(In this review DGR praises the new record by Los Angeles-based Choke Me, which was released in June by Riot Ready Records.)
Speaking of releases that have fallen firmly in the category of “have listened to a ton since its sliding across my proverbial desk”, L.A’s Choke Me and their album The Cousin Of Death – released in late June via Riot Ready Records – is the latest candidate to build itself a very comfortable nest in that pile.
There’s a few reasons for this: One is that this disc is fast. The band dub themselves “fastcore”, so at the very least this should be an easily attainable goal, and The Cousin of Death clocks in at about twenty-five minutes over twelve songs. The second is that The Cousin Of Death is cathartic. It nails the feeling of lashing out within the first few songs and retains that sort of ferocity for the entirety of its run time, the dual vocal assault provided by its bassist and guitarist amplifying that effect.
Third, whether intentional or something that just popped up during the songwriting sessions, nearly every song here has some sort of flash point where the group shift from comfortable death and grind riffs into full on blasting hell, as if every song seeks to light itself on fire and be fully immolated by its ending. That moment where the tempo accelerates into full speed is so much fun that even though it happens over and over throughout The Cousin Of Death proves that Choke Me have really gripped on to something.
Finally, I have a soft spot for just about any release that contains as much bile within it as a song like “You Aren’t Special” does.