisear, Sidetracked, Gas Chamber, Suffering Mind


Let's all give a nice, welcoming slow-clap to Jay and the Sidetracked crew for finally climbing on the Facebook train and getting a real internet presence. Although I was one of those people that would routinely check up on the actual Sidetracked Blogspot. It would only get updated like, twice a year. But when Jay give's updates, he gives you more then could ever think you'd want. Like hyping 10 in-progress records at once. Sidetracked's virgin posts on the 'Book are several new tracks from a few tent-pole inducing releases. Some stuff that's apparently been in the works for years. As usual, Jay gives us only the littlest taste of what these record's have in store for us. What we've been given so far of the "Escape" EP, a CD release which I believe Jay is releasing himself,  is literally only 12 seconds of music. Between two songs. A much rawer recording, reminiscent of the "Wrench" tape, which I dig a lot. The track "Unanswered" has a nice hardcore punk-era Beastie Boys riff. Next to that is a teaser for the stupidly anticipated split 7" with neo-legends, To The Point. This track, "Manipulate" is a much more standard-sounding powerviolence number. Fleshed out with rapid snare rolls and crusty grind riffs. Now with this genre of music, fastcore, it's pretty hard to get the impact of Sidetracked from just a few seconds. But honestly, if you haven't already heard Sidetracked and know what to expect, you should do your homework and listen to "Uniform" and their split with In Disgust asap!. Of course this is only the beginning for Sidetracked in 2015. If you take a look at the sidebar on their Bandcamp page, they've barely even scratched the surface of what they have planned. A new LP on To Live A Lie Records and splits with God's America and Limbs Bin are also in the works. Please give the boys a like HERE . 










Discordant grind nuts Noisear are right at the beginning of having an incredible year with a triple stack of new records for 2015. Recently reuniting with founding vocalist Alex Lucero and bassist Joe Tapia, and are in the middle of working on a brand new full length album! And have seemingly finished recording for a split 7" with the mighty Lycanthrophy, which will be released on Bloody Scythe Records. A nice pairing seeing as both bands will be gracing the stages of the annual Maryland Deathfest this year. And if there's a band that can keep up with Bryan Fajardo's drumkit abuse, it's Lycanthrophy. The new track we have here today, "Face First Into Concrete", comes from said split, and it brings that Noisear magic that they've honed to perfection. The wonderful production that they captured on "Subvert The Dominant Paradigm" is recaptured here, in my opinion. Dorian Rainwater's signature guitar skronking is bright and technically flawless, and of course Mr. Fajardo effortlessly lays waste to his drumkit. No word yet on when they Lycanthophy split or the as-of-yet untitled LP will be released. The fabled 3x7" boxest split with The Kill and Antigama is supposed to come out this year too. Very VERY excited to get my hands on that. You can (hopefully) thank Haunted Hotel Records for that beautiful piece of wax. That split was also released on CD by Selfmadegod Records. Listen to the track HERE !




And last but certainly not least we have the triumphant news of a new Gas Chamber EP, and the jaw dropping anthem, "Always Coming Home", to stream in anticipation. A new 7" entitled "Stained Hand", which will be released on SPHC Records. A label I certainly trust to deliver some of highest quality records of hardcore and grinds noisier and weirder side. Proceeding their incredible LP, "Hemorrhaging Light", released on Iron Lung Records last year, "Stained Hand" already has me amazed and feeling feelings I haven't felt about hardcore in a long time. "Always Coming Home" is a near five minute composition of pure brilliance. Opening with Gas Chamber's instrumental body in full jam mode, performing a gorgeous instrumental passage. With some very uplifting and beautiful interplay between the guitar and Patrick Bolger's bass wizardry. Slamming into a driving and powerful d-beat driven second half of more familiar hardcore song structure, and ending in complete satisfying victory. One of the best pieces of music I've heard all year, and definitely my favorite track Gas Chamber has created so far. Carrying the torch of such legendary bands like the Minutemen and Man Is The Bastard, Gas Chamber are the modern powerviolence and hardcore's titans of creative supremacy and integrity. If you haven't been converted yet, you might just be hopeless.







That time of the week to talk about new Suffering Mind songs (I swear do these guys ever sleep?). The split 7" with Milwaukee's shreddiest bass n'drums powerviolence band Lifes is very near it's release. So naturally two songs have been put up on Suffering Mind's end for streaming. "Subtle Manipulation" is a HEAVY short and fast number, that throws in some very nice crazy-man screams at the end. "Failed", the closer, is the real attention grabber. Certainly being one of the bands more, unusual creations. The standard grind fare trailblazes through the opening, and then rides an almost Jesus Lizard discordant note strum on top of some drum rhythm from Daro. It's a cool little left turn from SM, I like hearing the boys give some new tastes. That cover are is tripping me out too, and I love it. Great looking abstract textures. Anyone know who did this? This split will be released on SM's US home Halo Of Flies and Now Records.


~VII