Fruher war auch nicht alles gut
posted on 12/2006 By:
Of all the metal subsets I deal with as a reviewer, I almost always find grind releases the most immediately refreshing. Don’t ask me why—maybe it’s for the same reason that I enjoy contact sports and cheap liquor. The visceral, brain-stem-level aggression and bullshitless attitude associated with the genre does wonders for me after wading through power or black metal albums, and while I might not remember much of the proceedings, grind is almost always a pleasing listen. Enter Japanische Kampfhörspiele, who’ve got the grind goin’ on in spades—plus another of my favorite musical traits: weirdness. This early-works collection has most everything I look for in grind.
This band has been building quite a respectable reputation for themselves in the grind community; comparisons are frequently made to the whole Swede-grind Nasum/Rotten Sound/whomever scene, but I think they’re a little off base. If I had to name an immediate point of reference for these Germans it would actually be an American band: Pig Destroyer. Both seem to share the same musical philosophy; rather than simply writing grind songs, these bands throw together influences from all over the extreme metal spectrum (death, thrash, grind, black, et cetera), write songs with them, and then compress everything down into hyperspeed, one-to-two-minute rampages. Though JaKa doesn’t have the advantage of a super-talented riffmaster like Scott Hull or the creepy aesthetic provided by J.R. Hayes (well, they might, but their song titles and lyrics are all in German so it’s lost on me), they still manage to cram way more ideas into each song than the average grind band—or the average metal band in general. The result is a forceful, percussive, furious, and extremely entertaining collection of tracks that are just as musically interesting as they are brutal. Fruher War Auch Nicht Alles Gut even sports a clear, comprehensible production—a rarity for both grindcore and odds’n’sods collections like this one.
Call me a sucker for grind, but I’d much rather listen to this than all but the most finely crafted prog or power metal outing. Sure, it’s comparatively simplistic and unrefined, but bands like JaKa are just so much more fun; these guys obviously don’t give a fuck, and the punk attitude relieves the metal songwriting of much of its ponderous seriousness. Recommended for those who enjoy the genre or anyone whose ears need a good scouring.
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