Sunday, January 13, 2013

Album Review: Yattai - "Fifty Love Hymns for Grindheads"

More grind! More grind! More grind! Again, we've got a band that harken back to the old days of Assück, Brutal Truth, and early Napalm Death where maniacal speed and crusty and filthy depravity came first. Considering grindcore is dominantly from the US and the UK, it's exciting to hear of a band from France that  can rumble with the best of them.

Yattai come from the Angoulême region of France, a commune known for it's rich history and forts, as well as it's comic festival. It seems like one of the most unlikely places to find a proper old school grind band, but alas, here they are, and here they are to stay. Fifty Love Hymns is set to be released later this year, and is a compilation of Yattai's complete discography from 2004 to 2011. This includes their early demos, a whole slew of splits and split EPs, and a bunch of unreleased tracks as well.

These four dudes got together with the sole intention of grinding, and not only do they grind hard, but you can tell they have a blast doing it, too. The recordings all translate their intense live energy perfectly. I don't know how they've done it (especially over the many previous releases that make up this album), but everything sounds like you're right in the thick of the pit, thrashing away two feet in front of the band in some dark, dingy hole-in-the-wall bar. Yattai seem like the kind of band I really need to see live sometime.

There's honestly not too much to say about Fifty Love Hymns for Grindheads. It's a grind album for grind fans. It's literally right there in the title. If you like breakneck speeds and heavy as fuck music, there's no fucking around here: you'll love this. Singapore's Wormrot is another band that is really comparable to Yattai, with both bands' vocalists sounding pretty similar in tone, but Yattai's vocalist deserves commendation for his ridiculously low guttural vocals. They're on par with John motherfucking Gallagher of Dying Fetus. Yeah. They're absolutely awesome.

There are some pretty cool and original riffs that crop up on Fifty Love Hymns, showing a wide range of influences from doom, to crust punk, to old school DIY powerviolence. It's nice to see a grind band that really shows it's hardcore and punk influences, because too many bands are focusing on the metal, but hardcore and powerviolence is where grindcore really all started all those years ago.

The only critiques I have of Fifty Love Hymns don't really hold any weight, because they're properties that come with this album being a discography-spanning compilation. Firstly, I found that listening to it all in one go is absolutely exhausting. It clocks in at over an hour in length, which is anywhere from 2 to 4 times the usual grind album's length. If you listen to it two (or three) of the compiled releases at a time, it's a much more manageable and enjoyable experience. But the point of this album is to contain this massive amount of material all in one package rather than to behave like a studio album. Secondly, the production across the entire album changes from release to release, but obviously that's because a song from 2004 wouldn't sound like a song from 2011, even if it was written and recorded by the same people.

Bomb-Ass Tracks: 1 2 3 4, Evil Daniel Style, Hachis

On a Playlist With: Assück, Wormrot, Brutal Truth

Overall Score


Yattai are grinders have been going strong and I can only assume will continue to go on strong. With Fifty Love Hymns for Grindheads chronicling the almost 10 years they've been around, their over the top energy and love for the genre are what really show you what underground grindcore is all about.

Fifty Love Hymns for Grindheads is going to be coming out on Inhuman Homicide Records, Obskure Sombre Records, and Teriak Records with a tentative release date set in late spring of this year. Yattai has a Bandcamp page with some of their splits as well as a full length, and you can check out their Facebook page here.

That's all for now, folks!


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