A year or two ago, I did a ‘Black Label Debutante Ball’ profile – a label feature, for our easily confused readership - in the magazine on Poland’s EveryDayHate Records. Despite that fact that I made a 1600 kilometre error in pinpointing the label’s home base, founder/owner-operator/top dude, Andy kept in touch and would keep me up to date about what he had cooking in terms of upcoming releases. A couple weeks ago, a massive package of vinyl and CDs showed up at the house and seeing as there’s probably an unwritten rule preventing two-time features in BLDB, I’ve decided to focus this week’s blog post on all the goodies emerging from EveryDayHate’s Krakow offices.
FREDAG DEN 13:E
You’d think that with all the Swedish language grindcore and punk I own, plus the translation power of the internet, I’d at least have a tenuous grasp on the Swedish language. But that sort of thing would take time and effort I just can’t justify subtracting from my Netflix-watching schedule and the oodles of English language tomes that are longingly staring at me from my bookshelf, waiting for the attention I promised them however many years ago. So, for the third time in as many albums it is to Swedish crust/punk heroes Fredag den 13:e that I’m forced to admit I have little clue as to what they’re raging and hollering on about. But music is the universal language and when you’re able to rustle up a spell of Scandi-crust in the vein of older Disfear, Skitsystem, Victims and Totalt Javlat Morker, who needs to know what “Trygghetens Pris” means?
The EDH website describes Horsebastard as “equestrian blastcore” which could be the Polish way of saying “guttural angular grind that crosses Agathocles with Discordance Axis and maybe even a bit of Voivod’s raucous early years.” Or not. I don’t know if the addition of horse-related sound effects, noises and themes or a manure-scented scratch ‘n’ sniff sticker would have made a difference, but I kind of don’t want to find out. Noisebazooka, on the other hand, live up to their billing quite accurately. A two-piece that appears to employ the first drum machine ever invented alongside a thick guitar tone, widdly bass and a vocalist who sounds like he might be choking on badger fur, there’s a lot of weirdness in there making this the grindcore equivalent of bedroom black metal.
Scourge of Mankind
If you miss Soilent Green but don’t miss their tendency to wander off track and lose the point during the course of a song, then pine no longer, my friends! Germany’s Mindflair, which has actually been around since the mid-90s (it took me a long while to discover that I used to own an early demo from like 1997 or so! Oh, Alzheimer’s, I’m already sitting and waiting for your icy touch), is here to inject a bit of groove into the high-speed chaos. They don’t have much of a progressive edge and long songs have apparently been deemed illegal in their rehearsal room, so it’s all about quick and punchy catchy tunes that get into your brain and for the most part stay there. Plus, their drummer is a rather photogenic individual.
Start Our Revenge
The subtraction of bass from a grind band’s line-up is a pretty commonplace occurrence that rarely raises eyebrows anymore. But a band like Germany’s Trigger, who excises guitar in favour of a trio limited to vocals, bass and drums, isn’t nearly as regular a sight. And there’s probably good reason for this, as Start Our Revenge demonstrates. Being rooted in grinding powerviolence with a monopoly on the sludgy side of things during the slow parts, there’s still too much of the remaining parts of the 20 songs that sound like a fuzzy and buzzy, blurry and static-y mess. Many people chastise grind for its lack of clarity and ability for the listener to distinguish one minute from the next. Don’t let those naysayers hear this as it’ll be hard to deny that they don’t have a point.
I’m still not a 100% sure I know what the difference is between mincecore and grindcore outside of the fact that the former celebrates seemingly basic noisy production with an old school punk veneer, 1-2 drumming that hauls freight train ass, a guitar that sounds, like, four or five of those, like, double guitars being played at once, and a singer vomiting the dinner of a thousand seals trapped in purgatory. But this is this Winnipeg band’s fourth album and they’ve been christened in some circles as heirs to the Agathocles throne, so I guess they know what’s up.
Fast Music Means Love
If the title is the case, then this French powerviolence posse is probably going to live happily ever after with their one true love cradled in their cold dead arms. They definitely know their way around the red lining parts of the musical speedometer and know how to pour aggression from the cement truck quicker and faster than many. However, on the flipside, Fast Music Means Love flies by without making much of an impression. The riffing is serviceable, but excruciatingly customary. There are a couple moments here and there where a quirky bit or slowed down death metal part throws a wrench of possibility into the affair, but not enough to get super-excited about.
A couple of Greek bands have taken time away from lining up at banks and ATMs and wondering what happened to their social safety net to issue four songs each for this little chunk of vinyl that’s probably worth as much, if not more than, the nation’s bank notes. Grassroll remind me a lot of a more streamlined Soilent Green with screechier vocals. There’s a sense of slinkiness emerging from underneath all the calamity, and everything moves a quick forward pace. Stheno’s side is thematically based on the atrocities carried out against innocents during the Bosian-Serbian war in the 90s. Imagine Napalm Death simultaneously going more punk, hardcore and death metal and you have an idea of the plutonium-powered mayhem at work here.
Apparently, Turkey has quite a powerful and self-sustaining extreme music scene on its hands and Ankara’s Subjugation is part of that, featuring ex-members of Sakatat, Decimation and Nettlethrone in the ranks. Don’t know what the hell I’m talking about? Don’t worry, I hardly do either. Tracking the band’s history was almost as confusing as trying to figure if this split was designed to be played on 33 or 45 rpm. As far as Subjugation goes, they could go either way. At the intended 45rpm, they’re a bunch of grind worshipping, Florida death metal fans who decided to form a killer hobby band. At 33, it’s like colossal demo-era Cathedral. Italy’s Haemophagus is already mid-to-slow paced enough on an average day, though “Monsters in the Park” is way more up-tempo with some catchy two-step, NYHC-styled riffs in there. Their two songs are more rumbling and inky and fall somewhere in the Celtic Frost, darkened St. Vitus or Trouble vein. Both bands offer solid stuff, but only “Monsters in the Park” really occupies you-gotta-hear-this-or-you’re-a-shitty-human-being territory.
Grita Mientras Puedas
Surprisingly, Grita Mientras Puedas doesn’t translate to either ‘Short, Fast and Loud,’ or ‘Short Sharp Shock.’ It does mean ‘Shout it While You Can,’ which demonstrates that these Madrid-based dudes may not be grinding well into middle-age like some bands. Or they might be sleeping with one eye open while they wait for the government to come and snatch their rights and freedoms away via martial law and another impending dictatorship. While they’re able, it’s going to be about minute-long grind songs in the vein of Machetazo, Nausea, Impetigo and the like that are basically all indistinguishable from one another, but still crushing.
SOIL OF IGNORANCE/WARSORE
Another record that not only doesn’t indicate whether you should be playing it at 33 or 45, but has incorrectly placed the label sticker for each band’s side. In the case of Australia’s Warsore, it doesn’t matter; though it should be pointed out that they’re not Soil of Ignorance. At either speed, they hammer out a bunch of covers (Fear of God, Gore Beyond Necropsy, Crow and Violent Headache) and it’s all filthy, low-tone, death grind that’ll rumble last night’s Indian take out right out of its temporary storage area. Canada’s Soil of Ignorance is a much cleaner band, which ultimately isn’t saying a whole lot, but if you imagine Scum versus Harmony Corruption, you’ll have an idea of the differences at work here. Recorded and released in tribute to both former Warsore drummer Erik Simonsen and recently passed away co-founder and bassist Mark Harvey, all proceeds from sales are going to his family, so help out if you can and love it fast and loud.