January didn’t have an edition of Grind My Gears because yours truly was up to his nuts in boring, boring life bullshit. There’s little point in fixating on it – that wouldn’t be very grindcore, after all – so we’re slamming back into reality with a journey through the halls of noise, scuzz, and furious blast beating. You’re getting some new shit, a quick review of the fantastic Slave To The Grind documentary, and a brief look back at one of grind’s most terrifying records – because it’s one of my favourites and I’ve been listening to it a lot. It’s been a while, so let’s hop to it, you scummy sonsabitches.
Years in the making, the documentary that we didn’t know we desperately needed finally arrived on digital and physical platforms. Slave To The Grind promised an in-depth look at the roots of our beloved genre and ho boy, did it deliver. With a string of interviews and appearances from grinders from around the world (notably missing South America and Wormrot, but we’ll let that slide), Doug Brown’s feature-length movie provides boots-on-the-ground accounts of the genre’s early days; the early footage of Repulsion and Terrorizer destroying crusty shows full of even crustier, often confused-looking kids is a real highlight. Over the pond, Shane Embury and Justin Broderick dish the dirt on the earliest days of Napalm Death while Digby Pearson chimes in with his two pence. It’s warts’n’all, yes, but you can’t go forward without looking back first and Brown really gets into the nitty gritty of the early days of grind (bonus mention for the salty Terrorizer shenanigans, wow).
The doc does linger quite heavily on a rather infamous band, let’s just call them Anal Cunt, with everyone from members of Brutal Truth, Discordance Axis, Vermin Womb, and more all chipping in with their memories and opinions of the world’s first Internet metal troll act; and their vexing frontman Seth Putnam. It sours some of the experience of the flick, focusing so much on a character so polarising, but hey, can’t win ’em all. There are much more interesting and enlightening moments, namely the forays into Japanese grind and the everlasting power of Agathocles and their often imitated and now warmly accepted form of grind – mince. Also, I hadn’t heard P.L.F before watching this and I’ve since self-flagellated, so don’t spit down my throat (bonus mention for John Chang getting worked up about powerviolence and spitting on himself while he gives the whole movement two middle fingers – stay cool, Chang).
I don’t know how one is meant to fully review a documentary, it’s not like it can be broken down into technique critique or acts. Whatever, I enjoyed the absolute fuck out of Slave To The Grind and it was well worth the wait. Grindcore to the, eh, core, it’s the product of years of hard work and time spent focusing on the passion of the director’s life. A passion we all share, presumably, if you’re reading this. It’s available to rent, buy, and stream now, so fucking do it. Don’t be a powerviolence poser, or Jon Chang will spit on you.
Silence Is Suffering, Silence Is Shite
It wouldn’t be one of my posts without including some Scottish savagery and this is no different. Rosyth’s Insufferable are=less than an hour from where I’m at, but when I stick on their new LP The Abandonment Of Musicality, I feel like I’m inside the speakers that they’re playing through. Utterly devastating, totally devoid of any real kind of musical coherence, you probably already know if you’re going to click play below or not.
In the time it takes you to queue for a cinema ticket, get your popcorn, find your seat and clock who around you is probably going to spend the entire time looking at their phone (Die. Scum cunts. There are no jokes here), Insufferable do their damage. Forty songs in forty-five minutes, the noisy grind on this record is true to form for a band with a name such as they do. Recording quality varies throughout, but once you hit the track twenty mark, it gets a bit more cutting, the snare no longer lost and the guitar slashing old-school licks over beats that don’t really seem to have a beginning or end. The noisiest thing I’ve ever covered on here and I can’t get enough. Use this to make your neighbours move out.
Unholy Shirestorm/Who Dares Grins
Keeping it in the UK (sorry EU, I guess we’re keeping our grindcore after March 29th. Blame the fucking Tories), Terror Threat is a solo project from the “shire” of Hereford. From a young fascination with the military, and the SAS in particular, I’m aware that the Special Air Service is based there. That’s not relevant to this, whatsoever. The closest I can get is that this next five-minute release will do the same amount of damage as dropping a pallet of supermarket “My Life In The SAS” paperbacks onto your head from a great height.
The single mind behind Terror Threat enjoys everything about grind that I do, seemingly. Soundbites flow directly into short, devastating eruptions of churning grind and hardcore, living in a world where brevity is key, and bullying riffs are judge, jury, and executioner. No jury would dare announce Servile as innocent, and the judge would be applauded for sending this violent sound to the executioner. Good luck actually severing the head from the body of this though. The riffs and beatdowns are wired tighter than the government’s budget when it comes to mental health, education, or anything more important than the “war on terror”.
A: Terrifried, Sunny Side Up
Q: How do you like your eggs?
I wish I knew why we have historically always signed off interviews by asking the subject how they have their eggs. Regardless, it helped me think of a way of incorporating the title of a record celebrating it’s fifteen year anniversary this very year. Pig Destroyer‘s third full-length Terrifyer has long been a favourite, never leaving rotation and almost never leaving the memory capacity of my music device (sometimes if I can only have Prowler In The Yard, it wins. I’m fickle, judge me).
The scream that kicks this record into life will forever be ingrained in my mind, so too will the opening crunch of “Boy Constrictor”. I’m not going to pick a moment from every track on this, and I’m not even going to comment on why “Natasha” is the greatest track over ten minutes in length, of all time. I don’t need to. If you haven’t already listened to this record than what’s the point? Why am I writing this column? If you don’t enjoy this one as much as others, that’s fine. You tried. You might think Book Burner is a more complete grind experience. I don’t agree, but I respect you for having a wrong opinion. Just don’t fucking @ me if you don’t love the WILD nu-metal vibes on “Towering Flesh”. That is all.