(Here we have a list of recommended 2011 releases from Alex Layzell, the mastermind behind the awesome UK-based Grind To Death blog — and most of this nastiness is available for free download.)
So I recently received via pigeon mail an invitation by Islander to do a best of 2011 list thingy (do these things have an official name yet?), but truth be told, despite agreeing to it I didn’t want to do a best of list, because I produce one on GTD anyway, and there is no point in reproducing or rewording the same set of material twice when the material itself is likely to be ignored and clog up the precious resource known as the internet. Secondly I haven’t really given much thought as to the hierarchy of my favourite releases, nor is the year quite over yet, thus a month is sufficient time to tilt my listening schedule in favour of one band against another, or for a whole new game-changing release to explode on my radar.
So what do I intend to do with this assignment I have willingly agreed to do and in fact from my previous experience found to be quite rewarding given the community response (please set my family free now Islander, I have done as you ask! )? After much thought and deliberation the answer manifested itself quite clearly: Compile a list of 10 underdog bands whose 2011 releases cemented their names in the grind order amongst the regular merchants of grindviolence (on my playlist).
The problem is, this year dozens of newcomers have carved their names into my fragile mind. Not wanting to pick my favourite 10, what criteria do I establish to narrow it down to 10? arghhhhhh it’s no easy life being fair and ethical (fuck this shit I am going to beat a whale to death with a golf club!). So I thought, fudge the lot of ya, first 10 to come to my head win. Maybe if I am feeling exceptionally festive and have plenty of time to kill in-between being a student, a terrible blogger, and general commitments, I may do a part 2 of this list, but we will have to see.
Without further ado here is a first-come, first-serve mental list of undercard bands who gave me such a savage musical beating in 2011 that it’s my turn to unleash these Baskerville hounds on your unsuspecting ears!
(Note: To all internet assholes, trolls, metal fans who feel they have become leading experts in making advanced social commentary on grindcore courtesy of owning some Earache/Relapse grind releases, and people who use Comic Sans typeface, this is my list! Not yours, Mine! I am right, you are wrong! Simples!)
Water Torture – S/T EP
Lock Man is the Bastard, early Spazz and some noise generators in a room only depicting the horrors of life and you probably will end with something as beastly as Water Torture’s debut self titled EP. It’s a bass drum and vox only set-up that distorts what once likely was a joyous swinging punk riff into a filthy nihilistic fuck-you-all-repeatedly ethos. Frantic blast beats and exhausted screams of anguish assist the filthy string strangulation in dragging you head first into some of the most filthy and heavy monstrosity born of powerviolence.
Thedowngoing – Untitled EP
A fine example of noise worship objectivity expressed through the medium of music, hellishly high vocal shrills, jarring stabs of noise, helter-skelter guitar turbulence, all accompanied by blast-heavy and blast-fast drum rhetoric. All this comes in micro-disc form and possibly is the only time the following statement is accurate “My down going 3″ will not only satisfy you beyond your wildest dreams, but the whole under 10 minutes of its use will leave you physically wrecked.”
Wake – Leeches
So Wake may have popped up on people’s radar’s back in 2010 courtesy of the ever good Grind and Punishment’s confession of love towards them, but 2011 is where they hit the jackpot. Few releases can boast such intelligence, originality, divine execution, fantastic production values, and a gasping beauty of musical elegance and brutality alloyed into one, yet somehow Canada’s Wake thrust it all out in an effortless manner.
“Leeches”[audio:https://www.nocleansinging.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/07-Leeches.mp3|titles=Wake – Leeches]
Horsebastard – Equestrian Blastcore
What this release may lack in production quality is redeemed 10-fold by its unrelenting gushing of energy. It’s one fast and slick son of a bitch which continually bleeds forth rage in a manner of an old fashioned non-electrical kettle screaming before yanking itself back on the land speed-record attempt, all in a continuous cycle of Discordance Axis meets Narcosis punch-up parade. Made doubly effective live.
Priapus – Air Loom
Priapus are truly wonderful in their own right, pinching the heavy Hardcore & tip toeing Grindcore end of the punk spectrum tightly and then glossing it over with some metal technical string theatrics for some twirling rage-laden expression of odium, backed by an extensive arsenal of musical skill and shenanigans.
Hoglust – Support Hate
Hell hath no fury like a Woman’s wrath — a statement made considerably more frightful when said woman (Alison if you must know her name) is accompanied by gimmick-free, full-on Infest intensity, wrought with an undying youth counterculture aggression perpendicular to some awesomely sharp guitar and drum hazing.
Psudoku – Space Grind
I feel like I am breaching the integrity of the list featuring this warp factor 7 space-time distortion of what is Parlamentarisk Sodomi gone insane, but it nonetheless remains a 2011 release, excluding the fact it was made in the year 3165 AD and sent back in time by interstellar grinders Psudoku. Gone is the unrelenting pursuit of aggression that staples grind, and instead we have enveloping rapid contortions of jazz-laden bizarreness. Best described by fellow GTD writer and friend Jordan F Talbot: “Like Jon Zorn and Brutal Truth fucking in an alley.”
Beer Corpse – Keg Nuts
This 11-minute gem of Give Praise Records prestige is not only a wonderful ode to every student’s regular dietary input — Beer — but it is also a wonderful slab of old-school grind worship, fluidly paying homage to Scum-era ND and Terrorizer whilst still retaining the over-the-top blood alcohol levels to give it that Guinness-based murkiness and morning-after sluggishness.
Busuk – Beats of Rage
Buzzsaw riff’s are go! In a Wormrot-like catchy hook man with a guitar aggressively stubborn loveliness assisted by yammering yelps and dextrous blasting, not forgetting nostalgic simpsons sampling, Busuk know what the crowd want to hear and deliver it oh so fantastically. Production values mar the release throughout, made evident by the straining required to hear the drums, but strangely compliment the full-throttle, Unholy Grave set up of the crushing string work![audio:https://www.nocleansinging.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/01-BUSUK-Blow-Your-Mind-Intro.mp3|titles=BUSUK – Blow Your Mind (Intro)] [audio:https://www.nocleansinging.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/02-BUSUK-Dance-At-The-Freaky-Circle.mp3|titles=BUSUK – Dance At The Freaky Circle] [audio:https://www.nocleansinging.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/03-BUSUK-Virus-Mind.mp3|titles=BUSUK – Virus Mind]
Chulo – Odio a Primera Vista
In the fucked-up world we live in, of vast economic and quality-of-life disparities and about a billion other problems people inflict on each other, there is one good thing that comes out of it all, and that is this: pissed off people = pissed off music = really good music. And that is pretty much how I see Colombia’s purveyors of rage, Chulo, who vehemently belt out disgust/hate/bitterness in a primitive, but undeniably effective fashion.
Livet Som Insats – S/T EP
Well, this probably is blatantly unhinged, morally bankrupt self-promotion, given my small logistical help in this release and the extensive friendship I hold with the band, but nonetheless my brain (or Alexander the Great as I like to call him) has spoken — they are to be the last band on this list. Livet Som Insats are nothing but pure grade-A Nasum-class worship packaged with technical sweeps and engaging moments of both fury and relative calm, all amplified through crystal clear sound quality, a band that will blow your socks/Christmas stockings off!
Ok, those of you not suffering from blunt force audio trauma and thus are able to read this section, I salute you for bearing witness to what is surprisingly a quite cool and varied list of some great new talent out there! Remember Grindcore is love too, especially around Christmas!