Grind My Gears – The One With the Caustic Wound Record

Honestly, there’d be more to this weeks Grind My Gears if I could be fucked but I’m losing my marbles and all sense of productivity. Isn’t it just as well that there’s at least one record released in the last week that merits a full look? Bandcamp’s grind tags haven’t been giving me the same kind of joy as they did last year (less stuff coming out or am I just getting fussier in my quarter/mid-life crisis?) but one of the more widely received and lauded extreme records of recent days needs a little write-up. The Profound Lore debut of Caustic Wound is the only record I care about this week, and here’s my brief but boisterous argument for why it should be the same for you.

Slapped with a slightly divisive blurb about the greater grind scene’s “clinical, plastic and ornamental trappings”, Death Posture definitely sounds like the turn of the 90’s death/grind records that it aims to hark back to. There’s definitely a trick to using modern production tools to recreate tones and an overall denim jacket and post-mullet vibe, but thankfully the scratch bass scuzz and tin-can drums of Repulsion‘s Horrified is avoided. The warbling of death belch vocals over dense quagmire riffs is rich enough that a good set of headphones will allow the precise drum work of Casey Moore (Magrudergrind) to stand out as a beacon of balance underneath all the swamp matter. Moore’s tub-thumping is vital to the always cranked to eleven nature of the rest of the band; consistently bringing the club-swinging death metal riffing back to earth with blasting hands and feet.

Caustic Wound’s impetus to play material harking back to the gory glory days couldn’t be more front-facing if they strapped a Claymore to the cover of the album. Tracks like “Blast Casualty”, “Uranium Decay”, and “Autonomous Weapon System” all sound like subtitles for direct-to-VHS Chuck Norris sequels from the late 80s and early 90s, cashing in on the post-Cold War/Russian bad guy eras fondness for military violence. It’s fitting that these cuts, along with every other bellowing number on Death Posture help push the Doomsday Clock closer to midnight with every trem-picked lick and groove from the floor of a missile silo. Moore and the rest of the band (members of Fetid, Mortiferum, and Cerebral Rot) are clearly die-hards for the extreme music of the era, even if they weren’t necessarily going for the Delta Force 5: Terror Bomber shtick.

All bad analogies aside, the combined forces of Caustic Wound have sprinkled their decisive modern flourishes on a sound deeply rooted in decades past. Death Posture is a rampaging fuck you to all who the band deem as surplus to requirements in the scene and, wisely enough, they leave it open to interpretation as to who they may be referring to. The deathgrind is strong in this nostalgia-inspired-but-not-reliant wrought iron wrecking ball, but it stretches past the ‘back in the day’ clamouring that others have become stuck in. Plus, it’s probably too heavy for ole Norris himself.

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The longer the note, the more dread