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Well...this has so many fuckin great speeded up songs that I think I’ll just generalize it... Napalm Death's first record "Scum" is a landmark in grindcore. Probably one of the founding albums of the impressive extreme sound that had as the other godfathers of it, the fantastic...well you know them...Carcass. This one is a festival of average 40 seconds, totally fast, ripping apart and annihilating grind authentic beasts. It terms of comparison, it doesn't have the brutality of "Reek of Putrefaction" from Carcass but it is sure good enough to put your neighbour at your door with a rifle next to your head telling you to shut the fuck up...
This album has a lot of peculiarities inherent to it. The first one is the fact that none of the Napalm Death members that recorded this one is on the actual line up, so, you can call those five guys everything today but not Napalm Death, that's the way it goes...The other interesting peculiarity is the fact the original release had two sides, side A and side B that were played by two completely different line-ups. Probably the first time this ever happened in a metal record (or in any other record!!!). The first line up is the closest to the original Napalm Death that went from punk to an aggressive grindcore and was formed by: Nick Bullen - Bass/Vocals, Justin Broadrick - Guitars and Mick Harris - Drums. These guys recorded the first side of "Scum" that went from "Multinational Corporations" to "You Suffer”. ATTENTION, these guys are not credited on the original release but they actually played that bulk of songs...
The side B of "Scum" was recorded by: Lee Dorrian - Vocals, Bill (yeah, the guy from Carcass) Steer - Guitars, Jim - Bass and Mick Harris - Drums. There's a little difference of sound from one line up to another but the psychological slaughter is practically the same in the two of them, and it goes from "Life" to "Dragnet"
The production is not so good and it could have been a little better if the producer had made them sound more then a garage band recording that was about to record their latest demo.
About the guys, Nick Bullen and Lee Dorrian really throw it out completely in some really brutal kind of singing...no sorry, screaming, Bill Steer's guitar sound could be a little bit better than Justin' sound but it's not bad after all. The bass has practically the same sound for the two guys, a really distorted and grinding low tone that fits like hell on those little demonstrations of pure killing and the drumming by the survivor member Mick Harris is just fucking hyperactive...that guy must have sipped some pretty decent gallons of fuel to play like that...it's so fast that he probably got his arms on fire in the middle of recording...
Shane Embury, the current bassist is now the closest member to be an original one, as he entered Napalm Death after the recording of the B side to join them on tour. Bill Steer recorded this one and the next album with Napalm Death after Carcass were put on hold because of drummer Ken Owen studies. He then left to record permanently with Carcass. The cover art for this album was made by Jeff Walker, the bassist/vocalist from Carcass.
All of the songs, although being very similar, never are enough to get you bored with that brutality and speed. The really remarkable song on this record is the Guinness record for the fastest song ever (something that even S.O.D weren't capable of doing...). "You Suffer" is the fastest and brutal, but really brutal song ever recorded in metal. This one goes in time like this: 00:00:00.10. Well, if you don't believe it, you have to get "Scum" to verify it...
Absolute Grindcore classic...an absolute must have for these three reasons:
1 - Two different line ups
2 - Bill Steer (Carcass) on Guitars, Lee Dorrian (Cathedral) on Vocals and original drummer Mick Harris
3 - 28 Devastating, brutal, vomiting horror classics