(Today’s first guest post was contributed by UK-based grind wizard Alex Layzell, who shines the spotlight on Polish grind.)
Good day No Clean Singing Collective. Now, Grind isn’t a genre many are fond of, but hopefully this short expose may do something to kindle that flame and spark your interest in what truly is a glorious genre, and for those of you wanting to feast further on such glory, feel free to benefit from my own useless attempt to explore this art form over at Grind to Death.
Today I will be taking you through an informative journey of exploration, with the subject being Poland’s ever so wondrous Grind export. As a country, Poland isn’t really one that immediately conjures up significant Grind prestige. Even amongst devout fans of the genre, naming good Polish Grind bands might press them somewhat. However, there are treasures to be found. Now hold hands and journey with me through the rough and tumble badllands of Poland’s Grind scene. Those with weak heart conditions may wish to abstain, an admonition that goes double for any who don’t like the idea of the musical equivalent of a nail bomb subjecting you to aural punishment.
First up are Poland’s woefully underrated purveyors of Gore, Squash Bowels (whose logo is pictured above). Their 2009 Willowtip Records debut Grindvirus is mandatory listening for all — and this is coming from someone who 99% of the time has a deep-rooted loathing for Goregrind. Rather than offer anything explosively truculent, they opt for a slick offering of superior songwriting, bringing the groove to grind, a formula sadly neglected though successfully achieved here through exceptional stylistic hardships — a testament to the band’s punk-driven superiority. It’s contagious and addictive — you have been warned!
Shifting from mid-paced riff mastery to explosive, in-your-face torment, Exit Wounds have a playing style whose objective may be summarised purely as a land-speed-record-attempt at achieving a charred personification of violence! There are no niceties to be found in their twisted, soul-crushing assault, nor is there any middle ground — simply barbaric tracks of relentless punishment that screech animalistic rage by way of a crusty grind-on-speed overdose. Forget fastcore, these rageahols know the battlefield through and through and are sure to tear your eardrums.
Practically criminally overrated are Poland’s trapped-in-1987 old school grind freaks Self Hate. Forget musical evolution, these punks don’t give a shit, their music is the epitome of Crass’s ideals of anti-establishmentarianism conveyed through a sermon of hate and rejection. They brave matters considered by self-styled practitioners of the genre by touching on issues such as Palestine and Infanticide. Imagine if you will Napalm Death, but stuck in a pre-mid-90’s limbo; old school, but with musical and lyrical clout.
Those who make false accusations that grind is a restrictive genre, or best played in its early form are just talking shit. Amongst the bands who genuinely trample underfoot this ridiculous Urban Legend is Antigama. Their music has that uneasy sitting-on-the-edge-of-your-seat quality, because quite frankly there’s nothing like it. It gels the ideals of post-punk tangos and back-handed tech wizardry with acute progressions whilst heating up the grind pot to a captivating but sparking array of disorientation and captivity. But you guys already knew that since these purveyors of Bohemian grind got a well-deserved spot on Relapse Records’ admirable and burgeoning grind arsenal.
<a href=”http://antigamaband.bandcamp.com/album/warning” mce_href=”http://antigamaband.bandcamp.com/album/warning”>Warning by Antigama</a>
Oh how I love Suffering Mind. There is no end to the list of reasons why you godless heathens should permit them to fill your heads with such wonderful punk ideals, wonderfully belted out by frontwoman Ulka, which feel more like a Utopian manifesto than the usual lyrical savagery. Their approach may be rooted in the old school, but that doesn’t stop them from using every trick in the book of conventional grinding to offer a truly fantastical slab of politically charged vehemence. Together we can slay the Hydra! (Reference only applies to those who have listened to them, and subsequently understood their works, so get on it!)
I will confess to not being really well-versed in the decayed carnal feast that is served by goremongers Neuropathia, but what I do know is that in the dark sex dungeons and abattoirs that are Gore Grind, Neuropathia are amongst the twisted mistresses with an inherent craving for your degradation and subsequent mutilation. A nifty injection of samples soften the blow before their rock-tinged gore assault vomits forth in a clandestine execution of buzzing riffs, putrid vocals, and cacophonous drum work.
ASS TO MOUTH
[audio:https://www.nocleansinging.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/01_ATM_Machine.mp3|titles=Ass To Mouth – ATM Machine]
Hardcore tainted by grind and pushed into overdrive is the modus operandi of the laughably named Ass to Mouth. Thankfully, redemption lies in their superior musical ability. Fast and ferocious, not as monstrous as the hell-bent Exit Wounds, but in its stead a more calculated, listener-friendly affair. Its like a funkadelic state of grind absurdism, one that mocks the genre’s standards and what was a respectable lyrical theme (the whole anti-everything immoral sermon), but executes in a top class manner. It’s worth highlighting that Ass to Mouth are one of the few grind bands to feature pig squealing (well, more like screeching). Not for everyone, but a find for those who want a bit of zest and wish to hear a spanner thrown into what is otherwise a very morbid state of play.
Now the list of good Polish grind bands doesn’t end here, but it does from this contributor, so please do check out some of these quality grind merchants. I hope this short expose has been informative and served to do some justice to what truly is a criminally under-valued scene.
For those already suffering shell shock, all liability lies with No Clean Singing for the publication of such a crass list.