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I guess it's time to face it, I just don't like grind. If I did, though, I would like this album. It is full of left-wing commentary, humor, brutality, and a great number of schizophrenic shifts in tempo and even in genre.
This reminds me of Cephalic Carnage, only with much more cohesion. While "Exploiting Dysfunction" is almost completely unlistenable because it sounds like a bunch of stoners recorded some riffs they thought were cool without bothering to link them, "Ethos Musick" has genuine tracks with a message.
That doesn't mean that this stuff necessarily makes sense, or that I could pick a favorite track amidst the grinding insanity. But sample in some environmentalism, Jello Biafra telling us all to grow pot, and a shitload of gunshots from "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly" and you'll entertain me. Plus there is an awesome, almost classic-rock sounding guitar solo thrown in the mix, and it is very well done.
So, if you like the cut-and-paste, low-fi fury type of grind, buy away. I need just a bit more structure.
It's all been said before about bassmaniac Dan Lilker — In Anthrax, kicked out of Anthrax, in to Nuclear Assault, then came SOD, Nuclear Assault broke up, Brutal Truth formed, endless projects followed…
Yeah, Lilker played on this album, but he was only a hired hand, as was Brutal Truth skin smasher Scott Lewis. Exit–13 was the baby of Relapse Records supremo Bill Yurkiewicz and partner in noise, Steve O'Donnell.
And noisy it is. This will have your speakers jumping around the room like bedroom furniture in The Exorcist. Randy bison from the local zoo will try to break out and answer the ultra–low frequencies mimicking mating calls. This could even destroy your stereo, quite literally.
The comparisons to Brutal Truth are inevitable. Think of a slightly slower, exponentially heavier, rougher around the edges, more grinding Brutal Truth and you won't be far off the mark. Indeed, the prodigious use of blast beats sound very 'Truth–like. To the casual listener, the bands are similar, but look a little deeper and the differences are obvious. While BT were at the time were generally fairly straight forward musically, some of the songs here will occasionally drop out of full on grindcore fury into an old time rock 'n roll beat, an acoustic guitar passage or a prog rock improvised guitar solo.
Exit–13 uses a lot of samples and cut–ups, to excellent effect. While most are intros and outros, some are used in songs, and at times behind the music. My favourite is a couple of inbred hicks talking about rendered down animal heads being used for meat.
Exit–13 are not great fans of mankind in general. Yurkiewicz rails against humanity's inhumanity ("Societally Provoked Genocidal Contemplation"), hunting ("Open Season", which has nice samples of hunters being used for target practice), meat eating ("Diet For A New America", "Anthropocentric Ecocidal Conundrum") and the criminalisation of cannabis ("Legalize Hemp Now!"). There are so many issues touched on here it's difficult to take them all in. The track “Earth First” is a spoken word track, taken from the Phil Donahue talk show. Donahue interviews members of ‘Earth First!’, a highly radical environmental group. While the group lost a lot of credibility years later after being linked to mailbomb terrorist The Unabomber, it is still thought provoking.
The band were obviously fans of Japanese hardcore and noise, like The Boredoms (see the title track and "Disemboweling Party") and Merzbow respectively. To this end, a noise track has been tacked on the end, the grandly titled "An Electronic Fugue For The Imminent Demise Of Planet Earth". Imagine tuning your television to a channel with no signal, turn the white noise up to full volume, then call a fax machine with your phone on speaker and run it through an amplifier. Sit through it for 28 minutes. There is a warning with the track: it was deliberately recorded using overlevel indication, whatever that means. Basically, don't blame Exit–13 if it fucks your stereo. It is tempting to take this disc to a party and whack it on full volume to see if it actually WOULD blow someone's stereo.
Exit–13 is definitely not to the tastes of everyone, including a lot of grindcore fans. It challenges the listener to reconsider their views on a number of highly political and controversial issues, and pulls no punches when it comes to telling people how wrong society is. However, if you're sick of straightforward grind which deviates little from the hyperblast plan of attack, and don't mind having sacred cows challenged, try it.