ALBUM REVIEW: SLUGCRUST – ECOCIDE
FERAL GRINDCORE NOT FOR THE FAINT-HEARTED
Slugcrust get full credits simply for their band name. It’s a strong contender – perhaps along with the similarly splendidly named Gutvoid – to clinch Metal Band Name of the Month. The gloriously hideous name alone is deserving of more attention. For example the new UK Prime Minister is Liz Truss, a gaffe-prone, ill-prepared Terminator Karen. Truss attracted widespread ridicule for walking on stage at her political party conference to the jaunty, inoffensive pop hit Moving On Up by M People. Surely, it would’ve been far more unironically appropriate to instead play Slugcrust whose frenzied grindcore would be an ideal soundtrack to these dismal times and also to Truss’s warped spray gun of Neo-Thatcherite policies.
So Slugcrust is the name, ugly, phlegmy grindcore is the game. Clocking in at under 25 minutes, Ecocide is a blurry overdose of demented, blink-and-you’ll-miss-it violent crustcore. Think a bootlegged Napalm Death or Extreme Noise Terror at their most punked out DIY. It is squalid, aggressive and played at such a frenetic intensity, at first you might wonder how the band know which noisy song they are meant to be playing. Demise Promise is the opening track and it’s representative of the entire album with pell-mell, chaotic and vicious hardcore grind. Ecocide has a strong grimy punk-chord simplicity with the likes of the cruddy Drag Me to Agony but the record is brutally abrasive and tracks like the standout Buzzard Czar or the downright feral Echoless and the feedback-drenched Petrochemical are packed with blastbeats and scuzzy rawness. Kudos to vocalist Jesse Byrdic who sounds truly deranged; snarling and slavering ceaseless vitriolic streams of consciousness over every song. It is a possessed performance and he attacks his role like a rabid dangerous canine that gives this a manic edge of unpredictability.
Ecocide isn’t for the faint-hearted. It’s obnoxious, savage and utterly uncompromising. Even purist genre diehards might, at first, find this dingy and abrasive racket too much. It’s so ungovernable it is almost out of control, even by grindcore standards – and that is saying something. After all, what can you do with noisy music except try to make it noisier? It is intensely violent and murky, but with a couple of listens you pick up what your battered senses might have missed the first time with pit-inducing breakdowns, bellicose chords and incendiary time changes. The attitude, energy and squalor of it is something to behold.
Check out Slugcrust on bandcamp here: