Grinding Around The World: France

Ah, France, land of Cheese, wine, Pepe Le Pew and that Napoleon dude. Bonaparte, not Dynamite. This republic has overcome a lot in both this century and the last couple but retains its title as being the cultural and artistic capital of Europe, if not the world. In terms of extreme metal, France is mostly known for its steady stream of influential black metal bands like Alcest, Deathspell Omega and Nocturnal Depression among other,s as well as being home to groove/tech/death titans Gojira. But the French also boast a rather robust and excellent grindcore scene with high-quality bands seemingly popping out of the woodwork. The following are a few of my personal favorites who, for the most part, are still actively releasing music and playing shows:

Department of Corrections
That’s right, France has it’s very own D.O.C.! Sorry Disciples of Christ, you’ve been replaced (JK). One of the more endlessly creative bands in French grindcore, these guys take the polished yet manic precision of bands like Noisear and Gridlink but add an even more madcap layer similar to Psudoku. The result is equal parts cartoonish, brutal and even melodic at times. They also put on a tremendous live show as well. There’s was the first vocalist I’ve seen use two microphones to scream into. 10/10 would see again. There split with Proletar from 2016 is a great example of this band’s sonic madness:

I remember discussing this band with a friend a few years ago and it was the first time I was introduced to the phrase “Grind/Violence,” which quite possibly the dumbest and coolest genre tag of them all. This band doesn’t seem like grind/violence to me, at least not in the American definition of the term; they’re actually too good for that. They play a blast-happy, crust-driven version of grindcore that’s much closer to Wormrot than any of the endless HM-2 clones coming from the East Coast. They definitely have the most punk influence of any of the band’s on this list but, uh, isn’t that what grindcore is SUPPOSED to be? Oh, and they have a song called “Seth Putnam Was A Sensitive Man.” Checkmate, snowflakes:

I will admit that I was a bit turned off by this band’s name at first, only because it mustered up images of poorly photo-shopped pornogrind album covers and did nothing to indicate how actually amazing this band is, which they are. They basically are France’s answer to Insect Warfare: unbelievably on-point metallic grindcore that still infuses plenty of anarcho-crust, all topped with an air of militancy and elitist disgust for all things false grind. But to be honest, I like this band’s guitar tone better than Insect Warfare. It’s just so sharp and slashing and perfect, you could play a Britney Spears song with it and it would still sound brutal. Their split with fellow Frenchmen Chappa’ai from two years ago is basically three minutes of razorblade grind perfection:

Sometimes records come along that you love so much that you genuinely wish it were a person so you could passionately kiss it on the mouth. For me, Warfuck’s 2016 EP Hype Comes And Goes is one of those. It’s one of the only metal records of the last ten years that I’ve memorized note-for-note. The band clearly incorporates a lot of metalcore influence but not the shitty kind, I’m talking early Graf Orlock and Ed Gein type shit here. The band utilizes enough blasts to still be considered grind, in my opinion and if not, who cares? This shit still rips. If you’re gonna complain about the breakdowns on display here, you probably are a joyless schmuck who still lives with his Mom. Fucking hails:

Honorable Mentions: Yattai, Unsu, Blockheads, Harm Done, Miserable Failure