NOTE: If you don't want to read it, at least listen to the youtube videos
Oooooooookay, this is my first 'proper' review.
I say that because my last two reviews (reviewing IdealistCommi and Sasquatch99 respectively)
got locked and I got put on probation for them.
Needless to say, I didn't do any more of them.
Anyway, I'm here today to review a gramaphone record (Okay, CD) that I was given as a present not 2 days ago.
That CD was:
Grind Madness At The BBC: The Earache Peel Sessions
In short, GMATBBC (I shall call it Grind for short)
is a 118 (!) track compilation of grindcore and other forms of Extreme metal, recorded in different sessions by the legendary John Peel in the late 80's.
It's could easily be described as the antithesis of everything the BBC was supposed to stand for.
And it's great.
No, I'm serious, it's actually really good if you like that sort of thing.
Anyway, the album starts of with The Kill by
Napalm Death and HOLY FUCK SHIT JESUS WOW!
This is barely fucking music! This is just anger put down on tape!
Okay, I suppose I'd better explain what Grindcore is for the untainted.
Grindcore is a form of Extreme Metal (some might say the first form of it) wherein the emphasis is based totally on anger and speed.
The drums pound furiously, unconstrained by any tempo known to man, pushing the boundaries of what is music.
The guitar and bass attempt to keep up, playing their own punishing riffs at almost the same speed as the drums, flailing furiously up the neck of the guitar.
The vocals are shouted and incomprehensible, but you know one thing, they're Pissed off.
It sounds like metal, but in form it's closer to experimental jazz (in fact, check out John Zorns Naked City for an...interesting combination of the two)
Perhaps the best exponent of this is Napalm Death, formed in 1981 but only really hitting their stride in 1985, with the addition of legendary guitarist Justin Broaderick, who we'll see more of.
If my description fails to accurately describe it, just listen to it in action.
Thankfully for everyone except your parents, Napalm Death are very well represented on this Compact Disk, garnering 34 of the 118 tracks on this album.
The Deaths tracks are quite short (in fact they hold the record for shortest "conventional" song, with You Suffer off their first LP Scum clocking in at 1.5 seconds)
so they don't outstay their welcome.
Other artists on the album include:
Extreme Noise Terror
Similar musically to Napalm Death, but with longer songs and a greater emphasis on riffs.
Infamous for their performance during the 1992 Brit awards with the KLF, where they caused a national scandal by firing blanks from a machine gun into the audience.
This was later rated #4 on NME's 'Top 100 rock moments'
Famed for never really taking themselves seriously and releasing albums called 'Reek of Putrefaction' and having utterly revolting cover art. In their early days (when this was recorded) they were more grindcore (or goregrind, as they liked to call it) but in their later days they became more akin to death metal.
A vital precursor to things like the later work of Cannibal Corpse.
They disbanded in 2008
Taking their lyrics and name from Warhammer and Warhammer 40k, this band is not as heavy as the others, but shows much greater use of texture and style, making their impact just as hard.
A very interesting mix of hardcore punk a la Minor Threat and standard Grindcore.
They disbanded soon after making this recording, sadly.
Probably the least known of all the bands on this compilation.
A lot more traditional metal and punk then the others, though that's not saying much.
A short lived band, who's most notable achievement was this recording.
Very good overall, but too similar to the others to make an impact.
Now, all of these are very good generally, but the absolute standout on this compilation is none other then Justin Broadericks legendary:
Yes, Godflesh. Always lumped in with Grindcore crowd despite being closer
to industrial metal, they were perhaps one of the best bands of the late 80's in my opinion, and their 1990 debut album, Streetcleaner, is widely regarded as legendary. And rightly so.
They contribute only a measly 4 tracks to the compilation, but each of these hits so hard that any more would be impossible to stomach.
All of their tracks are brilliant, but the two that imprint on your memory are the absolutely brutal Pulp and Like Rats.
Pulp is a slow burner, but by the middle of the song with the deranged saxophone work by Kevin Martin and Justin Broaderick shouting 'DISCIPLINE!' it's impossible to be anything other than blown away.
If you must do one thing reading this review, listen to these songs.
In short, Grind is one of the best compilations I've ever had the privilege to listen to.
I would recommend it to any seasoned grindcore fans, but they probably have it already.
However, if any of you are tired of Lady Ga Ga and The Arctic Monkeys and want to jump straight into extreme music at the deep end, this is a hell of a good place to start.
Grind is available on iTunes store for 11.99 and can be found in most reasonably alternative music stores.