Yes, the title is an Infectious Grooves reference. No, I will never stop using bad puns in this feature.
When I first started writing Grind My Gears way back in checks calendar but it doesn’t really matter because time is a man-made construct and bears no real impact on the vibrancy of our shared experience March 2017 I wanted blasts and death metal vocals and tough grooves and that was about it. Now, I guess there’s more interesting bands out there that move away from the traditional grind sound. I’ll always have room in my heart for the golden oldies, but the array of noise and powerviolence bands that fuck with traditional grind are just that much more interesting. Here are a few of them.
Das Ist Nicht Nur Lärm, Das Ist Der Sound Des Lebens
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It’s redundant to whinge about your favourite band not being “as popular as they deserve”. What else can you do other than continuing to support them, buying their shit, and sharing them with anyone who will listen? Well, you can write about them in your grind column and hope that a few folk will feel the same way. Dortmund’s Moral Bombing are a new find and the self-proclaimed shantytown powerviolence band are so fucking good, I couldn’t not have them as the featured band in this edition.
Echo Chamber is less than a month old but I’ve listened to it a hundred times already. Doing the HM-2 slow crushing riffs better than Nails and grinding through punk and hardcore beats and grooves faster than a room full of ghettoblasters playing the entire Full of Hell discography, Moral Bombing definitely have “IT”, whatever that means. The LP kicks off with the feedback equivalent of someone firing up their bagpipes and starts chugging away into crunchy, tumbling violence. The chaos that ensues is full of death metal riffing and nasty, devastating punk – all fuelled by a thousand crushed cans of Dortmunder Kronen. Plus, there’s a fucking song called “Anyway, Here’s Wonderwall”, just one of a glorious selection of fully-charged anthems, complete with some surprisingly wonderful lyrics. “Trilogie III…” has a short, serious and very personal message behind it that stuck with me like the ending of that first episode of Black Mirror:
“Shut your mouth and shut your eyes
keep on swallowing but I won’t shut mine
using my brain and wanting to breath is just the beginning
I’m taking control of things that are mine”
Bold enough to include a dirty drum’n’bass interlude and a trilogy of pissed off, pissed-up punk anthems, the band don’t just toe the line between genius and madness, they’ve ripped it out of the ground and bitten huge chunks out of it; spitting them all the fuck over the place on top of d-beats and blasts and tight, buzzsaw riffs. Magic stuff. Thanks to Christopher for translating the tagline for me, my German is as rusty as the overall vibe of this record is crusty.
Holy Tinnitus Tuesday, Batman!
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The latest in a long string of releases from Toronto’s premium noise-bastards Holy Grinder, Chain Of Revenge is the queerest, noisiest six minutes of grind you can listen to today. The band’s notorious manipulation of feedback, electronics and fucking ruthless violence has never sounded so in your face. Like, right in your face. Licking your eyeballs and spitting down your throat. You know you fucking want it. Open wide.
The best thing about Holy Grinder’s delightful and playful brand of chaos is how nothing sounds the same between tracks. Drums blast away in a sonic blur under feedback and sass-heavy screams on “Gag Ritual” but stomp with immediacy and danger on the title track. Guitars and bass take a backseat to the screeches and nausea-inducing swirls of ear-piercing sounds on the pure noise track “Womb”, making it easy to forget you’re listening to a band performing. You’re forgiven for presuming this EP was recorded by the one Decepticon who stayed at home in their basement listening to Aphex Twin, Merzbow and Discharge instead of trying to fuck up Optimus Prime and co.
Pacific North West Violence Via Salem
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Over two weeks without touching the Devil’s Lettuce, I’ve yet to fall out of love with the bong-hitting, smoke-belching sounds of Portland joint-packing trio Deadwitch. I’ll make this one quick, giving you just enough time to roll one and enjoy it while these four tracks of fuzzy, aggravated filth boom out of your chosen listening device – winding up those neighbours who have been playing karaoke hits every night for the last week or so. Summer really does turn the normies into the worst cunts. Use Deadwitch’s new EP Let Me Down to assault them through the wall without having to actually choke the life out of their “Uptown Girl” screeching throats. It’s got some fast bits, some slow bits, some feedback, and some more fast bits. What else could you ask for? Sick cassette art? Check. Don’t be greedy.