Album of the Day: Larry David, Grind Your Enthusiasm
Plague Widow are currently working on a full length for Willowtip. While looking into them (their excellent debut EP is available for $3 on their Bandcamp page, by the way), I noticed their guitarist used to be in Larry David. As that looked about as bizarre as the latter half of the prior sentence sounds, I checked out what Larry David has to do with deathgrind. Turns out there used to be a filthy, awesome, brilliant band devoted only to Curb Your Enthusiasm. Some days you’re reminded that, despite whatever in the fuck is going on in the Ukraine or Venezuela, the world can be an awesome place. I love Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm. I love tetanus-inducing deathgrind. Why WOULDN’T they coalesce??
The thing with Larry David, though, is that they were more than just a hilarious concept. Unlike, say, a bunch of dudes writing shitty music about goblins, the material on Grind Your Ethusiasm—their lone full length—is top fucking notch. The whole damn thing’s a whirlwind of guttural deathgrind, slams, gravity blasts, and all the other requisite things you’d expect from a band called Ensurenment or Octogenarian Sodomy or something. But since the vocals are, by design, indecipherable, the whole thing is augmented by Curb samples. And instead of being solely novelty, they play off deathgrind’s inherent silliness and raise everything to another level. “The Seinfeld Reunion” is particularly brutal (peaking with a clip of Larry reviving “George is gettin’ upset!”) and “The Larry David Sandwich” uses slams to drive home the point that a sandwich with whitefish and capers is fucking repugnant (it also highlights the sad dearth of grind songs with Ted Danson samples).
Grind Your Enthusiasm’s centerpiece, though, is the title track. A noodly, Origin-style grindfest, vocalist The Assman sits out and lets a deluge of Curb clips drive the song. The reason why Curb Your Enthusiasm and filthy grindcore work so well together is that they both lack any kind of sentimentality or warmth. The abuse piled on Larry in every episode of the show is primal; when Larry acts fucking obnoxious, people react completely accordingly. So having some of the show’s best freakouts played over blastbeats and relentless sweeps is a whole different kind of brutal. Susie Essman’s unguarded abhorrence of Larry is hilariously offputting in the context of the show; alongside ferociously fast metal, it’s devastating. “Grind Your Enthusiasm”’s two minutes and fourteen seconds of pointed, blinding rage puts Suicide Silence’s entire catalog to shame. The full length is available via the band’s Bandcamp page for free (thank copyright law for that!), so why not check it out? The band’s no longer together, but ideally they’ll regroup with another batch of vicious deathgrind songs, maybe this time devoted to something as angry and blissfully cynical as For Your Consideration.