MAGRUDER “GRIND” JUST DOESN’T DO IT JUSTICE
Magrudergrind derive their name from a D.C. housing project where they used to practice, and large swaths of their required-to-get-your-grind-card audio samples suggest that they are a true product of their enviornment. They’re not culled from fashionable (or fashionably hip) movies, and they in no way, shape, or form celebrate escapism – hell, I’d barely even call them “funny.” Topics up for discussion here include deliberate destruction of property values for profit, lying Washington bigwigs, and the retrieval of confiscated turn tables (okay, that last one is kinda funny). And the clips are either authentic, or astoundingly authentic sounding. Whatever the case, in contrast to what most grind bands are doing these days, it suggests a wide swath of experience. These dudes are relatively young, but they haven’t lived their whole life under an umbrella.
And, hey, guess what? The music on their new, self-titled Willowtip release reflects this breadth of interest, too.
The album basically kicks off as an expected sequel to their 2007 debut, Rehashed, with songs that are short gut-punch-you-’til-you-vomit-blood slices of fuck your mother (“Assimilated Pollutants” even ends with the sound of a hocked loogie.). But there’s a method to the madness, and they all seem incredibly well thought-out even as they manage to maintain their anarchaic glee. They’re like mini-prog masterpieces, without all the endless wankery – elements of not just grind and power violence but death, crust, punk and hardcore all poke through. The riffs are memorable and make you want to return for repeat listens.
But a little less than halfway through Magrudergrind, something awesome happens – the band decide to really stretch their legs and move away from Rehashed. The result suggests these dudes could – gasp! – make non-grind records if they wanted to. And those records would probably be every bit as awesome as Rehashed.
“Bridge Burners” sounds like NOLA sludge, and derives an incredible amount of power from its simplicity. “The Price of Living by Delinquency” turns into suffocatingly thick doom that resembles Salomé more than any of MG’s peers in the genre they’re know for. “Heavier Bombing” successfully incorporates hip-hop – HIP-HOP, FOR FUCK’S SAKE. I mean, I think the band is just joking around, but it actually does work. This album is that fucking good.
There are a lot of bands doing some twist on grind that I like right now (e.g., Genghis Tron), but in terms of just straight-forward, slit-your-sternum stuff, Magrudergrind go right to the head of the pack. They’re not quite at the level of, say, Pig Destroyer just yet – but it’s easy to imagine a future in which they will be.
(4 out of 5 horns)