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An fine argument for letting grind live. - 80%

Crank_It_Up_To_666, March 23rd, 2015
Written based on this version: 2013, CD, Relapse Records

Sometimes, you wonder about grindcore. You sit there, perhaps listening to the new Blockheads record, and you become quite motionless, like how a cat will freeze up in anticipation of assault from something only it can see or hear. Your cheap headphones are locked forever against your eardrums by the sudden and probably immovable build-up of wax caused by the remorseless shrieking, furious invective, and that deafening crackling noise that every true grind record aspires to. Trapped in this position, you get to thinking. How do they keep getting away with this?

By rights, grind should’ve been made extinct by the download generation. The physical CD and lyrics booklet face obsolescence (so they say…), and this is a genre that has toiled for decades on a uniquely unintelligible mix of fierce, forthright sloganeering (best song title here; the marvelously dark ‘Human Oil’) and incomprehensible noise, decipherable only by said booklet. And yet, somehow, in 2013, it’s still working. The Blockheads intent, on such odes to (or assaults on) ‘Pro-Lifers’ and ‘Media Warfare’, still have their caustic, angry power. It’s as reductive a power as ever, but it still hits right in the belly when bands like this get it right.

Even if their sound is a few notches below the genuinely revolutionary fury of the sadly missed Nasum, the Blockheads have a superb and worthwhile release in ‘This World is Dead’. It’s fierce, capably and passionately crafted, and dances nicely between the sheer speed of an Agathocles and the almost grandiose songcraft of a Misery Index. In times like these, it is to the likes of the Blockheads and their grim and crusty ilk that we must turn, now that we’ve overplayed ‘Grind Finale’ so much it caught on fire.


{Originally published: Soundshock Webzine, 05/02/2013}