Where they from?
San Jose, California. Much of the west coast is on fire right now, so it really doesn’t feel appropriate to make fun of them too much. I will say my favorite memory of 2019 was the brief west coast run my band did and the hospitality everyone showed us. The cool thing about northern California is how big the powerviolence scene is out there. People take that shit seriously enough for there to be actual SCENE DRAMA. When was the last time you heard about grind/powerviolence scene drama on the east coast? What? Richard Hoak left an ounce at a Waffle House in Maryland? GIMMIE A BREAK!
Why the hype?
Do you ever do that thing where you find a band on youtube and start listening and you’re like ‘This is sick!’ and then you realize it’s because the band is made of members of other bands you also think are sick? Because, boy-oh-boy, did I do that this past week! Skullsmasher is made up of drummer Jimi Hughes (Human Obliteration) and guitarist Andrew Lee (Ripped to Shreds, Houkago Grind Time, various amusing Facebook statuses). Does Skullsmasher sound like a combination of all the member’s other projects? Yeah, somewhat, but it’s also really high quality grind in it’s own right. To me the ol’ smasher sounds like a really solid mix off P.L.F. style, take-no-prisoners thrash based grindcore mixed with some of the melodic flourishes of later Gridlink and even the mighty Discordance Axis. Also, I’m not sure who’s doing vocals, but they RIP!
Advanced Disco Theory. There are a couple of moments on this EP that I really want to point out: the weird major-key melodic thrash part towards the end of opener “Caustic Sweat,” the total D. Axis styled guitar anguish about 30 seconds into the title track and the entire musical journey that is “Gwynbleid,” which kicks ass in such a Repulsion/PLF way you’d swear Bryan Fajardo had something to do with this. Wow, that’s a lot of really memorable moments for a fucking EP, most people can barely get one on an entire 45-minute-long album. I feel like I say this every week, but you need to download this album and show it to your family in order to teach them survival skills for the upcoming apocalypse.