Where they from? Stoughton, Wisconsin. Stoughton is known throughout the midwest for its Norwegian heritage and hosts a yearly citywide celebration of Syttende Mai, the Norwegian constitution day. Stoughton also claims to be the birthplace of the “coffee break” and hosts a yearly parade to celebrate the distinction.
What do they sound like? The most insane, snazziest, chaotic grindviolence on either side of the Mississippi.
Why the hype? There are certain bands who set benchmarks in terms of intensity. Hearing Prowler in the Yard after I stole the CD from FYE (sorry, Scott) was the first benchmark, then came hearing Discordance Axis for the first time, my discovery of Brazil’s Narayama in 2012, etc. When I first heard Mellow Harsher’s Served Cold EP back in 2015, it definitely set a brand new benchmark in terms of pure chaos and abrasiveness and quite honestly no one in the the three years since has been able to top that or even come close, really.
Mellow Harsher combine the most abrasive aspects of fastcore, the razor-sharp punk guitar spasms, with the sort of disjointed rhythmic notions of bands like Throat Slitter and Shooting Spree to create a product so undeniably good that it sort of reaches that None So Vile territory, meaning that I am genuinely depressed that no other band makes music as brilliant as this band does.
Latest release: It was a genuine godsend that this band released a teaser preview of two tracks from their upcoming split with Suppression because it gave me an excuse to write about them, especially now that we’ve officially hit that late-January grind-hibernation period. The two songs here show that this band can still what they do best even with slightly more polished production, which makes us all very happy.
Favorite Track: Honestly, just listen to the entire Served Cold EP, it’s life-changing. This band found a way to marry complete chaos with actual god damn catchy riffs and the result is nothing but spectacular. A Wisconsin Death Trip we can all go on: