Review Summary: "Experimental" Grind1 of 5 thought this review was well written
Grindcore is a difficult genre to take seriously. Especially electro-grind with pig squeals. This is why I raised my eyebrows when one of my friends handed me Robotosaurus’s double EP set Sayra Bahk and said, “Man, it’s a concept album. Some really cool messages about the fragility of society. Listen to it baked.”
Now, I don’t know about all that concept stuff, but Robotosaurus aren’t as bad as they might seem. First off, they have members from some of Australia’s finest skramz/metalcore/spazz groups (Love… Like Electrocution, the Rivalry). They’re spazzy as all get out, and feature some impressive solo fills a la Dillinger Escape Plan
. They have all the prerequisites of a grind group; the vocals alternate between shrieks and squeals, they have one song that’s just a 30 second breakdown (“A Shadow Over Hope”), and a drummer who abuses his double bass pedals.
Robotosaurus has often been labeled “experimental” grind. I wouldn’t go that far, but Robotosaurus do have some unique traits. The most prominent is the production. These EPs are remarkably well produced for the genre, and instead of being claustrophobic, there is a definite airy quality to the songs. The instruments sound like they have room to breathe. However, this does not make the songs seem less “brutal” or “in your face.” Some songs even have avant-garde inklings; “Turnover” has a sputtering guitar line that sounds trying to start a car that won’t turnover.
However, trying new things doesn’t always yield the best results. “Beneath the Fallen City” is one of the more “experimental” songs. It is a grind song played like a hardcore techno song. Distorted bass and quirky electronic tinged drums dominate, with weird shouted vocals. Robotosaurus are trying to be original here, but it just comes off as annoying. There is also a “post-rock” (post-grind?) song here, “No Refuge.” The song actually starts off sounding a bit like trip-hop, (and by that I mean a b-side from Mezzanine with sped up drums and distorted bass) and just kind of ambles through, with random freak-outs along the way. There isn’t much here in the way of dynamics, so the “climax” of the song comes without the listener even realizing it.
All in all Sayra Bahk is a solid grindcore release. The “experiments” were valiant efforts, and show potential. These guys have the potential to make some unique music that actually sounds good.