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Drainland/Grinding Halt

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cover imageThis split 10” EP pairs two great examples of contemporary bands carrying the grindcore torch into the 21st century. Both Drainland and Grinding Halt modernize the genre in different ways; one slows it down to a menacing crawl and the other keeps the tempo up while challenging the genre’s clichés. Together, the two sides of this EP make for some heavy and thrilling listening.

De Graanrepubliek / Shove Records / React With Protest / Suburban Mayhem

The crushing grind of Dublin’s Drainland has gained significant momentum since my last exposure to them (2008’s cassette release Year One). While the influence of Swans has always been apparent—the band are named after one of Michael Gira’s solo albums—only now has it been fully subsumed into Drainland’s messy assault. Like wading through quicksand laced with broken glass, tracks like “Rebuilding Salem” are difficult to get through but exhilarating when you find yourself on the other side, safe and relatively unscathed.

However, Grinding Halt from the Netherlands offer nothing in the way of asylum. While their name might suggest metal of a plodding nature, in reality their music is quick and turbulent. The three songs included all threaten to mangle the stylus of my record player with their violence. While I do not speak Dutch, I find the vocals fantastic and delivered with such fury; the singer is far from being simply another "extreme vocalist."

I usually find split records to be fairly one-sided but in this case, both bands bring a lot to the table. The only problem with this 10” is that there is not enough of either band, I want more of both.


Last Updated on Sunday, 30 May 2010 21:00  


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