For those of you here who read the work of my esteemed colleague Hobo (and a big f**k you to those who don't), you might be interested to hear that everyone's favorite deranged Aussie grind fanatic also works for an Aussie death/grind record label. Grindhead Records is the name of the game, and is it interesting hearing the grind on that label, as wordlwide Grind is going through a restructuring of sorts and there are more interpretations of the style on an almost daily basis...
So what, pray tell, do Sordid Remains do with the grind genre? Actually, some damn good stuff. Maybe it's me, but I feel that Napalm Death's classic "outright grinding metal meets mid-paced, slamming death metal" fusion was a pretty solid idea, and as such, Sordid Remains combining it with more generic fare (the obscure B-movie clips, bloody gore, disgusting sexual depravity) is fairly welcome and makes for an entertaining ride. A self-titled debut album for both the band and the label they're on, Sordid Remains not only does the aforementioned Brumley Boys in Napalm Death justice but the likes of recent Phobia too. Besides that, I'm a bit rusty on my early grind stuff (or even retro sounding recent grind) but rest assured this is classic, oldschool grindcore with the slightest of modern nuances in the production, lyrics, and delivery.
Opening cut "Psychoanalism" wraps all of the above into one short track. A crisp, sparkling movie sample of cutting flesh and sinister orchestra starts off the disc, and shortly after all this atmospheric hoo-hah we get treated with good old-fashioned Limey grindcore, frontman Keith's raspy vocals giving things an almost blackened twist. The percussion is very strongly mixed, sounding organic to the point of almost tinny din. "Mix 106 F**k You" recalls more mid-period Napalm, the grooving mid-paced riffs being catchy, brutal, and fuzzy all at the same time. Eventually, a bass led freakout leads into more blasting affairs, and the song showcases a much more versatile band than the first track. "Tuol Sleng" spares no time in kicking your ass, full-throttle grind slamming into your face with brutal front kicks and then pummeling you like a punch flurry with swing after swing of slower riffing. I worship "Dream of Death," a creepy sample behind a massive riff and some feedback pinches later getting mauled by the band's most furious grind yet. "The Only Way to Get to Know Jesus is to get on your Knees" has a very punk vibe to the guitars, a nice bass line, and some swank lyrics. Great stuff this! "From the Outside In" is pure aural rape, nothing less, and "C*nt Struck" follows suit with a low-end bass intro which lowers your guard for a sideswipe of barreling grind the size of a cement mixer flying down the highway towards your prone, motionless body. Hell, the blokes even resurrect Barney of Napalm's famous "death growl/punk shriek" combo here, to great effect. "Hatred" is another great cut, the song taking grind to soaring levels of brutality and graceful ultra-violence with some of the restrained riffs and vocal incantations. "Hollow" proclaims that we live in a "world of s***" before its mammoth uptempo grooves crush souls and end lives. "Threat Remains" has a really wicked opening riff that kind of sinks into grinding fury seconds later, would have liked to hear it stretched a bit longer actually. Still great stuff, just check out that zealous vortex of swirling grindcore mid-song. "Suffocating" is so honestly raw, it will make you grindheads out there like you're just discovering the genre once more, and bring a bloody smile to your sick face. If that doesn't, wait for the rabid dog vokills that close the album and you will grin, no matter what, satisfaction guaranteed.
In closing, if you like golden-age grind of the crusty, punky kind, with a smattering of slamming death metal thrown in for kicks, Sordid Remains are your band. In fact, this just proves that the founding sounds of the genre aren't just a steaming pile of rotten flesh after all; there's still life, still breathing.
Check it out, old and new grind fans alike!
2. Mix 106 F**k You
3. Tuol Sleng
4. Dream of Death
5. The Only Way to Get to Know Jesus is to get on your Knees
6. C*nt Struck
7. From the Outside In
10. Threat Remains