Total Fucking Destruction – #USA4TFD

What does one do when the genre-defining band they’ve played in for years, disbands? Most will pack up their instruments and kit, settling into another grind altogether – regular, boring ass working life. Not Richard Hoak. During the final days of Brutal Truth‘s existence, Hoak obviously decided he hadn’t had enough. The melting pot of blasts and wicked arrangements in his mind finding a new home in Total Fucking Destruction. Nearly twenty years after the first release under this name, we find ourselves in a time where grindcore is more important than ever. It’s always been political, but the platform is sometimes a bit wobbly. Not in this case. #USA4TFD is a viral musical statement that no one is sharing. Yet.

Described all over the Internet as ‘gonzo’ grindcore, it’s hard to argue with the description. Hoak is the voice and driving force behind Total Fucking Destruction, barking and berating from atop the drum throne and channeling the wild energies of provocateurs of old. Eschewing traditional grind vocals for an over the top, punk-fuelled machine gun technique, Hoak is at his devious best when berating the listener with the name of each track; you WILL get the mantra of “Anarchy Chaos Collapse Comedy” stuck in your head, whether or not you choose to shout it out the window of your car on the way to work, that is up to you. The tools in use are all pretty simple but the execution is as honest as they come. #USA4TFD does not placate, instead, it encourages the listener to find their voice and scream alongside Hoak and co.

You might not know you needed power metal in your grindcore but after #USA4TFD, you’ll never remember a day where you didn’t. “Hacksaw” grinds just as fast as any Brutal Truth track, but the bizarre nature of the chord progression and the almost symphonic barrage of sound turns it into this wild amalgamation of the two genres. “A Note To My Future Self” continues on in this fashion; the jumped up power-punk-violence achieving critical mass in just over a minute and a half. “World War 4” is easily the most fun track on a record teeming with blasts of grin-inducing grind and scale runs that belong on an Annihilator record; the ADHD meds don’t seem to be working on this record.

The whole record is a bit of a weird beast, shifting dramatically from spacegrind Monster Magnet/Ministry belters like “Jesus Christ Poseur” and the Judas Priest-esque twin-guitar licks in “Monsters”. This apparent lack of cohesion will distract some from the message, as anyone with a low attention span (even in grindcore terms) might be bowled over by Total Fucking Destruction’s disregard for whatever is trending right now. Admittedly, #USA4TFD is a strange one, even for grind freaks who desire chaos and general hijinx. It’s not that the record struggles with its identity, far from it, it’s more like a compilation of the band’s output through the years. New fans will either love it or loathe it, depending on whatever they’ve been spoon-fed as “extreme” music, through the years.

In a world (Don LaFontaine voice) over-saturated with HM-2 clones and bands trying to reinvent the blastbeat, Hoak remains one of the most unique guiding voices in grind. Don’t pay attention to the boo-boys who will argue “this isn’t true grind” until they’re blue in the face and their YouTube accounts suspended; they have no fucking clue. #USA4TFD is another exemplary effort from Total Fucking Destruction, spearheading the weird grind movement with aplomb. Fledgling grind acts should take inspiration from this record and embrace their bizarre quirks, rather than hiding them under a blanket of fuzz and unnecessary feedback. It’s more than okay to use a woodblock in your blasts, folks.

#USA4TFD is available now via Give Praise Records.

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The longer the note, the more dread






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