Like my previous post, I am working under the premise that you know absolutely nothing about grind, or are yet to find something to like about it; an absurd proposition I know, but there are those who are as of yet unenlightened as to just why this particular brand of cacophony deserves their rapt attention. In such a fashion, the nature of this post and its follow ups will display a handful of albums that serve as a gateway into grindcore and showcase some of the genres finer assets.
The first album on the grindcore 101 list – as per some random dude on the internet – is in actuality not an album, but a compilation series; namely the This Comp Kills Fascist Volume 1 and 2, as assembled by musical luminary Scott Hull of Pig Destroyer and Agoraphobic Nosebleed fame. The compilation, itself arguably the best compilation series on offer by the genre, is not strictly a grindcore compilation, as it has a fair amount of powerviolence and fastcore thrown into the mix too, but no matter, as it’s well worth extending your attentions to all this compilation series has to offer.
The reason I choose them as a starting point are numerous. Firstly, the diversity of play styles does well to highlight the broadness of the genre. Second of all, given each band offers a few tracks, what may have been observed as an absurdity or one off thing may be realised as being a genre and artistic trait; ideal, given grind’s idiosyncratic character. Thirdly, the nice production and mixing skills do well to highlight exactly what is on offer, and lastly, the mix of what are now genre titans (Insect Warfare, and Magrudergrind) with more in house grindcore names (ASRA and Agents of Satan) gives a great sense of relatability and genre convergence. Not only are the compilations a great starting point to getting into grind and related genres, but they form the cadre of mandatory albums.
Volume 1 did wonders in exposing what at the time was rather hidden talent. The likes of Kill The Client and Maruta would go on to form part of the grind cadre, whilst known and popular acts such as Weekend Nachos, Magrudergind and Insect Warfare received a tight bolster to their gilded discography: some of the tracks are the best they have ever written – Insect Warfare’s “Cancer of Oppression” and all the Weekend Nachos tracks on the compilation are in my opinion amongst the best songs in the entire genre. Let’s not also forget the compilation’s significance in bringing USA grindfathers Brutal Truth back into the game. The compilation also did well to expose more niche types like the happy-go-grinding of Total Fucking Destruction and the spasms of rage of Spoonfull of Vicodin. It’s a perfect release by my books.
Volume 2 was fractionally less ambitious popularity-wise, but that doesn’t stop it from being a powerhouse in showcasing some of the best of extreme punk. It also broke the USA-only dominance of the compilation by bringing the sadly now defunct fastcore legends Idiots Parade and Australia’s very own Septic Surge. However, once again we see the compialtion highlighting a wide spectrum of play styles: Noisear‘s abstract technicality, Hummingbird Of Death‘s fast and furious punk clarity, and Drugs Of Faith‘s grind-lite warping. An ideal follow up that leaves much in the way for a third installment!
Brace your ears!
Volume One (click on link)
Volume Two (click on link)