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I've heard numerous times that "Scum" is the first pure grindcore album and I almost completely agree. I've also heard that "Scum" is the worst album ever made. I can see the validity in this claim as this album is very repetitive and the production is pretty lousy. Although, the songwriting is solid and for the repetitiveness, isn't all grindcore just a little repetitive?
I'll start with the production. It's not good. The guitars sound like a bad punk sound. They are nothing like Napalm's F.E.T.O. album in terms of amazing production. The drums are the savior of the sound. I really like the drum sound on here: very raw and intense. The bass is heavily distorted and is audible throughout. The vocals are quiet, especially because the drums sound loud.
The songs are like ultra-fast hardcore punk but with that essence of true grindcore attitude. Kind of like "fuck you music" attitude displayed by a lot of punks and grindcore bands. This is really shown throughout. "Multinational Corporations" is the standard atmospheric intro song. "The Kill" is very short and with a very simple riff and structure manages to leave somewhat of an impression of the grindcore attitude. Short and very aggressive. The title track is like something that could be found on their second album. After the heavy intro to the song that actually has a pretty awesome riff, the blasting begins and the heaviness comes back even better than before. Many songs are very similar to "The Kill", short and blasting through just like awesome grindcore should be. "Success" is definitely the best song on here. The awesome drum beat with the amazing riff really stands out among the rest.
I'm not really sure how to talk about the line-up because I know nothing of why the line-up is so strange, but both line-ups do a good job on here, yet the side with Lee and Bill are just slightly better, but that is to be expected from Bill.
The first true grindcore album and it has some pretty significant flaws as with any genre defining album. Don't listen to the people who say this is THE worst album ever. I think that may be a slight exaggeration. Definitely check this out if you love grindcore.
Best tracks - "You Suffer", "Success", "Scum", and "Siege of Power".