Since I started writing Grind My Gears, I’ve always focused on one project or band at a time. This has given me free reign to spew curse words and horrible imagery by the bucket load and I am inherently grateful to the editors and staff here for allowing me this. However, I feel like this column can step up its game. The other regular features on Heavy Blog are a cut above and such, from here on out, myself and whichever poor bastard I rope into helping me will try to match those standards. We’ll look at fresh grind compilations and releases, love letters to classic grind records and interviews and conversations with some of the cream of the modern crop. Maybe more, maybe less, I guess we’ll play it by ear (because it’s grind). Without further fanfare, please welcome your own damn self to Grind My Gears 2.0.
Bash The Fash – Grind Against Trump Compilation Lands With A Colossal Left Hook
Awhile back on GmG I interviewed one Benjamin James, the brains behind Posers Inc. and Grind Against Trump. It’s taken this comp some time to see the light of day but that’s not important. as it’s here now We’re all tardy now and again and unfortunately that massive orange bellend is still around so this is still just as relevant. What happens when you press play on this then? You get over thirty tracks from twenty five bands – all grinding, blasting and screaming towards a shared purpose. Apparently the left can’t meme? Well, they can sure as fuck hit a snare drum faster and harder than a button down, torch wielding inbred can.
Don’t ask me to pick a favourite track from this selection. I physically can’t. This is all top notch grind and violence; music that should be played over footage of Hitler youth haircuts getting torn from scalps and tiki torches being shoved places where they were definitely never meant to be shoved. Closet Witch, WVRM, Sick/Tired, Bear Bong… Just some of the names loading grind bullets into the Grind Against Trump chamber. Tell that one guy who thinks the threat of violence shouldn’t be met with violence to sit down and listen to Goolagon and Stye‘s entries on this, he probably won’t change his mind but you can make him uncomfortable as fuck for a minute or two/cut him right in half.
70% of physical sales go to the Southern Poverty Law Center (who track hate groups across the US) while Bandcamp sales are split between the SPLC and aid for the Houston area for an initial week. Fastcore, powerviolence, skramz et al, music is a tool we can use at grassroots level to make sure that bigots know exactly how we feel about them. Fuck the white right and find a new favourite band while you’re at it.
Surprise, Motherfucker! Corrupt Moral Altar Release New LP From Outta Nowhere
The Scousers with the band name you can’t say five times in a row pulled a ‘yonce this month and dropped a grind record that EVERYONE needs to hear. Eunoia (I had to Google it, do it yourself) isn’t just a collection of demos and b-sides that the band sprung on their fans for fun though. It’s the natural successor to 2014’s Mechanical Tides and by the closing moments of “Five Years”, completely surpasses that record in its brutality, ingenuity and destructive nature. I’ve written about this band before and their unique take on grind and sludge, but even I wasn’t prepared for just how good this record is. Punks dipping their toes into sludge and stoners trying out hardcore for the first time will find common ground here. It’s like peanut butter meeting chocolate for the first time. Except this would kill you if you ate it. It’d kill you good and dead.
As I’ve said previously, Corrupt Moral Altar don’t fit into one of the usual grind moulds. Their sound feels distinctly British, with twisted punk beats and riffs stabbing into the ribs of dirty, sludge tarred blasts like a rotten chib in a maximum security wing. “Burning Bridges And Burning Homes” is the menacing step father fresh out of prison, all rank tattoos and blown out, cheap amphetamine pupils. The constant threat of a savage d-beating from these gentlemen only serves to make the lo’n’slo bludgeoning of tracks like “Rat King” belch from the speakers smelling like the stale smoke of a thousand Melvins concerts. The air between riffs is just as deadly as the machine gun onslaught of grind, giving the final piece of the puzzle the space to decimate feelings – intricate word play and completely erratic vocal performances just make everything so much more engaging. SikTh‘s dual vocals belong on the X-Factor in comparison to the screams and gutter wretches on this record. Read the lyrics to “On Judith’s Birthday” for one. Pig Destroyer like poetry from the fathomless void.
The moshers, stoners, crust punks and grind freaks in the crowd at a Corrupt Moral Altar show might carry out wanton acts of violence upon each other during the set but they’ll share a beer and sweat soaked embrace at the end. Why? Because this band hit every fucking mark and more. Eunoia is my new favourite UK grind record. This will change because of the erratic nature of my taste in music and the psychosis that makes me love violent music so much in the first place, but for now it sits at the top of the pile – kicking pretenders to their vile throne in the throat as they try to ascend. Lovely.
Ten Years Of Insect Warfare‘s World Extermination
A decade later, Houston’s Insect Warfare still lay claim to possessing one of grind’s most celebrated releases, drawing fans together in unified praise screaming. World Extermination entered the world while bass drops and bree’ing were the flavour of the day. These Texans took not one notice of trends of the time and instead delivered twenty tracks and twenty minutes (ish) of blistering, unassuming grindcore. Ask any grind fan what their favourite album of 2007 was. They’ll tell you it was this.
There’s little point in retrospectively reviewing this record as it’s been picked apart and placed in every “best of” list possible. The only question left to ask is “does it hold up?”. Yeah. Of course it does. It’s World Extermination. The pounding oom-pah of the d-beats and the deadly precision of the riffs on this stellar LP are still setting genre standards in 2017. The closest a group have come to marrying train wreck destruction with powerful punk panache would be Wormrot‘s Voices, released last year. That’s just a personal choice and one I’ll always compare to because I believe that Voices is the next “pure grind” standard bearer. Play both of these records back to back and you’ve got yourself forty minutes of politically charged, laser sharp extreme music. I’d go as far as saying Wormrot took just a little bit of inspiration from this record when carving out their unique brand of devastation.
The sheer savagery that three young musicians recorded to tape is still their only full length to this date but signs online point to them becoming active again. What would an Insect Warfare full length sound and look like today? It’s gonna be hard to top this one, even looking at the album art. Not since Scum thirty years ago has a grind album LOOKED like it sounds. Head to any extreme music festival or showcase and count how many World Extermination shirts you can see, if you can count that high.