A recent teaser from Relapse Records got me really excited about grind all over again. I might have fallen out of love with the whole thing for a few minutes between a combination of waxy ears and new headphones. But, after a dig that revealed what I assume to be a small part of my brain, AND the news of a new entry into the Pig Destroyer discography.. Well, everything just got a little bit brighter. So much so that I spent hours (minutes) searching Bandcamp and my Facebook feed for some new music to write about. Newly invigorated with a new fervor for investigative journalism. I even checked Reddit for a minute. I regret every second.
Message boards and train wreck AMA’s aside, the power of the Internet gives us grind from fucking everywhere. Brazil has been doing a dirty on us all and keeping a great grind secret. Rabujos have been kicking around Recife for more than two decades but until they popped up on a daily Bandcamp search with their newest release I was none the wiser. Quatro Mil Corpos is a DIY special, featuring everything to love about the vibe itself. Rushed, rough recordings and songs that were almost definitely written on the spot in some cases, the reckless abandon of the punked up grindcore of 2018 Rabujos is a lot of fun. Definitely one to stick on in a better mood. LeavingworkonaFridaygrind. I’ll start the Reddit thread.
From the greatest football nation on the planet to the second greatest, Scotland’s Dark Habits kick a big old goal with the slightly delayed release of “The Milk”. Not as grinding as previous efforts, the first single from Scaphism is the freshest choice of punk spattered violence for anyone looking for something with less hype than Nails. The fresh vocal talent and continued experience in writing and recording just continues to ramp up real anticipation for this band. Soak up less than two minutes of blackened riffing and breakneck twists and shifts. Then take a second to get a good look at the artwork. Up there with Piss Vortex‘s Future Cancer in terms of audio/visual companionship, for me.
From parts unknown (couldn’t find them on Facebook, gave up there), the next lot really put the ‘re’ in grindcore. Because of the vocals. The Artist Currently Only Known As Makiko From The Band Monnier does a great version of a Trevor Strnad death screech over predictable but entirely pleasing deathgrind. Run old Aborted through a couple of crunchy pedals and strip off the widdly diddly guitar bits and that’s about right for their self titled release. There’s an urgency and snap on every track that makes the more restrained guitar work cut through the rushing blasts and staccato screams. Not too unlike Pig Destroyer in more brutish moments, but not quite cutting the same cloth as the grindfathers.
I was in the audience when Pig Destroyer played Natasha in full at Temples a few years ago. After a set of shredding classics the previous night, the band showcased their short story/horror opera and left every fool in the room reeling. The tension of the track translated excellently into a live setting, leaving waves of faded, stoned moshers and crust punks stood captivated. WAKE are capable of creating similar levels of tension and discomfort but in a far more direct way, eschewing white noise and feedback for mechanical, oppressive destruction. With a back catalogue of belters to their name, WAKE are an authority in grinding death or blackened grindviolence or whatever it gets called right now. Regardless, new release Misery Rites will be one of the best grind albums of the year, going solely on just the two tracks we have been privy to so far. I’m done with words about WAKE already because I’m going to put on “Embers” again and bask in the air sucking feeling of the fake-out sombre moment, one more time. Fully capable of being the best grind release of ’18, calling it now.
And now, to close. Heavy Blog Is Heavy’s very own Mark Valentino and his band Blame God are grinding hard and grinding in as many places as they can; most recently on tour with ye old Noisem. It helps that their electronic hellviolence is devastating, leaving folks on the other side of the pond with sad clown faces because they can’t catch a show. Thankfully, through the power of the Internet once again (how did people do this before? fanzines? pigeon?), we can at least enjoy a full, unfiltered set of the band in action in the infamous Saint Vitus in Brooklyn. It’s below. Watch it.
Grind bless. Grind be with you.