That line up looks amazing. It certainly tops last year. We'll skip my predictable complaints of only having one interstate band on the bill. My highlights of 2008 were definitely Super Fun Happy Slide, The Kill and Fuck I'm Dead.
Over the past 5 or 6 years I’ve been hanging around the Australian grindcore scene I’d always heard whispers of 731 as an old-school violent grind band with cult hero status; but whether I simply attributed that to the band in my own warped mind I’ll never know.
Apparently the group contains members of Fallout, Whitehorse, Terror Firma, In Name and Blood, Sense Of Purpose, Odiusembowel and Demon Other. It would also seem that some member of 731 also runs Test Subject Records (who I will love forever more for releasing The Guantanamo Bay City Rollers’ Alcoholocaust). I was a pretty big Demon Other fan while they were around and thought it a real shame when they broke up earlier this year. Their self titled album on Trial & Error Records is well worth tracking down. Christoph (the talented skinsmen of Roskopp) also filled in on drums on a bunch of shows for these guys.
To start off, for a demo called Raw Grind Violence, the first track is pretty painfully slow. We’re talking like Bolt Thrower speeds here: ultra slow blasts and hammers. Thankfully the pace is picked up from the second track onwards, and while never reaching the blistering pace of say The Kill, the music still maintains a whole heap of energy and intensity by pushing punk beats and blasts as far as the drummer is able.
From what I can tell it’s a live recording from PBS, and truthfully recording-wise the quality isn’t all that bad. You can quite clearly differentiate between the guitar and bass, and the drums and vocals have a nice, slightly-distorted raw quality to them. It’s actually quite refreshing to hear a crusty recording that actually sounds good rather than a heap of undefined, distorted shit heap of noise.
The vocals are a mix of harsh death-and-hardcore low yells and some pretty cool higher pitched shrieks a la Mitch Harris (Napalm Death). Stylistically the band lies pretty solidly with the crusty punk Terrorizer old school of grindcore with a few odd throwbacks to more mid-paced death metal legends like Grave and Bolt Thrower (evident predominately in thick meaty breakdowns). I’ve read across the internet rumblings of a powerviolence influence, but to be honest I really cant hear any.
This demo is only 7 tracks long, but I seriously waned between being pretty fucking bored in parts to totally reevaluating my position in a more positive light by the next track. There are probably three or four really solid songs on this demo, while the others – slower and more death metal influenced – don’t really appeal to me. Whats more a few really cheesy break-down progressions and an insanely cheesy scream from the vocalist “ARE YOU READY TO GRIND-DAH!!?” manage to rub me the wrong way.
Admittedly I’m not the biggest fan of bands who just rehash the first wave of grind bands like Terrorizer, Napalm Death and Assuck, so I am incredibly biased, but for me the entire album was a little underwhelming. I don’t think I’ll be revisiting it again. I’m getting pretty bloody picky with the grind I listen to, and I’ll opt for bands that still seem to make an impact with their old school grind influences like Captain Cleanoff, Sayyadina and Insect Warfare. Or that fucking awesome new Phobia album.
I just think 731 might be a little out of their league amongst the current crop of grind bands across Australia and the globe... It's a strange little phenomena I've started to witness: a band like this seems to appeal more to the crust scene - evidenced by a lot of the bands they played and toured with. For a scene in which some factions really dislike grindcore bands in general that is a very perplexing statement to make. Take the recent Graf Orlock Australian tour - effectively a pretty average mid-paced grind band, but it was fucking eaten up by the underground crust crowd in Sydney. Bizzare.
The Day Everything Became Nothing (you know, the intensely brutal and downtuned rockin' bulldozer gore/grind band featuring members from other legendary Aussie bands like Fuck I'm Dead and Blood Duster) are playing one last show for 2008 which will be released as a live DVD/CD (a la Fuck I'm Dead's latest release).
The guys toured North America in May, so I'm sure this will be a show not to miss.
The show takes place on the 12th of December at the East Burnswick Club in Melbourne. Equally awesome supports include the incredible grind maniacs The Kill, Adelaide party thrash mutants Cut Sick and the crushing grind of Roskopp.
Should be one killer party.
Live at Pony, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia - July 4 2008.
Recorded by KingBean.
The Kill - Blankfaced Psycho
The Day Everything Became Nothing - Naked
Agents of Abhorrence
Captain Cleanoff have long been considered one of Australia's (and dare I say the worlds) best grind bands. These guys manage to mix mosh-inducing punk grooves with sheer blasting brutality, coupled with an inimitable vocals style, an enormous live sound and a sense of humour and fun.
Not only have they released two instant classics within the genre (Self-titled and Symphonies of Slackness), but they are also one of Australia's best live bands (rivaled only by fellow grind heavyweights Agents of Abhorrence, The Kill and Fuck I'm Dead in my opinion).
1 Nov THE ARTHOUSE MELBOURNE (Fuck I'm Dead, Roskopp, SFHS)
2 Nov MISSING LINK MELBOURNE (The Kill)
5 Nov HAMILTON STATION HOTEL NEWCASTLE (Grannyfist, BTBG, Shitfight)
6 Nov BRANNIGANS TAVERN GOLD COAST
7 Nov ROSIES LIVE BRISBANE (Daemon Foetal Harvest)
8 Nov MAGGOTSVILLE SYDNEY (Deathcage, Roadside Burial, Maus, Ebolie)
9 Nov REPRESSED RECORDS SYDNEY (Kill A Celebrity, Code of Lies)
21 Nov AMPLIFIER BAR PERTH (The Furor, Cuntscrape, Vespers Descent)
22 Nov LEEDERVILLE HQ SKATEPARK PERTH (Grotesque, Claim The Throne, Death Fucking Cunt)
27 Nov THE OLD BAR MELBOURNE (Pathetic Human, DB Call)
28 Nov THE SALOON BAR LAUNCESTON (3 Victims, DB Call, Nopse Teipsum)
29 Nov BRISBANE HOTEL (all ages) HOBART
29 Nov BRISBANE HOTEL (18+) HOBART
So order your copy of Symphonies of Slackness and draw some love hearts, unicorns and rainbows around the date Cleanoff come to your town!
Hardcore Fashion Parade - The Corner Hotel (VIC) 2007
Meathead - The Corner Hotel (VIC) 2007