Weekend Nachos: Still Crazy
Weekend Nachos, besides having the most confusingly-named burger on the Kuma’s Corner menu (a buddy of mine once order the nachos, resulting in a knowing glance between myself and our server—He’s not a metalhead), play some of today’s most convincing grindcore. With both punk rock madness and sludgy metallic menace, the Chicago quartet has slowly risen to prominence within their scene due to an artistic sensibility, a lack of pretension, an exhausting touring schedule, and a completely relentless sound. And on their fourth full-length, Still, the band maintains their status as one of the world’s premiere bastions of skull-splitting powerviolence.
What’s immediately powerful about Still is the blend of sound present on the album. No instrument is overwhelmed here; the drums, often overstated in grindcore and powerviolence, have a fantastic balance with the guitar and bass here. Frontman John Hoffman’s harsh, piercing shriek and deep throaty growls provide a sense of panic and agony to the band’s breakneck tunes. The second most notable quality here is the strength of the riffs: not only during their sludgier moments, but even as they’re blazing away at top speed, the band has entertaining and catchy riffs that keep the listener interested.
Some highlights: the moment in “S.C.A.B.” when Hoffman bellows, “Did you ever experience real brutality/Or did you read about it on a lyrics sheet?” The weird, shuddering sound at the beginning of “Satan Sucker” which gives way to a bizarre intertwining of chugging sludge and furious grind. The breakdown at the end of “Watch You Suffer”, which stomps around amidst wailing disharmonious feedback. The jarring central riff at the heart of “Ignore”. The melodic chorus of closing title track “Still”, which is breaks into an awesome bass-driven passage midway through the song, only to come unhinged in a groovy solo.
The primary flaw in Still is that with most powerviolence/grind acts: the songs are short, intense, and some of them feel a little interchangeable if you’re not paying attention to the tracklisting. That said, Weekend Nachos have still added enough texture and variation to the twelve tracks here that the choice moments on the record stand out strongly from the rest, and remain memorable, worthy of repeated listens. And that’s something a band playing the most abrasive music on earth can be damn proud of.