without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
Ah, brevity, sweet brevity.
It may just be the intensity of the genre, but for me, the best grind releases are bite-sized nuggets of intensity and variation that won't lose their appeal after layers of consecutive listens. Kill The Client's debut EP just happens to be one of those releases.
The equation behind this band seems to be as follows: Napalm Death in their prime, youthful death-grind phase, hook them up with modern recording technology and a shitload of crank, and kick them in the face with the gnarliest cleats you can find. The vicious energy and drive behind the songs contained on Wage Slave is unreal; even the slower, less percussion intensive riffs come across as startlingly brutal and pummeling. The drumming is borderline relentless, but unlike contemporaries Inhume and post-Bouwmans era Last Days Of Humanity, the blasting never overpowers the guitars or comes across as obligatory, and actually suits the music incredibly well.
The music itself, as previously suggested, is reminiscent of a Utopia Banished-era Napalm Death plugging up the gaps with early Pig Destroyer-style abandon. The vocals are along the same lines: a booming Barney Greenway growl accented by an H.R. Hayes shreik, illustrating the oracular generica that is political grindcore (albeit the focus is more in the crust punk vein... not that anyone gives a shit about this observation). Considering how itty bitty this EP is, choosing a real standout is difficult, but trust me, there's no need to skip anything on here.
Overall, Kill The Client's debut is a startlingly intense piece of chaotic, new-school-vs-old death grind with a fuckton of promise and a mastery of listenability. This is the first time in a while I've heard something this awesome originate from North America, and hopefully they'll have a long, experimental phase-free career (fuck "Inside The Torn Apart", a'ight?)
How would you like a vicious record full of anger and hatred once again? An album that tears down your apartment, sets you on fire and pisses on your ashes afterwards? Well, look no further!
KILL THE CLIENT is what the guys from Texas, USA, call themselves, and the name was aptly chosen. Indeed, judging from their sound they don't want to merely kill the client; they want to destroy, eradicate, put an end to him beyond words—meaning they really get down to business here; the prisoners are shot right away and dumped in a mass grave.
"Here" means, in this context, Grindcore, to be more specific "Corporate Grindcore". Imagine NAPALM DEATH, but criticizing capitalism, commerce and similar topics instead of more general social and political issues.
Indeed, the comparison to NAPALM DEATH is something KILL THE CLIENT will have to learn to live with. This is not at all meant in a negative way. Rather, it's just that this disc often reminded me of the British grind gods. There are several parallels to be drawn: the similar song themes, the sound and, last but not least, the sheer anger to which the listener is subjected. This CD sounds almost as unspent as back in 1987, when the legendary "Scum" rocked the music world.
Another reason for said comparison is that KTC occasionally take the foot (a little) off the accelerator and get closer to more traditional Death Metal with their sound.
For the most part, these passages last but a few seconds and serve to build up pressure, which then is discharged explosively in both short and brutal grind parts. At the same time, though, they prove that they don't necessarily have to play at the speed of light to sound angry. If you liken the grind portion to a squadron of bomber jets diving down, then the "moderate" passages are a horde of tanks, rolling closer slowly but inexorably. In both cases, everything is reduced to ashes in the end.
But first and foremost, this is Grindcore at its best: blastbeats ad infinitum, chaotic riffing and, on top of these, mostly barked/roared, throaty vocals that sometimes culminate in angry screams. Every fan of NAPALM DEATH is going to feel right at home here. This music isn't technical-progressive or needlessly baroque; it simply knocks you right the fuck down.
The production contributes to this as well. "Wage Slave" sounds incredibly raw without being badly produced in the literal sense. From the guitars over the drums to the vocals, everything is behind a thin veil of distortion so to speak—like your vision "goes red" during a sudden fit of rage. This makes the album sound all the more hate-filled.
Despite all this, the record never gets boring. With this type of music, there's the risk of the listeners ejecting the CD prematurely due to all the grind parts sounding the same; there's the risk of boring them into a coma by having too many slower parts or placing them incorrectly. KTC skilfully avoid both these problems by playing diversified grind and not overdoing the slow parts, but rather accentuating the former with them.
A brief structure analysis of e.g. "America...Sold!" might look like this: first, a quarter of a minute of nasty-as-can-be punishment. Then you get to catch your breath for a second. Afterwards there's a minute of (as far as grind goes) mid-tempo pummelling with some grindin' here and there before. Close to the end of the song, they go all-out, no holds barred again.
Luckily this scheme cannot applied 1:1 to every song. What I want to say: KTC have mastered their craft and never sink to "stupendous run-of-the-mill thrashing" levels, but play quality, relentlessly brutal, diverting grindcore. When the CD is over, you can indulge in it a second time without any problems. Or a third time.
And indulge in this you will a whole fucking lot, because this is old-school grindcore of the finest quality – incredibly raw and angry, almost uncontrolled, like a freight train right through your fucking face. You ought to own this one.