In my quest to fill Heavy Blog with the nastiest content possible, I decided to refocus on the genre of metal that fills my ears, heart and asshole with the most satisfaction. The genre is grind, obviously. Now, some of the bands I’ll be covering in this feature may lean more towards powerviolence, even death metal, but grind has never been one sound anyway. None of these bands are exactly alike. The title is not meant to denote feelings of annoyance or discomfort either. Far from it. These are songs that push me forward, no matter how hard everything else pushes back. Without any further fuckery, the first band to Grind My Gears is Greenville, South Carolina’s WVRM.
If you’ve powered through that long ass introduction then well done, you’ve won the grand prize – some dark as night sky, miserable grindcore. WVRM don’t write and play music to appeal to anyone. Far from it. From as early as 2013, these gents have burnt through all of the tropes of traditional grind, sludge, crust and powerviolence; their principle driving force being “self hatred”, made clear by the same two word bio on their Bandcamp.
I feel I can share in the misery and hostility in 2013’s Despair. Short, grating servings of grind and feedback see a band putting string and stick to work in creating a harsh soundscape, perfect for blocking out the loud chewing office colleague. Perfect for picturing a phone cord wrapped tight around his greasy, fat fuck of a neck, eyes and veins bulging with a hint of confusion and an understanding of the fate he brought down on himself. Damn. It’s cathartic just typing that.
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Between Despair and 2016’s Heartless is a sprawling mass of everything great about grind and death metal and punk and every single style of music that I want to soundtrack my moments. You know the moments I mean. It’s Rocky on the steps, victorious in his ascent. The pleasure of successfully syncing the drop of a beatdown with a Nazi getting planted in his cunty face. For me the moments are mostly day to day incidents where I feel the need to big ole’ GTA on every skin bag around. I do it with a smile on my face and WVRM maintaining the waves of despair and banality. So Tuesday, I guess.
There’s a pull out quote coming Eden, promise – the music of WVRM is full of ear worms for the aspiring daydream psychopath. Knock-out. I did a home run. I do bring evidence, like any (not very) aspiring writer. The shortest and strongest case might be a bit late now but no one cares anyway. “XIIIXIII”, from one of two full lengths released in 2014 (Where All Light Dies and Swarm Sound, don’t even bother thanking me for telling you) is the perfect Valentine’s message for your ex. If they meant anything to you. If they didn’t? Send it anyway and ruin their day.
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The self titled EP and split with Self Harm are both perfect micro doses of tripped out feedback and gloom, equally important in this grimacing menace of a discography. But it’s not for me to tell you what to look for in the recorded works of WVRM. Find out for yourself. Chances are if you’ve got this far then I’ve raised enough interest in these South Carolina savants for you to reach conclusions of your own. If I have to strong arm a suggestion or two into the remaining minutes of me having your attention then make time for the band’s poetic ode to their home state in “Carolina”, the fantastically brisk (and equally fantastically titled) “Blastphemous” or the entirety of last years experiment in noise, grind and doom, Heartache. It’s a twisted play date of sound with not one empty sentiment in sight. Not a single fuck given, just dudes destroying their instruments with a controlled ferocity – the phone cord is so tight around the neck of the loud chewer at this point, his skin has split and the raw nerve endings have been exposed. This is what WVRM does.
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WVRM are currently on a stupidly good tour package right now – grinding across North America with Seeker, Cognitive and The Grindmother (yass). If anything I have said has warmed up the icy ball of contempt in your shitbox, go out to a date if you can. Grind like the disgusting sex pig you are and do it in my honour. I now feel like I have a personal connection with the music of WVRM, so I’m taking this chance to connect with two Heavy Blog miscreants who I couldn’t have written this without. Colin, thank you so fucking much for bringing this band to my attention. You just fucking get it man. Dan, thank you for the detailed run downs of the loud chewing office bee you have to endure. You are one of the best worst ones I know.
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Hug your friends, burn down your ex’s psycho mother’s house, listen to WVRM.