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Birds of a Feather Grind Together - 90%

TheKEZ, November 15th, 2012

Let’s cast our minds back a couple of years to a split release that, to my ears at least, has already assumed a classic status; this pairing of two of grindcore's most engagingly hyperactive sons, Agoraphobic Nosebleed and Total Fucking Destruction.

Side A contains what has to be some of my favourite ANB material to date. 'Self Detonate' gets things off to an uncharacteristically slow start, but is undoubtedly one of the finest chuggers the band has ever done. Hull's muscular riffage crushes all in its path, as Randall's intoxicated rampage veers from sarcastic to distraught often within the space of a single line. It's an absolutely pummeling intro, but doesn't prepare you at all for the gloriously vicious pair of tracks that follow; 'Degenerate Liar' is pretty much straight up, balls to the wall Benümb worship, so it's only fitting that rabid vocalist Paul Ponitkoff lends his inimitable pipes to this little rager. Seething death-grind riffs collide with some utterly ridiculous drum machine abuse to create some of the most efficient grind warfare known to man, a feral onslaught that can't fail to reduce your grey matter to a bloody pulp. 'Alcoholocaust' sustains the adrenalin rush with some highly entertaining lyrics from Randall, which at times sounds like D.R.I.'s Kurt Brecht fronting a particularly lurid caricature of early Slayer, and rounds off ANB's contribution to the split in a fine style.

TFD begin with a totally whacked out rendition of 'Last Night I Dreamt We Destroyed The World', with wailing, hysterical guitar waves buzzing around above a wonderfully demented bassline, hinting at Hoak's appreciation for free jazz. The song builds and builds until it seems like it's reached boiling point, as Hoak's lucid drumming rapidly escalates and threatens to tear the track apart at any moment. Always ready to confound the listener's expectations, this wide eyed gonzo grind soundscape segues seamlessly into an Exploited cover, of all things! The band does a fine job of racing through punk anthem 'Sid Vicious Was Innocent', with Hoak's endearingly ADD vocals hollering out the titular refrain with defiant intent before the song collapses into all-out madness.

Bones Brigade did a fine job with the packaging here too, with some intensely vivid eye candy adorning the cover (courtesy of Florian Bertmer, naturally) and some suitably gruesome visuals on the inner sleeve (don't crack this one open after a heavy meal, kids! ). If you can track this one down, then don't hesitate to pick it up - this is two of the genre's most unique entities doing what they do best, and allowing themselves a bit of room for experimentation in the process without diluting any of their furious, mind melting vitriol. Highly reccomended!

Originally written for www.grindtodeath.com