It’s been a year for good old grind. Maybe certain political events and increased tensions in a couple of places are the reason? Grind from the ground up has always been deeply rooted in current and future global interests, any one who tells you otherwise can go suck a McFuck. Maybe there really is something in the water and the only ones affected are people with a predaliction for music’s most abrasive and addictive ‘core. Maybe it’s neither of these and I’ve just had too much fun focusing on grind for a year, setting my blinkers towards the attention deficit destruction of blasts, noise, war and apathy. Maybe I should get to it.
This is what Ground My Gears in 2017.
There’s going to be a lot of great grind missing from this wrap-up. Not because I’m lazy (definitely because I’m lazy too) but because The Grand Grind of 2017 really grabbed my attention. Didn’t matter whether it was true grind or cybergrind or blackened brutal deathgrind, the big hitters of the year earn a spot in the first content paragraph of an end of year post on a metal blog. It’s redundant listing them at this point because like my underwear, my opinion changes every two days and I find new flaws and fractures in everything. But yeah, Full of Hell probably released the best grind/anything record this year. We’ll get to that eventually.
Top of the Pops
Trumpeting Ecstasy only confirmed what many of us already believed, that everything this still young band touches turns to grimy, gritty gold. The album sounds hellish and concrete thick at times, the band honing on a sound and dynamics appropriate for a release of it’s nature. The jacking up of the death metal worked a treat alongside the band’s now famous combo of electronic tinkering and devastating musicianship. Just fucking stunning music for fans of devastation. For anyone coming into grind through the death metal family, this is a be all and end all record. It wasn’t even the only thing they released this year. Simon reviewed the album way better than I ever could and we share much of the same attachments to it.
Following close behind the big burning nun are a weird group of bands. None of the bands are too peculiar in any fashion, it’s just the grouping of them that might raise an infected eyebrow piercing. Easily devourable and driving grind with a solid base in death metal structuring and thrash dynamics, The Drip‘s Relapse debut The Haunting Fear of Inevitability was incredibly high in my most listened charts this year. The full length never gives up the ghost and is worth every minute of its half hour. The latest in a string of fantastic releases from WVRM ranks high up there too, pulling all of the grime of the earliest doom recordings and mashing it violently into whirlwind grind.
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Dipping into the Midwest and further into the belly of the beast, the “tar soaked” shrapnel attack of Throat Breach and their consistent releasing of single tracks and EP’s got me grind hard. A bold HBO show would use this in a torture scene, just to ram home how distressing a trip these folks create. Their shifting from live and electric drums and radically different tones makes notifications of new music a buzz. I swear I have at least one good sentence for just about every grind release this year, be it positive or negative; I just can’t choose everyone. Throw in Piss Vortex and their latest, unholy flash release. Soft Reboot is an onslaught on the senses, as ever.
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Disclaimer: I know I didn’t give nearly enough time to some big releases from Phobia, Expulsion and the snappy comeback of sorts from Leng Tch’e. There was nothing wrong with any of them and I gave them all the same one run through with full attention but they didn’t catch or end up on my down time rotation. It was definitely a pleasurable year for European grind with an unannounced release from Corrupt Moral Altar, constructing thick textures around machine gun blasting. Spain, Sweden and Slovenia bond through alliteration and grind of a world class level. Teething, The Arson Project and Slund all using typical metal instruments to create totally unique blasts of noise.
Vicious tunes from Dark Habits and Gendo Ikari too. Because I’m nothing if not a lazy, callous nationalist or something. The next handful I’m just gonna throw at you because it’s nearly time to devolve into some crude stereotype of the guy from your town who still listens to metal right through the festivities. I’m just not gonna write about it now ’til 2018. I have some big, dumb ideas for what I’m gonna try and do with Grind My Gears and if you have the breath in your smoke and beverage battered body then let me know what I can look at more; if anyone cares about digging up back catalogue releases for retrospectives, interviews etc. I can only get better at this. Obviously. Just look at how long I’ve kept you from the music.
Chepang – NY/Nepal = Just frantic, fantastic grind.
fluoride – Really raw and filthy and utterly moreish.
mothmother – excellent. understated. bruising.
The Heads Are Zeros – More maths involved than I ever did at school
Leeched – Monstrous Manc grindviolence.
That’s it. Grind according to me in 2017.