Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Album Review: Grind-O-Matic - "Flower Power"

Everyone shut up. I know I've been gone for a while. School is happening (that reminds me, I have robotics and signal processing labs to do, fuck), I've started recording a project with a friend, and I'm now writing for the online zine Cinema Terrible. I only have so many hours in a day, so I'm trying my best to balance not failing my courses, keeping creative content rolling on weekdays, and feeding my borderline alcoholism on weekends.

As many of you regular readers know, the French grind scene is fucking nuts right now. Tons of wicked bands are surfacing and pumping out rad EPs and albums like no tomorrow. If you want a taste of the French scene, check out the compilation In Grindo Veritas released by Kaotoxin Records, and Grindhouse: Vol. 1 put out by your's truly. I recently got a CD in the mail all the way from France of Grind-O-Matic's newest album, Flower Power.

GOM have been around for ten years now, and have been steadily releasing music for nine of them. They hail from Paris, France and have shredded onstage with bands like Cloud Rat, Chiens, and Yattai over the years. I really don't have much of a bio for them, so I'm going to jump right into the album.

First thing's first. This album is fast and loud. The album might churn through 20 tracks in just under 40 minutes (mid paced for grindcore standards, for those of you who don't know),  but this band can play blisteringly fast. I usually tap along to the drumming of my music with pens and pencils in hand, but sometimes here I can barely keep up. Don't get hung up on speed here, though. Unlike mechanical speed demons Agoraphobic Nosebleed, Grind-O-Matic blends a nice amount of mid-paced and slower chaotic dissonance into the fray to break up all the grind. Majority of this album sounds like a cross between Nasum, Gridlink, and early Dillinger Escape Plan to me. Sometimes, all three influences come together into a giant clusterfuck of sound that makes me stop whatever I'm doing and audibly say "holy fuck". Paired with the band's great choice of samples before and after songs, the band sets the bleak and twisted tone of the album.

Speaking of tone, I really have to commend these guys for the themes presented here. Flower Power is a testament to how much we've fucked up the Earth in all our years of greed as a society. It's nothing that hasn't been done before, especially by grindcore bands, but the atmosphere crafted by the music, samples, lyrics, and artwork is definitely more striking than a majority of other socially conscious bands out there.

On A Playlist With: Nasum, Discordance Axis, (early) Pig Destroyer

Overall Score: 4/5

Flower Power is a grindcore album with some real substance behind it. All the power and perversion of the French grind you love, mixed with some awesome chaotic guitar and drum playing and top notch sampling makes Grind-O-Matic a winner in my books.

Flower Power came out on Grind-O-Records on September 13th, 2013. You can listen to it here, and you can check the band out on Facebook and Reverb Nation.

That's all for now, folks!