Monday, July 16, 2018

Bandcamp Picks - Daggra, Scathed, Closet Witch, Psychoneurosis/Agathocles

Unlike the adjacent death and black metal scenes, grindcore never went through a regressive "old school" phase, and the genre's most retro adherents sit comfortably side by side with its most adventurous. Texans Daggra find a middle ground between both, and the results are phenomenal. Their second album Setsuna brings to mind the hook-heavy, musically omnivorous approach of Nineties Napalm Death and Brutal Truth, but never strays too far from the template laid down by grind's founding fathers. One of the best grindcore albums I've heard in 2018. [$6.66]

Dark crust and grindcore go together like chocolate and peanut butter for Milwaukee's Scathed. On Already Dead, the bleak sound of Tragedy is combined with short bursts of caveman speed. The result is an album that has as many blastbeats as d-beats, and shows that the way forward for this flavour of hardcore is not necessarily slower or more melodic. [ $7]

The shadow of a particular Jane Doe lies over Iowa's Closet Witch. The chaotic style, twangy riffs and sudden tempo changes on their eponymous debut bear the unmistakable influence of Kurt Ballou, though Mollie Piatetsky's shrieks are in a bruxism-inducing class of their own. There are no shortage of bands emulating Converge, but if the Boston crew do ever slow down, they can rest easy knowing they have a suitable understudy right here. [$7]

Polish veterans Psychoneurosis got in touch with me about being reviewed, and my morning commute wouldn't have been as manic if they hadn't. On their Grind Resurrection split with Agathocles, they contribute 6 furious, socially conscious death grind tracks with a touch of that Vaderiffic Polish sound and no shortage of cowbell. Blistering, head spinning fun. [$3]