If grindcore were a competition, Takafumi Matsubara would be the winner. The Gridlink guitarist collaborated with a veritable who’s who of the genre for last year’s Strange, Beautiful and Fast, but he also spends his time tearing it up with worldwide grind outfit Formless Master, who have teamed up with New Jersey grinders—through shared member in Mexican brutal death unit Rottenness—Bayht Lahm for the split album No Chords Barred.
Formless Master set things off with “The Clones of Bruce Lee,” a furious ripper that goes for the kill faster than the martial aritst of the same name. The next two songs are over and done with in under two minutes, leading into “Ballad of Bolo Yeung.” The longest song on the split, “Ballad of Bolo Yeung” is an instrumental song that leans into Matsubara’s more melodic style of guitar playing.
All of the filthiest things in life come from New Jersey, a truth that they carry well on their side of the split. Armed with four songs and a snare drum that sounds like an over-inflated basketball, The duo’s subject matter is more real world than Formless Master—Bayht Lahm’s side of the split address topics like xenophobia, nationalism and the costs of capitalism.
Musically, Bayht Lahm’s side of the split is raw and primitive. Despite lacking a low end, the band seem hellbent on crashing through the sound barrier at high speeds; guitarist and singer Carlos Estrada alternates between grunts and a strangled scream while drummer Rafael Soberanis matches with a torrent of blast beats.
Horror Pain Gore Death will release No Chords Barred on May 15, but you can stream the entire thing below via Decibel.