For the past ten months or so, I've been slagging the world's stupidest bands. I haven't singled out any metal acts for ridicule, for good reason: Metal is the best fucking genre imaginable. Exceptions to that statement: "Metalcore" acts with Pantera-worshipping verses and pansy crooned choruses; that glammed-out '80s bullshit and the even less talented modern-day sleaze merchants who want to "bring it back"; "rap-metal" hybrids. Basically, these abominations dilute and sterilize a musical form that should be served raw, meaning both unpolished and bloody.
This weekly column, which I've named None So Vile after a 1996 Cryptopsy album, will focus on groups with illegible logos, graphically violent lyrics, inhumanly fast blast beats and, occasionally, incongruously gorgeous guitar solos. My primary goal is to spotlight regional purveyors of gloriously brutal noise, those longhaired heroes on the local scene's fringes, but I'll also mention relevant upcoming shows and releases from national, and often international, acts.
I purposefully launched None So Vile to coincide with tonight's Gore Grind Extravaganza at the Riot Room, which epitomizes metal's singular fusion of technical prowess and creative depravity. The best band on the bill, the Independence-based Gornography, might be the loudest duo in area history. Fletcher Kline shreds through the riffs, while Chris Wilson (also the masked man behind the kit in Troglodyte) speed-pummels the drums. It can be hard to decipher Kline's guttural belches, so during concerts, he considerately announces titles such as "Vomitous Vaginal Anal Death Machine."
Gornography's hearty kin isn't traumatized by the likes of "Leech Filled Cunt." "Our families are supportive of what we do," Kline says. "They realize that when you're playing extreme heavy music, you can't sing about flowers and angels." (Unless, of course, you're referencing the "Angel of Death.") Kline defines "gore grind" as "writing about the most extreme topics you can possibly come up with, and becoming so good at your instruments that your songs are extremely hard to play and always challenging." I'd call it a blood-splattered blur, like hit-and-run dismemberment at a million miles-per-hour.
The Gore Grind Extravaganza offers Gornography the rare opportunity to play with four other acts representing its chosen micro-genre. Cemetery Rapist, from Springfield, MO, consists of one-man-band Clay, who croaks like a mutated bullfrog while triggering programmed beats. Intestinal Alien Reflux, a dude from Lansing, Michigan, adorns tracks like "Blood Semen Orgasm" with appropriate samples (South Park's Jeffrey Dahmer: "What good are intestines if you can't have sex with them?") The Texas duo Diarrhea of the Mouth (no, I did not mean Diarrhea of the South) boasts a vocalist who sounds like a slime percolator, while Columbia, MO's Intracranial Butchery produces watery gurgles and pig whistles. These acts all cater to the same knowledgeable sick-fuck demographic, meaning Kline's band won't field Skynyrd requests like it did while gigging with the grungy cover band Stolen Winnebagos at Jerry's Bait Shop in Lee's Summit.
Gornography's latest song, "Visions of Gore," slated for inclusion on its full-length debut, incorporates melodic guitar and changes of pace, elements that might help people appreciate the group on a new level. For tonight, though, standard responses such as "holy shit, these guys play fast" and "did he just say 'Spinal Fuck Fest'?" work just fine.
Further Listening: Two of the best grindcore acts ever have bludgeoning new discs scheduled for release this spring. Check out the title track to Agoraphobic Nosebleed's Agorapocalypse Now and six selections from Napalm Death's Time Waits for No Slave.