Gene Meyer, lead singer for grindcore band, Bandit, and comedian, shares with The Hook his Top 10 Tracks for 2016!
1. “Grind Hard With A Vengeance/Failure To Thrive” – Ground – Split w/Bandit
No other moment this year captured the animosity quite like these two songs do, specifically the seemless transition from the ending two-step of “Grind Hard” directly into the sweet mother of god badass opening helicopter breakdown of “Failure To Thrive”. That riff is pure merciless revenge and if you don’t immediately crowd kill everything in your living room when it comes on, then you are just a fucking poser, my dude.
2. “Chihan Ki Pari” – Chepang – Lathi Charge
There are other songs of this album that I was considering putting on here but this is definitely one of the more “grindy” bangers of the sick LP from this Nepalese unit. Anchored by the beautifully disharmonic Discordance Axis-esque arpeggio, the whole 65 seconds of this song are just a stellar example of angular self-loathing writhing on the floor via guitar, drums and vocals.
3. “Hollow Roots” – Wormrot – Voices
Grindcore bands just can’t seem to win. Either they release album after album of the same music and elitists call them “boring” or they try something new and elitists call them “posers”. I for one am amazed by the job these Singaporean grinders did incorporating Deafheaven style black metal influences into their music while also staying very true to the crusty grind that they had purveyed so successfully in the past. The entire album is beautiful, haunting and full of memorable moments yet it was this song that really captured their new dynamic perfectly.
4. “Napalm Menth” – Dome – Demo
Grindcore is a divisive subgenre but I think one thing that people tend to forget about is that it can be, and sometimes should be, fun. The absurdist samples that bookmark the scummy, bonehead, idiot grind only highlight the glorified stupidity on display here. As soon as I turn this song on I can just smell the spilled bongwater and body odor of a basement grind show. Action Bass? MORE LIKE ACTION ASS!
5. “You Will Never Be One Of Us” – Nails – You Will Never Be One of Us
The title track from the most polarizing album of the year from the most polarizing band of the moment. Yes, this one is ripe for parody and yes, the memes are great but at the end of the day this fucking song rips in a way most bands could only dream of. This is probably the first Nails album where I can actually tell what the guitar is doing and I think they are much better for it. Don’t even act like the helicopter breakdown during the second half of this banger doesn’t give you a sweat pants boner.
6. “Hypocrisy” – Shitstorm – Split w/Radiation
Seven seconds to let everyone know what pieces of shit we all are. Love it. ;)
7. “Dying Inside” – Blight Worms – I
Everything about this song just IS GRIND. It’s like this band was like “Let’s just sum up the entire early discography of Napalm Death into a fucking riff and open our song with it and maybe have the dude from ACxDC do vocals over it”. I contest that there was no better build-up/blast then this year than this song right here.
8. “Face First Into Concrete” – Noisear – Split w/Days Of Desperation
It would not be a stretch to call most of this band’s output “redundant” but what they do, they do will. It is also not the easiest music to play, let alone create, so give credit where credit is due. This is easily the strongest song of their side of the split EP and it is quite the banger. Discordance Axis in a high school science lab with the dudes in Maruta as your teacher. Tight.
9. “Des Bribes de Nuits” – Whoresnation – Split w/Chappa’ai
If you were looking for a stellar example of modern grind, then this one would be it. Just about everything is perfect here: the rough production that enhances the heaviness rather than detract from it, the faux breakdown during the intro and of course the diminished fifth evisceration that would make the dudes in Insect Warfare proud.
10. “Assistance” – Gendo Ikari – Unit 1
The opening three seconds of this song really set the tone for the entire album: “full velocity spasms of bezerk insanity with intermittent brutal slam parts”. I think the MVP here has to be the vocalist, who’s piercing shrieks and guttural regurgitations take the affair to another level.