Here we have a quirky grindcore album from a band from down under. I have some feelings about this so let’s try to put things in right order. Musically this thing is good, they state Blood Duster as their influences and well, I think they have a bit of their talent on combining humour and good powerful grindcore with tons of weird variations on the theme, to the point of totally slithering into other genres like funky, hard core or even heavy metal (hear the first Judas Priest riffs in “Queens of the Scene Age”), just like early Blood Duster (maybe up to “Yeeest”) or Cheese Grater Sodomy.. The genre variations are not qualitatively “sky high”, a few slaps on a bass guitar don’t make you Infectious Grooves for instance, however the ideas are there and work since the whole album music relects the theme of the cover artwork: a cartoonish drawing depicting a desaster flowing in the streets, including elements of rape, crumbling skyscrapers, black blocs thrashing shop windows, punks beating helpless civils, firemens driving full speed etc. The vocals are savage and just hop from deathvomit grunts to various tonalities of screams etc. The music is just a total hodgepodge of genres but it works, overally, even if the energy is not always top (as Birdflesh for instance) However even if wild, we’re not to the level of total madness of the Japanese, so basically you got a solid death/grind work with lots of variation, just like the aforementioned or the latest Purulent Spermcanal.
Now I have also to admit I have grown a little bored of hilarious grind. Even if this band knows how to play and I really don’t give a damn about the no-poser attitude they have in the pics (sometimes this obsession of being no-posers sounds as artificial as wearing corpse paint, and what’s that fucking shirt with marijuana leaves??), what is really a turn down is the lyrics dept. These are among the cheapest, most banal HC Punk lyrics I have read in a long time. They can be summed up in Brutal Truth “Time” and “Walking Corpse” plus a bunch of the Exit-13 obsession for smoking. Apart from being total prose, they just keep saying you have to fuck the system and that you’re crystallized in a huge machine that is the bad society… Yawn… how can one still write this shit in 2004? I also admit I have a huge aversion for bands that insert marijuana themes in Grind and Death so maybe this thing touched me a bit on a sensitive spot. I still also think there is some importance in the aesthetics of a band (it’s not all important if a band is shit but it has a small relevance in the whole), I am as bored by this no attitude as much as by those kids with 62 patches of underground bands on their denim jackets. And what’s more I still believe heavy music is about aggression, depression, cruelty, gore or whatever extreme topic you might find, and well, socially aware lyrics are also Ok as well, but they must at least make you think a bit… there is more good in a old Minor Threat song lyrics than in this whole booklet. The song about the scene was described much better by Slapshot’s “Chameleon” than this 10 years old kid thing I read here.
So generally I want to keep on judging the music. It’s good solid, and I think it gives the best when playing a bit more straightforward manner, I guess I have got my dose of Mr Bungle and it suffices. But generally speaking, it’s good and well constructed, even the trips are arranged well.