Friday, January 25, 2013

Split Review: Faxe/ Grunt Grunt - "Hate Us or Die/ Merguezbollah"

I've never done a split review here on NMNG, and what better time to start than now? For those of you who don't know, a split is just an album or EP where more than one band plays. Usually, each band takes roughly the same amount of time on the split, so a two way split would see each band playing half of the total album's duration. For the purpose of reviewing, I'll be taking a look at each section individually, similar to the double reviews I've done in the past.

Faxe - Hate Us or Die

Faxe is a Paris based six-piece (!) crust/ grind band that are all about drinking, fucking around, more drinking, moshing, and not giving a fuck. They've got 6 songs in just under 7 minutes on Hate Us or Die with speeds and styles ranging between molassesy sludge and punch-holes-in-the-wall grind.

Guitars and bass a raw and punchy, with crusty and hardcore riffs pounding at your head non-stop on this side of the split. The riffs are nothing new, but they're simple, catchy, and get they job done. There are a couple moments, like in the bass bridge of "Bliss" and the small solo of "Cripple Fight" that just scream classic hardcore punk, too. The vocals are probably my favorite part of the whole band, with vocalists Mathieu and Wladmir switching off between a blend of crust with old school hardcore vocals and classic raspy grind shrieks and screams.

The guys in Faxe don't take themselves too seriously and have a ton of fun with their music. Song titled "Streching Your Anus With A Can Between Friends Doesn't Make You Gay Pt. 2" and "Guitar Players Suck" crop up, a six second track, reminiscent of Napalm Death's "You Suffer" shows up immediately after the former, and I completely lose it every time for the sample used at the beginning of "Cripple Fight".

Congratulations, Faxe. You win.

Bomb-Ass Tracks: Bliss, Guitar Players Suck, Cripple Fight

Overall Score


Hate Us or Die is the soundtrack to you and your punk buddies slamming back Jager and whisky all night. Faxe have shined a much-needed easygoing light on crust punk and have made some damn good music to boot.
Grunt Grunt - Merguezbollah

Grunt Grunt are a more straightforward grind band from Angouleme, similar to their grindmates Yattai. Much like Faxe, you can tell these guys don't take themselves too seriously, which much like Faxe, helps make Merguezbollah as entertaining as it is.

The music is great: 10 grinding songs in under 7 minutes, with blast beats and some pretty sweet riffs, but there are a couple moments of vocal jackassery that make me cringe every time I listen to them. The low vocals a sick as fuck, being as heavy as the guttural death metal band. The high pitched wails though, I can barely stand. The two styles are mixed relatively evenly across Merguezbollah, and even though I do love the music and the low vocals, it's just the higher pitched screaming that kind of kills it for me. They sound forced and unkempt, with the vocalist more intent on making a harsh noise than a good vocal tone. Maybe you'll love this guy's vocals, I don't know. All I know is he reminds me of Jim Carey circa 1994.

Bomb-Ass Tracks: Uhh, I'm not sure, they're all untitled and have no defined order.

Overall Score


I hate to give Grunt Grunt a low score, but those vocals just distract me too much from the music to enjoy it all properly. I'd be okay with maybe a couple tracks like this on a 20 or 30 track full length grind album, but with every single one of the 10 tracks on Merguezbollah having these vocals, I'd be lying if I told you I'd be coming back to this side of the split often.

You guys can check out Faxe on are their different social media platforms here: Myspace, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Bandcamp. I've been informed that Grunt Grunt don't have any pages, so you'll just have to fly to Angouleme to go catch 'em live yourself.

That's all for now, folks!


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