Grind My Gears: Death Vacation

From the beginning grindcore and d-beat crust had a bond that seemed almost unbreakable. It was a beautiful bond, an everlasting one. A bond of the most steadfast kind, one built on a common devotion to total sonic assault presented always at breakneck speeds. Soon, however, this bond developed into something more. It developed into the two genres bleeding into each other, feeding off of each other, and birthing a generation of grind acts infused with heavily d-beat tendencies. And, eventually, these two styles bleeding together would lead to the birth of a new grind act, coming from New Jersey, known as Death Vacation, the crust/grind act hell bent on total sonic destruction.

Death Vacation, much like those great crust/grind predecessors before them, know how to craft perfectly quick bursts of pain. And, more fortunately, it’s not even that hard to find when digging into their discography. In fact, most of it sits neatly on their EP Bones Grow Cold, a masterful display of their ferocity. This is inherent from the beginning as track one, “Hollow Victory”, sets the pace for the relentless sonic assault that follows on the titular track “Bones Grow Cold”. The song opens with a flurry of blasts and shrieks so frantic and forceful that even Extreme Noise Terror would have reason to be jealous. Death Vacation does not slow down, however, and instead powers through after a brief respite with a final push of blast and d-beats.

That is not to say that Death Vacation does not sacrifice melody for chaos, however, as the band shows they are more than capable of handling both. Take the third track, “Parasite”, for example. Here the band heavily leans into their d-beat roots crafting a nasty little punk energy ear worm, but doing so at a breakneck speed with little reprise. In a way this, as well as a few other riffs spotted through out the EP, show hints of Swedish d-beat greats such as Wolfbrigade and Disfear, creating more intense, powerful melody lines by utilizing the natural fire lit by the d-beat. It’s not such a unique feature in the grand context of d-beat anymore, as many bands have caught on to the secret, but it takes a rare band to pull off the interplay between the hook and chaos. Death Vacation is one of those bands, fortunately for us, who understands that relationship and, as shown on tracks like “Parasite”, is more than willing to make it bend and break a bit to fit their own preferences.