MISERY INDEX (USA): “Ruling Class Canceled” split Cd with MUMAKIL 2007 Power It Up

Misery Index Mumakil

Oh come on. Is that really an half skeletal corporate man with a bunch of oppressed black victims against an American flag on the cover? Don’t they really ever get tired of that stuff? I seriously think I got my full share with Brutal Truth‘s debut, and that was 20-something years ago. Seriously, the booklet is fine, but the lyrics here sucks worse than some teenager punk band from some obscure burg in the rocky center of Italy. Well that’s worth for Misery Index at least, as I can see no Mumakil lyrics in here. I’ll spare the suffering of discussing what the subjects of these lyrics are about, you can grab any Dead Kennedys record and get something a million times better written.

Contrary to Brutal Truth, however, which even on the first album had string grindcore influences, I can hear nothing I can call even fairly grind in Misery Index. I really wonder what the fuck everyone is listening at these days and dare to call grind fucking core. This band have the fattest motherfucking sound ever, so clean and crisp you can use it to cut pepperoni for your pizza. They even have some chunky reminiscences of Dying Fetus (well that cannot be considered a falut, I guess Jason probably contributed a little bit to his old band’s sound), grunts and all. All this rant says basically nothing so far, bit that’s just because I could not force myself to find anything remotely interesting in this recording. Average seems to be the fitting term here, superbly average fast, modern, American-styled Death Metal full of all those accelerations and barking. Not my cup of tea.

As for Mumakil, things get a litytle bit more complex. They have some extra layers of screams and grunts, probably some less refinement in their songwriting which I can’t but appreciate, yet they still sound as uninteresting as a band can be. Considering they take the name from a Middle Earth creature, share the same cover as Misery Index, and print no lyrics, their music is all I can rely on to identify what the personality of the band is. And at the third listen, I still cannot distinguish this stuff from a billion other records. Sure, they seriously kicked Misery Index ass on this split, but we’re still far from being memorable even for a single second.

I cannot say anything band about this split, but I can’t say anything good either. 7″s are cool however, and this Cd has been pressed on wax of different color. Does that count?

PULVERIZING LETHAL FORCE (USA): “Crushing Fury of Bastardization” full-length Cd 2008 Power It Up

PLF Crushing FuryPulverizing Lethal Force aka Pretty Little Flower(s) is yet another metallic grind core band from USA. I already plentifully stressed out that I prefer a crustier kind of grind, yet I cannot deny the catchiness of the songs nor the unquestionable ability of this band to concoct enjoyable music. There is so much metal in both sound and structure in this Cd, that sometimes they even remind me of very early Sinister, but there is also a constant use of blastbeats and groove which is typical of the “punkier” part of the spectrum – I could say this band is 60% and 60% if you know what I mean.

The booklet is plain yet rather well done with 8 pages and some lyrics printed inside, of the classic yet never old “socioapocalyptic” kind, all about fury and crushing rage, everything packed in a sober, rational style.

I am not hugely fond of live shows (except for blatantly good ones, like Last Days of Humanity‘s amazing Cd of some years ago) so the final tracks can be easily skipped, but the tracks 1 to 17 are intense and tight enough to make up for a good album all the same, and they even squeezed covers by Doom, Unseen Terror and Denak inside this record. This might be one of the best releases I have heard from Power It Up so far, strictly speaking about this specific kind of furious metallic grind. There is a lot of groove and energy displayed all through, without all the dissonant bridge bollocks we often hear today. PLF is a band that is able to play its cards without recurring to any bells and whistles or endless intros as they can produce good riffs, arrange them with taste and record them with a extra generous pinch of ferocity. Well done, not bad at all.

THE ARSON PROJECT (Swe): “Blood and Locusts” Ep Cd 2008 Power It Up

 

the-arson-project-blood-and-locusts

Technically speaking there is nothing objectionable in this Ep, and I loved it when I read that the ten songs on it are on the average less than a minute long. I hated when I saw the punchhole on the back inlay though. Is it so discomforting for a label to think promotion is being paid those 4 meager euros an editor can haggle by selling a second hand Cd? Not that I will ever sell a promo Cd (it’s against my ethics) but like I have said ad nauseam – and I will keep saying it every time I see a punchole or a cutout or any kind of marks on a promo – I pretend to be paid the 80 cents a label pays for a Cd plus postage for using my time to publish it on this e-zine/blogzine/whatever (yeah even with 5 years of delay, eh eh). Hell, I have to recognize that labels do not even send promos anymore. I just delete the promo-download offers when I get that shit in my email inbox. Do they really ask you to download promos? Sure, why don’t you ask me to buy it, lose an hour writing a review and  promote it for free?

Like I said before there is nothing wrong in this Ep. There’s even a super slick neogrind-willowtip-di-sto-cazzo layout with all those scratches and Photoshop layers overlapped like pros. The layout is balanced and we got all the necessary infos from recording details to thank lists. This at least looks like a 15 minutes Ep one could actually spend some money on, at least from the visuals.

“Nothing wrong” could be “not enough” when we talk about music, though. Considering the multitude of records circulating these days, even a recording with careful and well studied structures like these might not be enough. When the band plays Rotten Sound it works pretty well, as the sound is thick enough to stand the hyperspeed blasting. There are two things however that just don’t click into my chords. The first and foremost is the terrible vocals that sometimes creep in. Some sort of painful scream that just blabbers “we have arrived to the neogrind bandwagon”. Don’t get me wrong, when the band blasts it cam blast heavy and through, but then they have those fucking shitty beyond belief dissonant slow Neurosis-like  bridges that I just can’t stand. Were they fast all the time I would have appreciated the Ep somehow. The problem is really the high pitched screams that are as brutal as cracker crumbs on a bed sheet. Just a few songs for people that like this stuff, as for myself, when I reached the second part of track 5 I felt the urge to get a gun and shoot the Cd player.