Sharks in Yakuza sauce
-- Grindpad --
|■||Olivier Vand der Kruijf||Vocals|
|■||Rik Van Gageldonk||Bass|
Grindpad release a 5-track mini album, closer to a maxi 45 (as those of my era knew it) than a simple EP. We don't hold it against them and we listen.
First of all, on first listen, we're in a style that may flirt with punk, but is clearly THRASH. The guitar riffs are particularly bleeding and the accentuation is in return, the drums not necessarily intelligent and sensitive but clearly punchy and fast with a rather complete use of the kit. It's always a flashy effect to have a powerful double-pedal moment at sick tempos, stopping to sigh crash stop sigh crash stop to support the guitar!
1) We're off to a great start with this first track. All the markers are present, and so A.M.D. (like the processors?) ... gives us the power we need to start the engine. Speed, technicality, concise, brutal riffs, Olivier's caveman voice and you've got a track that hits the bull's-eye.
2) The second track brings together good old trash metal with all its codes (fretboard glissando, break, back and forth, etc.) and Ennio Moricone style (heard in kill bill, for example), and you can see the connection with the album cover. They also add "radio / police / NASA / other Americans" sequences to the pro-pain, to get back on track. A track that's a bit of a trip, but which holds up really well, because it's controlled and doesn't go off the rails.
3) To tell the truth, this is the track I'm least enthusiastic about: it's good, but not remarkable ... which is all the more noticeable given that it's an EP!
4) I really like this penultimate track, "Goverdome", which reminds me of my first love in this style ... in the 90s, I add to that the recognizable use of Flemish linked to English ... one criticism though, the track would have deserved a good big minute more. A great way to vent your frustrations! Clearly for me it's the most "conventional", the least sought-after, but, let's be honest, it's an excellent outlet and you can't ask for more than that, it's a good chunk of abrasive rock in the face, afterwards no more blackheads and skin as fresh as a newborn baby!
5) After a funny and irrelevant start (as I like them), we end up with a track I'd describe as a tribute to "Breaking the law" ... 1980 Judas Priest ... 43 years later (and therefore rejuvenated), it could have been that indeed! Ah and ... the old-fashioned ending with the "hard" bass and harmonics ... come on, it's a gift! That makes me happy :D
Well, I'm going to disappoint some of you, but I'll say two things:
1) It's short! For a band that's been around since 2006, and given all the influences and attempts on this EP, I'm a little disappointed, not by the quality, but by the quantity! Indeed, we're entitled to wonder whether they can come up with a complete album where they manage to develop a theme over 10-12 tracks, with a beginning, a middle and an end!... They're no longer beginners, and I think their fans are entitled to demand such an album. Unfortunately, it won't be this one. Indeed, 1 album in 15 years (violence 2020) is really not much when you're offering so many tracks and ideas!
2) It's intense and delectable! The markers of different eras are respected, the intensity is there, the construction, the technicality, the post-production part, nothing's wrong! ... And, above all, what's most important for me, it's a fucking blast! It's exactly as described: Aggressive, violent and fun! ... but ... it's all the more frustrating not to have more!
A 7.7 for this EP.
That's the problem with "concentrated"! If everything isn't top-notch, you can only see the problems. Here, I come away frustrated, with a feeling of waste and unfinished business! It's a pity, because there were so many good things to explore that I don't understand the presence of "Yakuza Finger" and the publication of a free sample version of "AO Godverdomme", which, out of 5 titles, inevitably take weight in the balance. And frankly, it hurts my heart because, once again, this band and what they present is exactly what I've come to expect from trash metal: Aggressive, violent, fun, but also with certain references and plenty of eye candy, humor, good pit delirium ... Come on guys, do me a favor and next time, make an album! It costs more, but I think where you're at (experience and qualities) you really ought to step it up a gear!