Jun Jun Squeeeee
What do you know about grindcore? Probably not much. What do I know about grindcore? Not any more than you. It’s because grindcore is a subgenre of a subgenre of another derivative and its listeners are often the kids in high school with the biggest gauges and smell like monster energy drinks and cigarettes. But for all of the bad stereotypes and misaligned fans that continue to persist the banality of this genre, there are diamonds in the grind-rough.
Magrudergrind (not to be confused with Macgruber, that SNL skit), comes back after a 6 year hiatus and release a ball of intense fury full of hate and speed and just about everything else that would scare a 10-year-old kid if you played this for them. Break-neck speed drumming and guitars lay a sonic landscape of destruction that is the perfect backdrop for some growls and yells and a few other noises that come with any sort of extreme genre of music.
“II” does an excellent job of not overstaying its welcome (grindcore is known for its short song lengths typically), but this album isn’t just a hodgepodge of a minute and a half blast beat chunks from hell. Just when the album is wearing on you, just before you throw your earbuds and say “will this blast beat ever end”, Magrudergrind sprinkles in some groove and sway ("Black Banner"). Elements like this cause the album to be palatable, something that can be tricky in an intense genre like grind.
The production is crisp and noisy and (excuse the lack of originality), dirty. Kurt Ballou (Converge, God City Studios) brings out the ruthlessness of Magrudergrind and gives the album tons of low end feel ("Regressive Agenda"), even without a bass player. This album shines when they slow the pace and “sludge out” a track, especially on the highlight “Unit 731.” Named aptly (maybe not so aptly) after the atrocious war crimes that Japan inflicted on China during World War II.
Magrudergrind will rip your face off but will also make you head bang with no face on so it is tough to tell if that’s good or bad (it’s definitely good). But after an exhausting listen of intense intense music, it should come with a Parental Advisory sticker on the front.
by Andy Wilcox (@wilco204)