2018 hasn’t exactly been a banner year for grindcore, at least so far. Few albums have come out since January that have really captured my interest but a few gems have emerged from the otherwise underwhelming barrage of wretched refuse. And yes, I know this half-year retrospective is about a month late, but is there anything that screams “grindcore” more than being four weeks too late? Not in my book. Also, I don’t know how to read.
Meth Leppard, Split w/ Minimum Wage Assassins
I remember attending Maryland Deathfest in 2017 and after Fiend’s set I went to get a pretzel from the nearby 7-Eleven and by the time I got back to the Soundstage this band had A.) set up their gear, B.) played their entire set and C.) taken down most of their gear. I was initially hesitant about how seriously I should take this band due to their name but I assure you they are quite excellent purveyors of big boy Insect Warfare grind. Also, they have a song called “Done Deal,” which in the words of the immortal Tim Morse is a “DONE DEAL!!”
One of the few full-lengths to come out this year that I’ll stand behind. I really like when they do those super fast disharmonic, death-grind, blurry guitar riffs. Everything here is razor tight and this one is sure to be a lock for the best grind LP of the year.
Chepang, Split w/ Test
I wrote a full-length review of this album a few weeks ago, but I just want to reiterate what a genuinely unique listening experience this album is. Also, some of the breakdowns Chepang play here are unbelievably heavy and dare I say… slam?! Look for them to headline This Is Hardcore next year.
Beasters, Intrinsically Worthless
Speaking of bands who claim to hate slam but still play it, we have Beasters from Philly! Having personally known these guys for a few years, I expected this album to be the elitist grindcore album to end all other elitist grindcore albums, but it’s not! There’s plenty of tech-death fidgeting and mid-tempo Origin parts to keep everything dynamic and moving. Their singer sounds like a dude in an Oi band took some bad mushrooms. Chill out bro!
Deterioration, Lupara Bianca
This EP is what you get when a band plays mince but actually takes the time to learn how to play their instruments. Everything here is filthy and dirty but also feels intentionally so in a way that most Agathocles-inspired groups do not. Is this album a statement on America? I do not know, but I do know that the sample in “Cement Starter Jacket” is both hypnotic and moving. I’LL GIVE YA MOOK!