When pimply fat dudes handed the keys to grindcore over to skinny kids with tight pants and funny haircuts that didn’t like emo, things got a little weird. Suddenly every town with a metal scene started spouting bands with sentence-long band names that played nothing but brief, hugely dissonant walls of sound. And while this resulted in some interesting output, it quickly devolved into what most scenes devolve into – kids who have no idea how to play music associating themselves with avant-grindcore for something to do and to be noticed. And even though this brand of heavy is hard to listen to for sustained periods of time, due in part to its design but also the fact that the genre’s shittiest bands are clearly making noise to mask the fact that they don’t know how to write songs, the better bands know how to jostle grindcore’s carcass and find new places on which to feast. Through just 30 unnerving minutes, Intervals, the latest by See You Next Tuesday, manages to tear you asunder by being both low and lumbering and fast and precise, always in eerily perfect portions.

To be honest, the only way to tell these songs apart is to watch the tracks change as the album plays. Intervals is a miasma of jagged highs and earth-splitting lows, propelled by tempos usually only blazingly fast or a notch above a drone. While there’s barely a melody to be found on the album, the production is pristine enough to make every part clear, revealing rare spurts of rich guitar work before quickly shifting back into a prickly mess of pins-and-needles shrieking above a torrent of blast beats. The thing that makes See You Next Tuesday exceptional, much like their brethren/godfathers Animosity or Pig Destroyer, is the know-how to occasionally fall into a midtempo groove (best observed on “Forever on Deaf Ears”), providing a semi-brief moment of ease and clarity before being dropped back to the wolves. But there are no moments of ease on Intervals – just moments of edgy calm, with the knowledge that the fiercest blow lays at the end of that soft passage.

Though it’s certainly hundreds of thousands of miles from a Chevelle record, there’s still some parts to grab on to and savor on Intervals, making it a prime example of a grind record worth returning to. And this is by no means a small feat; See You Next Tuesday certainly push hard toward the unlistenable end of the spectrum more often than not, subtly reshaping what was once thought unsuitable. But the more digestible parts are by no means dirges into clean singing or clear-the-floor breakdowns. In fact, “Dedication to a New Era” is essentially one long breakdown, but never once feels like a nod to the nautical-starred mosh kids in the crowd. It just feels like another pulsating slowness to remind you of the blistering speed they’re are capable of. For a band too concerned with getting shows to call themselves Cunt (or perhaps too nervous about the wrath of one of the other numerous bands called Cunt), Intervals is a goddamn behemoth that reminds us of the gnarl and ferocity of which metal is still entirely capable.

(4 out of 5 horns)

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