Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Split Review: Infected Society/ F Stands For Fuck You/ Miserable Failure - "Miserable Fucking Society"

Kaotoxin records has been rocking it recently with their grindcore releases. After dropping Nolentia's new album in March and the amazing french grindcore compilation In Grindo Veritas (listen here), they're dropping a three way split from the depths of hell (or Amiens, France. Same thing.) between french grinders Infected Society, F Stands For Fuck You, and Miserable Failure cleverly titled Miserable Fucking Society.

Get it?

Infected Society

Infected Society have already released their debut two years ago in the form of an EP and Snuff Fetish Infection, their first split on Kaotoxin, and Miserable marks their second release on this label. Infected Society contribute the first seven tracks on this 19 track split, and take up about 11 of the almost 30 minute running time.

These guys bring in a heavy and hard style of grindcore, blending the old school Carcass style goregrind with more modern riffs. They've got only got one vocalist, but holy fuck does he have a wicked growling range. Capable of Bill-Steer-pitch-shifted-like vocals, raspy Jeff Walker highs, and some powerful hardcore yells and screams, vocalist Brett is a monster behind the mic. The riffs are definitely more on the punk side of grindcore than the metal side, with tons of shifting power chords and groove laden bridges and breakdowns bringing in the circle pits. There no drummer in Infected Society, but instead a drum machine programmed by guitarist, Fack. I've gotta say they're programmed pretty well, because in addition to the usual machine gun blasting, Fack busts out some solid grooves and even a tribal beat here and there.

Production is about as heavy and thick as you can get it. Everything is mixed pretty well, but as usual, I'd love to have the bass a little higher in the mix. The drums are mixed really well into the human-manned guitar, bass, and microphone, and they don't have that usual sterile, clicky sound most drum machines are known for.

Score: 4/5

Infected Society's third of the split is definitely the strongest, with the hardest hitting music paired with awesome, awesome production.

F Stands For Fuck You

F Stands For Fuck You is a wicked hardcore/ grind project started by Adrien GuĂ©rin (guitarist of Benighted since 2012) and Kevin Foley (drummer to Mumakil, Nervecell, and Benighted. Not to be confsed with Kevin Motherfucking Talley of every fucking deathgrind band ever). This is the band's first release, and it's a damn good one. 

Adiren leaves his guitar duties to take up vocals on this split, and he does a pretty solid job. He lays out more an old school hardcore punk scream, which does along really well with the punkish riffing of Alexis' guitars. The riffs are groovy and angular, keeping you on your toes with their their shifting tempos and time signatures. Luckily, the music doesn't devolve into incoherent noodling, and Alexis manages to keep everything pretty fluid and natural sounding. The drums keep up with the guitarwork, grooving, double kicking, and blasting all the way through, sticking to the twists and turns like a fat kid sticks to the all-you-can-eat-buffet line.

Production here is a lot thinner than with Infected Society, and it really takes a huge shift aurally once the first section of this split is up and FSFFY's portion begins. There is no bassist in this band, and it really shows. If this band were able to get some Scott Hull magic going on to thicken up their sound, they'd definitely be a force to be reckoned with.

Score: 3/5

F Stands For Fuck You definitely has piqued my interest with their debut release here, but unless they do something to fill out their sound, they'll always play second fiddle to the heavyweights.

Miserable Failure

These dudes are the least well known group on the split, and the promo package I have has nothing about them other than they are "a modern Grindcore failure by miserable fuckheadz". So uhh, Miserable Failure, everybody.

The music picks up in intensity again here, going back to a more pure grindcore sound, and it definitely reminds me of an old school Pig Destroyer sound. The riffs are razor sharp and technical, the guttural vocals are absolutely gut retching, and the production is pretty thickened up. It's not as heavy as Infected Society, and a fair bit muddier, which is a little distracting, but nothing too, too bad. Contrary to Infected Society, Miserable Failure's riffage is more metal oriented than punk inspired. There's a lot more tremolo picked speed riffing than jumping power chords, and more riffs in the higher registers, which for some reason remind me of Behemoth. I dunno why.

I do want to touch on the vocals here for a second, though. There are two vocalists, Bleu handling lead vocals, and Maldito manning the backing vocals. Bleu reminds me of Jon Chang from Gridlink, except not quite as terrifying, and almost mismatched against the heaviness of Miserable Failure's music. That being said, Maldito's brutal lows fucking shred, and are definitely reminiscent of good ol' Bill Steer's vocals in Reek of Putrefaction and Symphonies of Sickness.

Score: 3/5

Miserable Failure is the weakest of the three parts to this split, if only slightly. They bust out some solid grind jams, but the mix of muddy production and blindsiding high vocals distracts me too much to fully appreciate the awesome drumming and riffage.

Overall, I think this is a really solid split. It's another release that is slowly solidifying Kaotoxin's foothold on the French grind scene, and showcases some pretty varied, but consistently enjoyable music. You can check out the bands on Facebook (Infected Society, F Stands For Fuck You, Miserable Failure) and you can listen to the whole split for free(!), here. A CD version will be available August 5th, 2013, and I highly recommend you pick a copy up.

That's all for now, folks!


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