BATHTUB SHITTER (Jap): “Shitter at Salzgitter” live Cd 2008 Power It Up

From my point of view, after years and years passed listening to Metal and Core, the sum of all the live recordings that deserve to be bought easily stays in the finger of a hand. And I am pretty much afraid this live 2004 isn’t in that list. Honestly, I like Bathtub Shitter, I really do… I have bought all their 7″ and listened to all of them a few times, but my narrow Doberman cranial box struggles to understand why I should listen to these songs with a broken sound and crowd shouts in the middle. I am probably the last person in the world to ask about live recordings, and well, I assume for a live it is good quality after all, but I just find live recordings completely useless.

The Cd looks pro, it has a color booklet, lyrics, photos collage and all the routine stuff in its place, but I really find it difficult to recommend something like this. You know Bathtub Shitter, right? Noisy at times, musically proficient at others, with that little touch of Japanese madness. If you’re a record collector and find challenged by this band’s huge list of releases here it is, get in touch with Power It Up.

BLOODRED BACTERIA (Ger): “Kiss the Goat” compilation Cd 2008 Power It Up

Okay, this time I prefer not to read anything about this new release before actually hearing it from start to finish. I remember this is the band who also released a split with Abscess some years ago and according to Power It Up‘s info sheet it’s a collection of Bloodred Bacteria singles. I am not hugely versed on this kind of  new grind core, but it seems to be a genre immensely popular in Germany, eastern European countries and in the far north. I personally never got big into it, and according to the sales of my shop back in the days, it doesn’t seem to stick very much in Italy. Maybe I didn’t push it enough… whatever.

The label is doing a good job with reissues in general, starting from a nice packaging with full lyrics and a couple of meaningless drawings, to a careful re mixing of these old songs for an even, better balanced sound. I lost myself halfway in the lyrics, some sort of generic rant that goes from moaning about how liberalism is bad and generic fun stuff. This definitely not the kind of lyrics that stick in the head like Fugazi‘s or Minor Threat if I must be honest. Also I would consider them a little more if they came from a Chilean band, instead of Germany.

From the musical standpoint, the Cd starts out a bit slow. Mostly that boring brand of run of the mill grind you can find on that big box of 7″ with nonsense covers you always find in average punk gigs. You know, the one sold by that guy with the army cap with Warsore patches, yellowish vegan skin and that brand new Driller Killer shirt. However even with the worst cynicism I admit there is good shit in the remaining half of this collection, though. The band seems to have gained some awareness somewhere in 2003-2004 starting out with the Swarrm split (that one is a great band by the way). The vocals are kinda strange, they are not particularly extreme, but their use of multi-layered recordings make them quite personal. The guitarwork has become more contorted without falling in that mathcore shit, but also not purely derivative of Discharge either. I must say there is some personality in this work. What seems to lack however is a good punch. The chemistry seems to have stalled to good levels, but none of these songs gave me even a fair shake. Mostly fast chugs and repetitive shouting. Could be a good choice for those into generic grind, I personally found it quite avoidable.

GUTTED WITH BROKEN GLASS (USA-Ca): “Beaten to a Bloody Pulp” Ep Cd 2008 Grindhead

Oh my, “original pirate grind”. My senses are already on alert. Let’s start with a superficial exploration. This packaging looks better than anything I have seen so far from Grindhead, even though there is just a meager flyer in place of the booklet. Too bad for the bad Photoshop trick on the logo, but the cover art is nice. Obscure and pretty much gory. The lyric sheet is non-existent but the song titles are already quite bad – “pillage plunder grindcore”. What the fuck. The pirate concept is new in Death Metal afaik (Running Wild is NOT Death Metal ehe) – that is fine – but the really curious thing is this band considers itself grindcore. Cool. This is not grind by any standards.

Digging in the bio, I discovered this band is a kind of side project of Rotting Stiffs, a hopelessly generic brutal death metal band with routine chug riffs and mid slam tempos – from Cali. Ugh. Also, I don’t think it’s listed as a mini but I proudly refuse to call a 14 minute Cd a full length, I hope you’ll forgive me.

That said, I have been spinning this cd twice so far, and I admit this is not too bad. Yesterday I read a review on Teufel’s Tomb about how completely mistaken the band comparisons are in the majority of today’s zines and bios. I hope that guy forgives me if I hold his theory. This band has nothing to do with Dying Fetus, Anal Cunt (What?), Cannibal Corpse (??) or Assuck (Ehhh??????) – as stated on their bio. They have no power chord slams, no crusty grind grooves, or anything else in common with these bands. They basically play honest, down to earth Brutal Death with a decently suffocating, super low, dirty as hell sound. Not stellar, but better than Rotting Stiffs or a lot of the mid tempo slam garbage I hear today. Actually this band is quite intense, even the drum machine doesn’t sound too artificial, kinda Atavism meets Malignancy meets Putrid Pile, for lack of better comparisons. They’re not very advanced but simplicity is power sometimes. Not a must have, but worth some coin if you want a quarter of an hour of fun. Gory and bass-saturated. Nice.

BEYOND TERROR BEYOND GRACE (Aus): “Extinction|Salvation” Lp Cd 2008 Grindhead

The super shitty cover made me fear for the worse since the beginning. Math-Nu-Post kind of shit a la The End, you know, that kind of intellektual wannabe kind of photography full of shades and blur that guys with emo haircuts like so much. All in all the packaging is not bad, but is so desperately clichéd it gave me headaches.

I remembered the name of the band so I dug back into old Nuclear Abominations reviews and picked it up so I could remember what I thought about them. Uhm. I wasn’t exceedingly critic so maybe something good might come out of this one. If you wish have a look at what I thought of their previous Ep, check that old review I just imported into the new website.

I don’t know in what kind of mood I was back then, but surely the fact I just came back from a Revenge/Angelcorpse gig yesterday won0t help them much. When I attend good gigs, my temper for generic bands tends to shorten. I keep this short: this new BTBG album is boring. The vocals are just as generic as you can imagine. Same old formula of the raspy shrieks meet guttural growls, but neither of them sounding special, both basically a single note “baaah baah baah”… there is some good blasting coming from the drummer but these riffs seems just repeated over and over. If I struggle to isolate the instruments I realize what an impressive kind of shit work the singer made to ruin what could have been a decent grindcore album. Put one capable of even minimal modulation and it could have just made this album another story entirely. This is an album that could appeal some grinder that started with Nasum, but I am pretty sure 1st generation ones will be shrugging their shoulders and go after Heresy and the likes.