So famous that you might’ve just heard of them right now for the first time. Magrudergrind is back after a hiatus with an album that makes a potent case for keeping simplicity tightly under wraps so that we don’t risk every band with half a half-hearted interest in songwriting nabbing it from the medicine cabinet and hoarding it all for themselves.
I don’t exactly listen to much straight up ‘grindcore’, which adds to the holes in my listening experience, but II sounds pretty much like what I’d expect any half-proficient band in the genre to put out. It’s understandably a little slicker than most of the formative efforts in the genre (Napalm Death, Carcass, Repulsion, etc.), although from what I’ve heard this album trades in some of the bits of schlock comedy that “distinguished” previous Magrudergrind content from its contemporaries for more standard, basic, banal grindcore. On some scales, this is really a perfect 5/10 album; it’s exactly what I expected aesthetically, it does nothing particularly interesting, and it doesn’t even have the temerity to offend me even slightly lest I end up shaming Magrudergrind on the internet; does this sound like anybody we know? II is basically the equivalent of a blank cassette waiting to be recorded to for the first time, but like most albums of little musical merit, we can at least learn a few lessons from the circumstances surrounding it.
As I hinted at in the intro, Magrudergrind’s latest is a very simplistic album that isn’t far removed from the starkest, most deconstructive efforts in its genre. The problem working in such a limited palette is that most of the time, it’s only a sign of low effort; it takes surprising amounts of skill, ambition, or at least luck, to cut down your music and still retain some shred of coherence and communicative value. Grindcore, as a genre, is especially vulnerable to the dark side of these tendencies; once you reach maximum violence and intensity there isn’t much left to do in the confines of the genre. The various famous bands of the genre all found their coping mechanisms; I’m personally most familiar with Carcass’s rapid pivot towards pop music. Magrudergrind’s, on the other hand, was apparently to go on hiatus for a few years and then return when everyone had forgotten not only them, but also the very knowledge that they had forgotten about Magrudergrind.
Tags: 2016, Grindcore, Hardcore Punk, II, magrudergrind, metalcore, powerviolence
12 thoughts on “Magrudergrind – II (2016)”
Hail Colonel Zadok! I pass that school nearly everyday and even met one of the guys at the shadygrove Safeway in the early 00’s.
Mediocre music for a mediocre Maryland area.
Used to have a hell of a live show though…likely still do.
Magrudergrind as a band was surprisingly coherent, but never really great, although arguably a fun band, if anything. Their former drummer was skilled though and he now plays woth Repulsion, a far better choice. I suppose they’ve now descended into typical Relapsecore sound.
I never forgot them but I never listened to them since seeing them in 2010. I used to habitually collect every grind release in the early 2000s, pretty mindlessly and today all I like from the genre is Repulsion (who are death metal to me), old Carcass (ditto), Terrorizer’s one album, everything after being not as good. I honestly like none of Napalm Death after years of trying. SO any point here being, this isn’t a bad band and will put on a good show much like even the most juvenile bands at he Obscene Extreme Fest, they’re all pointless on CD but fun live, that’s my stance on modern grind. I can’t say that much for black or DM as the crowds are unresponsive and apathetic, or busy mocking up an impression or scene of something happening in their life on Facebook.
Blood is pretty great too.
How do you guys feel about Warface – Insanity of the Obsessed ?
Their drummer seems to be quite a rockstar in YouTube but the music is as good as Inveracity and later Suffocation.
Scott Ellis is a damn good drummer.
Before Disgorge (US) officially reformed, the remaining guitarists started performing Disgorge songs under the moniker To Violently Vomit with Mr. Ellis manning the kit. He played Disgorge extremely well, which is no easy feat.
Kinda random invoking his name in a grind post haha.
I’ve only listened to their self titled.
What in the bloody hell is power violence?
I ask because I do not trust others to give me good examples of genres.
Just think about what passes for melodic “death metal”, and you’ll understand why.
“Powerviolence” is what comes to my mind when people here discuss what makes metalcore what it is in that it is inherently disorganized. While I disagree with that metalcore description on the basis that I think arrangement is a peculiarity of the writer and not necessarily indicative of a genre despite wanting to avoid defining a genre based on the superficialities of how it “sounds” in an attempt to preserve the depth of real metal- I think that sound can define a genre more than we’d like to admit given the multitude of metalcore examples that are monothematic and have pop arrangements. Powerviolence more fits the DMU metalcore theme in that by nature it deliberately avoids any semblance of song or themes unique to particular songs in any way although it is more from the punk spectrum than metal and is very power-chord based. It tends to rarely allow parts to repeat 4 times and fluctuates wildly in tempo and typically avoids song lengths of over 2 minutes or so. It’s like a very bipolar grindcore, and is often characterized by a very specific “taking a shit” grunting vocal style. I don’t listen to the genre on my own, but what it appears to be is the worship of a very specific band (maybe Spazz?) that became a genre through repeated occurrences of tribute acts. It would be the punk equivalent of calling Carcass a genre because General Surgery and Haemorrhage exist.
Basically, it’s just hardcore punk (re)hybridized with grindcore playing technique. Grind grew out of hardcore punk kids crossing hardcore/crust (Discharge/Amebix) with thrash (DRI) and early extreme metal (Slayer, Celtic Frost). In the late 80s/early 90s, “powerviolence” started being used to describe hardcore punk bands that added in the grindcore riffing speed, incorporated blasting, used extreme tempo/dynamic changes, etc.
It’s not so much a distinct genre, as a set of techniques used by some hardcore bands that they borrowed from grind. I doubt most of this site’s readership would find more than a passing historical interest in it. Bands that are considered powerviolence pretty universally include Infest, Spazz, Man is the Bastard, Charles Bronson.
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