Review Summary: The Clash of the Grinds
There is a point in every young man’s life where he realizes his testicles have dropped into their correct positions. This usually occurs at around age twelve, but it can also happen earlier, if the young man has been exposed to Magrudergrind, the fastest, loudest, most chaotic grind band to ever come into contact with the human race. The second half of this split belongs to a band by the name of S
hitstorm. While sticking to more of an “old school” grind sound so to speak, they still deliver a punch that only a real, gritty band could accomplish.
“In the red corner, wearing the blue trunks, the defending champs, Magrudergrind!”
The first half of this split is taken up by Magrudergrind, a power violence band from Washington, D.C. I cannot express to you how heavy this music is. The sheer ferocity that they bring to the table on this split is unmatched by any band I have come across yet. The vocals, the speed, the riffs, just everything about it, is raw. If frostbite could have a theme music, this would be it. Siphon Then Silt
, Organized Cell Death
, and Smash Micros Like It’s 1999
contain all the aforementioned components of greatness that make this band what it is. One thing that this album does not do, which I must say I quite enjoy, is give you time to catch your breath. This constant barrage of pissed off, angry music comes at full speed for 100% of the listening experience, making for a completely unabridged listen. Even the slower songs ( Dahmerized Again
, I Saw Jahova Sippin' A 40 At The Corner Of Georgia Ave
) keep the album running like an ever flowing stream without fault.
While Magrudergrind may not contain the most talented or technically proficient artists in the world, what they play, they play well
. Guitarist RJ holds down his part with simple chords and nothing fancy, but then again, since when is grind supposed to be fancy? Vocalist Avi makes up 50% of the utter brutality that the band is through his maniac yells and occasional unique grunting, and drummer Chris fully rapes his kit with d-beat patterns and full on blasts that are totally welcome, as they provide a fantastic rhythm for the rest of the band to hang on.
So overall, Magrudergrind put forth an incredibly strong offering of 12 minutes and 24 seconds. While I can give examples of good songs, the entire half is necessary for an accurate taste of their music. Most certainly a perfect example of what the style should be.
”And in the black corner, wearing the puke green shorts, the challenger, Shitstorm!”
The second half of the album is devoted to S
hitstorm, a flat out, dirty, stinky grind band from Miami, FL. S
hitstorm’s music is more closely related to Scum-era Napalm Death than its power violence contenders, Magrudergrind. Although still not a force to be reckoned with, the S
hitstorm half of this split is clearly the weaker half. It is by no means something that should be passed up, however. The retro sounding grindcore sound can only be coupled with the real deal; something coming out of the 80’s. Thick, muddy production and distorted drum and guitar sound keep the music close to its roots of Repulsion and previously mentioned Napalm Death. No Freedom
bring the noise and grind like the originals while Hide Behind The Screen
and Religious War
mix up the sound a bit with faster tempos and more aggressive yelps and riffs to add a twist to the homage-paying sound of the previous tracks.
One issue that I have with this half of the split is that the song lengths’ average is around 45 seconds. Now, normally, this is not at all a problem, seeing as I greatly enjoy other acts such as Assuck and Agoraphobic Nosebleed, except for the fact that the songs feel a bit rushed, even for grind. The grubby sound that S
hitstorm have made on the album doesn’t get to fully develop into what could really be something phenomenal. Even the bands that they so greatly draw influence from allow themselves enough time to let their ideas flourish into masterfully crafted songs. It might have been time constraints or various other things that were out of the band's control, but the outcome does end up sounding somewhat rushed and short. The quality of what those 45 second spurts contain is good enough, however, that the length can be forgiven, but not forgotten.
hitstorm half of this split, while not quite as good as the Magrudergrind half, still easily holds its own among thousands of other grind outfits. The combination of the two halves makes for an incredible mix of two very engaging styles, both new and old, that come together and mold like gel. What more could you ask for in a grind offering?
Magrudergrind’s entire half is marvelous
Production is surprisingly good for a small label
Style blend provides for a clean mix up of grind
hitstorm’s half doesn’t measure up to the earlier
A very acquired taste indeed
Siphon Then Silt
Smash Micros Like It’s 1999
Hide Behind The Screen
But really, you should just listen to the entire thing, three times through, as you will be craving more by the time you get through the first listen. I strongly recommend this to anyone
who likes abrasive, heavy grindcore, and to anyone who might want to check out the tip of the iceberg of heaviness, because this my friends, is it.