A “grindcore” band with lyrics focused around baseball and controversial Cuban ball player Yasiel Puig featuring dudes from Thrice and Curl Up And Die sounds like a recipe for disaster for people like myself who think Pig Destroyer, the grindcore band Puig Destroyer pay homage to with their name and logo, are a genuinely excellent proposition. Luckily, I'm forgiving: I love baseball, have loved certain Thrice records to an alarming degree (no one will ever know how many times I've listened to The Artist In The Ambulance), and was one of the six people who really loved CUAD when they were around. So, let's play ball.
The grindcore is, predictably, much less fierce than a band like Pig Destroyer. Things are fast, but it never seems to blast; compared to the band they're named after, it's positively polite. And polite does not a great grind record make; however, if you can rearrange the mental context and just imagine it's some guys from Thrice and CUAD playing fast, heavy, frantic emotional hardcore, it becomes much more enjoyable. When you start thinking, “Hey, they used to call this kinda thing 'emo-violence,'” that doesn't help.
Really, the members' diverse backgrounds help make this sound pretty unique, the guitar playing having more shades and hues to it than the average 20-songs-in-30-minutes grind album, and the vocals approaching a yelp-y Washington, D.C., post-hardcore sass at times. Riley Breckenridge's drumming has never, ever been in question: His work in Thrice is incredible. But while he can play fast, it just doesn't sound like metal playing, creating another layer of confusion.
I have no idea what the end result is, really: It's something people who don't listen to grindcore will think is the heaviest grindcore ever with huge smiles on their faces, while people who listen to grindcore will dismiss it with frowns on their faces. Call it down the middle, and file it away wondering if that was supposed to be serious or a joke. Which is either precisely the point, or not the point at all.
No Sleep http://www.nosleeprecords.com