Firstly, by the time I actually came across this next entry into the Hall of Grind and decided to write about them, they released two more batches of hot shit, toxic grind. If this wasn’t a sign from the Holy Grindfather then I’m a two-tone ska fiend. Throat Breach are every single bit as unpleasant sounding as their moniker but in just over a year have consistently released music as and when they feel like it. Presents for everyone indeed. Over the course of sixteen releases this Midwest branch of the Terror Squad have found a sound worth killing for. In like, twelve months. How many releases did you put out the last twelve months?
Granted, a lot of these releases are just single pieces of music, some very short in length. It’s not their total weight of discography that impresses me, it’s the transition from the first idea of a sound being put to tape and the wholly natural evolution of hearing that sound take shape, weight and subsequently turn into some of the most bruising, oppressive constructions of grind and violence. They weren’t even called Throat Breach a year ago. Napalm Meth was their original moniker. Cute, but nothing like the unsettling image of their current presence.
Napalm Meth material took on an industrial, electronic element without using synths and keys. The piercing nature of the production of this music scrapes against the unfiltered and unnerving batterings of both percussion and voice. Powerviolence and sludge tags both suit the music for much of the first few releases, but the Fear Factory-on-manky-crack “Whipped” was the first track to make my ears send messages to my brain that made me sweat from my fingertips.
This is the start of an idea and already the ground rules have been pissed on and stabbed. Before long, other elements take hold and the overall attitude of the material doesn’t change too much, but the materials that are used in the creation of the self confessed “boiling, tar soaked..” grind shift towards mechanised violence. The drum machine becomes a friend in low, claustrophobic spaces. Hopeless is a fantastic debut LP, even though this band have never relied on a traditional approach to their delivery of music. The series of tracks blasts through and leave absolutely fuck all room to breath. Nothing is safe, nothing is okay, not when this is playing.
Throat Breach now are the nightmare sound of robots dreams. As violent and cold as they get, the Prison Birth EP lasts along as it takes to write a thinly veiled apology for something you’re not really sorry for at all but probably should be. Not long, but it’s still an uncomfortable feeling through the brief process.
Through this whole process of rebranding, the band have several killer logos too. It’s something aside from the music but for grind aficionados, the artwork and visual stylings of these acts is so revered that the bleak and brash logos of both Napalm Meth and Throat Breach are all appreciable. My personal favourite is the black metal logo on the April release Live Short and Suffer, not just because it’s a solid black metal logo but because there are airs of the genre in the four minutes of shifting, crushing violence. Probably a bit late to say that most of this band’s repertoire is NSFW.
[bandcamp width=100% height=120 track=391598744 size=large bgcol=333333 linkcol=ffffff tracklist=false artwork=small]
Their most recent offering, Psychic Wave Mutilation is just a few days old and I’ve already enjoyed the riff heavy powerviolence offered a fair few times. The short tracks all have movements with more dread than you shake a crusty drumstick at. But my favourite so far has be the still quite recent release, Helpless. There’s no prog renaissance or shift to power metal, it’s still teeth on concrete grind with no direction than the one straight down the back of your throat. Ahem. This is a niché area of music, this is true, but a band as crushing and prolific as this already should be more grind freaks new favourite band.
Be the first to be like “I knew about them when they only had 200 likes”, because that’s what is really important. Feel less helpless and treat yourself to the wholesome, uncaring music that this fledgling noise trope are just fucking throwing away. Their Bandcamp page comes up when you search for nearly any extreme music tag by the way, just a funny fact.