Grinding Around the World: American Midwest

Grinding Around The World: The American Midwest

Ah, the American Midwest, the heartland, the great wide open plains of amber waves of grain. According to Wikipedia, ten states make up this irreplaceable portion of Americana: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin. This area of the country has not only produced some of the most notable grind bands of recent years but has definitely developed its own regional sound and aesthetic which emphasizes gore elements, sonic abrasiveness and a generalized absurdity that weaves it’s way through lyrics and presentation. The following is a list of six of the bands that have caught my interest in recent years but just know that this area is currently a grindcore hotbed and these bands only represent the tip of the ice burg:

Pizza Hi Five
One of the earliest standard-bearers of the Midwest grind sound, these guys are definitely take direct influence from fellow Ohio legends, Hemdale. Their version of sludge grindcore features more actual blasting and such but the vibe is there: “I’m gonna vomit boogers into your ear and that’s just how it’s gonna be”:

This band sounds like they’re from Oakland, but they’re not! They’re from MINI SODA! Move over Bob Dylan and that dead guy, the twin cities have a new musical export. Everything about this is really tight, probably the best musicianship of any of the bands on here. You want a Mook? I’LL GIVE YA MOOK!

Where’s the footage of the Pentagon?:

Methlab Explosion
Last year I wrote a 400 word review of this album and it’s literally just noise. It probably took me longer to write that review than it did for them to actually record the album. Still though, it’s fucking sweet:

I could write a detailed description of this band, or you can just watch this video of them performing at an Applebee’s:

Mellow Harsher
Utterly savage grind/violence from Wisconsin. These guys just have that perfect chaotic, mathcore inspired thing down to a tee. No joke here, this is just pure excellence:

Honorable Mentions: SFN, Hemdale, Apartment 213, Slipknot