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I lost a lot of my enthusiasm for grind in the early and mid 2000’s when production value became more common, leaving recordings like Pig Destroyer’s Prowler in the Yard or Leng Tch’e’s Death By A Thousand Cuts stagnant with the same flatness in sound of high-end metal recordings. Flvx Capacitor’s change in production on their Endorphins Lost​/​Flvx Capacitor Split 7" is advantageous to their sound, emphasizing points of energy over congruity, giving it the same vigor as Repulsion’s Horrified.

Flvx Capacitor, a three-piece grind band from South Bend, Indiana, released the 7 “ split with Endorphins Lost titled “Split” through Rotten To The Core Records. The band was formed in 2006 by Ryan McLaughlin, drums and vocals, Chris Lawrence, guitar and vocals, and Levi Thomas, bass and vocals. Each musician in Flvx Capacitor is self-taught, and brandish a formidable command of songwriting and ingenuity with each new release.

This recording follows a split with Methlab Explosion which the band wrote solely during the recording process and is one of my favorite pieces of 2014. The split has the crude power of Insect Warfare’s Merzbow inspired Noise Grind Power Death and the nonconformist scratching of most Mick Barr albums. The Methlab Explosion/Flvx Capacitor split has a similar freshness to it that all at once restored my interest and excitement about musicianship in grind. What the new Endorphins Lost/Flvx Capacitor split offers on top of that is yet another polished and revamped effort, strapped for war, which sends listeners through a woodchipper. The production quality is spot on and calculating, lending a clarity to each snare hit and bass note, while the guitar slides through effectually.

Though they are predominantly grind, Flvx Capacitor jumps here and there, dipping into hardcore, sludge, doom, and prog, eluding one classification. Today it is popular for musicians/bands to genre mix in order to either display their talent in their respective instruments or draw in larger fan bases. For example, Wormrot’s Abuse is exemplary of militant grind, while later releases Dirge and Noise include not only different drumming and guitar techniques but added hardcore vocals styles. When transitioning genres, Flux Capacitor execute the change subtly, such as the shift from high speed blast beats and tremolo picking to the slow galloping of heavy hardcore in “Lack of Will Through Cerebral Implantation.” They traverse different vocal styles, ranging death metal growls, high pitched black metal goblin sounds, lumbering Spazz-style yells, and mid-to-high hardcore shouts requiring full guttural effort.

“His Soul Was Not There”, in particular, with its naturally climatic opening—a melodically descending, thick riff played alone with drums pummeling in for seconds at a time in extreme hyperactivity—shows the band’s ability, even after a modest discography, to write material that is still innovative and renewing.“Lack of Will through Cerebral Implantation” starts fast but outros with a bridge that slows down to a rhythmic palm mute of primal energy while “Sludge Thief” brings to mind Agathocles’ later discography and Assuck’s Misery Index. “Midwest Blast Test” shows off drop-of-a-pin time signature changes and places in the speed annals with the likes of Insect Warfare, Wormrot, and Phobia.

The guitar tone differs on “Split” from previous recordings where it is hard to hear at times. Besides moving to the foreground, a hollow, hearty effect is used that exhibits a uniform quality from chord to chord and a crispness that induces anal tightening during tremolo picking. The new girth of the guitar has been matched by the distortion of the bass that seems to be playing even more technical progressions at times. McLaughlin plays with concentrated fury, carrying the songs with strong, leading drum patterns and stop-and-go sections alternating from blast beats and thick crust punk D-beats to mighty tom pounds. Split is packed full of intricate fills that are as creative as they are fast.

Though the new material has a clear crispness about it in terms of production, the choice of melodies and riffs accented with walloping drums is similar in griminess to Napalm Death’s Scum. Flvx Capacitor’s self-taught penchant for dynamic grind is a breath of fresh air and is already aging well.

—Clint Stamatovich

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The full split is available through the bands themselves. Follow Flvx Capacitor on Facebook.

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