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Gore, "Mean Man's Dream"

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For their second release, FSS has resurrected a 1987 album by this Dutch trio. This was actually their second album, with their debut LP, Hartgore, oozing into the light of day in 1986. The trio, made up of drummer Danny Arnold, guitarist Pieter De Sury, and bassist Marij Hel, further perfected their mean, muscular, and down’n’dirty sound only a year on from that on this second platter. Now, 21 years later, it gets a welcome re-release in the form of a digital download as well as a limited edition vinyl LP.

 

FSS

It is a very simple formula—powerhouse drums pounding along forcefully, anchoring the sound firmly, backed up by driving bass lines with a chainsaw guitar cutting through equally forcefully. It all adds up to a gargantuan entity rampaging under its own not inconsiderable steam. There’s no recourse to finesse here—it is straight-forward no-nonsense pile-driving grunge. For all that though, it would be fair to say that in many ways (and bearing in mind this was recorded in the late '80s) it paved the way for many bands that followed. Certainly the filthy gutter-bred sound, so familiar now, would have been quite innovative at the time.

To take a typical example of what is on offer here, “Loaded,” is probably wholly representative of the behemoth that is Gore. Immediately cutting to the chase, a feedback-ridden power-chord introduces the song before an adrenaline-pumping bass-drum kicks in, kick-starting the six-string chainsaw buzz into action. The bass performs its task admirably, keeping pace and providing a solid vehicle for the twin-engines of the guitar and drums. The sandpaper abrasiveness of De Sury’s guitar commands attention from the get-go, igniting the furnace and sending sparks everywhere. The relentless heat is constantly fed by the pulsing percussion, turbo-charging it ever onwards without let or hindrance. The two ensuing pieces, “Meat Machine” and “Out for Sex,” continue the frenetic headlong dash into nuclear oblivion.

To be entirely fair though, this absolute disregard for any kind of sonic restraint typifies this album. From the very outset, Gore stake out their claim to the very heart of a particular slice of territory in the musical landscape. Moreover, they have no intentions of ever giving any ground, at least not without a fight, obviously subscribing to the philosophy that just by sheer overwhelming force of personality they can stop all opposition in their tracks. However, what is more important, in my view, is the fact that Gore here created a template for others to follow. Without their example adding to music’s gene-pool, it may be that many would never have been inspired to tread the same path.

On the downside, if indeed there is one, I admit that in some respects there’s a slight datedness to this. Despite that proviso, overall I would say that even so it points the way to the origins of this particular genre. Even though it could be said that it is most certainly of its time, it is absolutely no less listenable because of that. In fact, I would even would wager that there are one or two bands who will be able to mine it for inspiration even today.

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Last Updated on Sunday, 17 August 2008 14:18  


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