Welcome to the latest edition of “Freeloader,” in which we review albums that you don’t have to feel like a douche for downloading for free. Today Satan Rosenbloom checks out the latest from grind bands Nemesis Complex and Honduran.

Almost without exception, grindcore is best appreciated live, where the everything-all-at-once extremity of the style can most directly wage war on the senses. But if I’m going to sit down at home and let a grindcore record punish my ears with drums, bass and guitars all playing too fast to be doing anything all that interesting, I ask just one thing: it should sound as devastating as if I were watching it live.

That’s what I don’t get about [ENEMY], the first full-length by New Jersey’s Nemesis Complex. There’s palpable vitriol here, almost enough to compensate for the band’s unimaginative Agathocles worship. But so much of the impact required for grind this straightforward is lost in no-fi production. That scabby guitar sounds like it’s being played out of a computer speaker, and drummer Gordy keeps his snare head wound so tight it sounds like he’s actually playing a note every time he hits it. Demo-quality production can work when it captures something raw or vulnerable. Nemesis Complex is neither. Far from devastating, [ENEMY] is just irritating.

The self-titled 7” from Portland, Oregon trio Honduran is more like it: four tight, vicious tunes that remember both the “power” and “violence” part of the powerviolence equation. Honduran gearshift recklessly from groove to grind with audacious ease, and the recording’s so hefty and clear you can 1) reach out and touch the spittle flying from the band’s two vocalists and 2) hear how hard drummer Kevin Spafford works to hold it all together using human appendages (he does) and 3) feel like you’re getting a big ol’ shove to your mind’s solar plexus. Honduran also have a split 7” with Violence of Humanity and a full-length available for free on their Bandcamp. Download those first to hear how far the band’s grown.

Nemesis Complex – [Enemy]

(2 out of 5 horns up)

Download it here:.

Honduran – Honduran 7”

(3.5 out of 5 horns up)

Download it here.


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