Metal Mixtape: Grind and Punishment
Andrew Childers runs Grind and Punishment, the best grindcore blog around. I asked him to comment on what's going on in grindcore today, and to compile a corresponding mixtape. Appropriately, Nasum's Mieszko Talarczyk would have turned 35 today. May he grind in peace. — C.L.
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Short of isolationist basement black metal, I'd wager that grindcore, more than other offshoots of metal, benefits most from the digital age, which has democratized the means of production and, courtesy of Web 2.0, the means of distribution. All that plays into grind's heritage as metal's DIY punk relation.
Cosmo argued that the Internet has eroded small town scenes in favor of global homogeneity, and I'll grant that to a point. Noisear and Asterisk* have certainly developed a trans-Atlantic Discordance Axis fan club. Far from eroding local eddies in the metal stream, however, I'd argue that the Internet has simply redefined what constitutes local, giving everyone the ability to peek over the fence at international neighbors.
I definitely still pick up on regional sounds in grindcore. With Asterisk* as an outlier, Sweden's grinders still stand in the giant shadow of St. Mieszko's precision and studio craft. Hell, The Arson Project's liner notes namechecked damn near every Nasum soundalike that ever blasted a beat.
While Cyness' single-minded precision and Who's My Saviour?'s slantwise expressionism may not dispel stereotypes about Germany, goofball furry collective Attack of the Mad Axeman should dispel the notion that the country lacks a sense of humor. The Dutch are more pissed than you'd expect from a land with lax drug and prostitution laws. The Spaniards bring a righteous, sand-blasted fury and a willingness to buck the English-all-the-time trend. As always, America's contributions have a restless, blunt physicality.
But like so many other aspects of the post-industrial Western world, things are being outsourced to Southeast Asia. There, Wormrot reign supreme through their excoriating debut Abuse. Insect Warfare had hardly vacated their demesne before the Singapore trio hermit-crabbed their way in and — dare I say — started improving the joint.
by Andrew Childers
Mumakil -"I" (Switzerland) For full album and release date info, see track list included with mixtape.
ASRA - "Payload" (United States)
324 - "Kage Wo Samayou" (Japan)
Hope Collapse - "Cold Steel Penetrates Your Flesh" (United States)
Rehumanize - "Unitarian Universalist Ungodly" (United States)
Kill the Client - "Bullet Proof Vultures" (United States)
The Arson Project - "Forsaken" (Sweden)
Blood I Bleed - "Insensible We Are" (Holland)
Keitzer - "Kharkhadan of Nuclear Winter" (Germany)
Drugs of Faith - "The Age of Reason" (United States)
Wormrot - "Born Stupid" (Singapore)
Torture Incident - "Full of Political Bullshit" (Malaysia)
Triac - "I Wish the Worst for You" (United States)
Insect Warfare - "Manipulator" (United States)
Rotten Sound - "Units" (Finland)
Attack of the Mad Axeman - "Nazi Worms Fuck Off" (Germany)
Noisear - "The Chains That Grind Us" (United States)
Exit Wounds - "Fire at Will" (Poland)
Expose Your Hate - "Lies" (Brazil)
Parlamentarisk Sodomi - "Parlamentarisk Sodomi" (Norway)
Inertia Kills - "Toy of Leisure" (Canada)
Graf Orlock - "Captives of the Thuggee" (United States)
Afgrund - "Terrorbalansen" (Sweden)
Blockheads - "Social Fracture" (France)
Who's My Saviour? - "When Magic Turns into Black Plague" (Germany)
Looking for an Answer - "Ruptura" (Spain)
Cyness - "2 Wochen" (Germany)
Magrudergrind - "Martyrs of the Shoah" (United States)
Nashgul - "El Vengador Toxico" (Spain)
Asterisk* - "Green Eyed Angel in My Dream" (Sweden)
Mumakil -"I" (Switzerland)
For full album and release date info, see track list included with mixtape.