posted on 8/2005 By:
Selfmadegod Records is proving itself to be a reliable organization. With high-quality releases from the likes of Antigama and Security Threat under its belt, the Polish grindcore institution pushes forward with the latest from long-standing blasters Third Degree. Outstay, their second full-length album after a fairly long wait, isn’t going to blow a lot of minds with wild inventiveness or creativity, but it will certainly calm the methamphetamine tics of more than a few blastbeat freaks. Put simply, this is straightforward Napalm Death-inspired grind with post-millenial production values and a handful of experimental moments, done tastefully and without pretense.
Third Degree are, for the most part, content to keep it in fast’n’simple territory here, and the majority of their riffing rolls in a thick, downtuned sheet over the omnipresent choppy blastbeats. A few songs here, and “Sick” in particular, reach all the way back to the simplistic hardcore/thrash of Max Cavalera project Nailbomb for inspiration (read: they basically lifted the riff from "Wasting Away"). In the face of the predominantly straightforward songwriting, the band exhibits some impressively tight musicianship, as drummer Gonzo especially exhibits some speedy chops and foot quickness. The entire album seems to combine old school songwriting texture with a modern sheen, as though Nasum were covering From Enslavement to Obliteration. Appealing as such a style may sound, its drawbacks become apparent three or four tracks into the album. The clarity of the production and tightness of the musicianship robs the early grindcore style of its filthy, punky vigor and leaves a clanging metallic skeleton that seems somehow less intense and heavy.
Fortunately, Third Degree have just enough tricks up their collective sleeve to bail them out. Just before the album starts to drag, the second half of “Ojcze Moj” kicks into a tight-wound Meshuggah groove that displaces just enough mass to make the next high-velocity volley palatable and even enjoyable. A few ripping tracks later, “Why Are They Not Coming” deploys a chunky groove with just enough of a spastic twitch to spark the listener’s interest. The majority of the album’s remaining tracks from there on out each add at least one or two tangential kicks to lend some flavor to the album’s white-knuckle flow; “Never Gonna Get Me” even contains a semi-ambient melodic segment that, while not spectacularly well-executed, is enough of a rarity on a grind album to prove interesting.
To dispel any confusion on the matter, Third Degree’s propensity for occasionally tossing in an off-kilter riff or rhythm shouldn’t equate them with genre-whoring riff-stackers like Between the Buried and Me. This album is 95% balls-out grind and will appeal primarily to fans of such; Outstay attacks along straight-ahead axes, and relies on diversity only when it must. It’s hardly the most impressive grind album of the year thus far, but it’s satiated this grinder’s urge to finger-blast on the desk for a while.
Register to post comments.