Blood And Popcorn
posted on 11/2007 By:
Fondlecorpse’s Blood and Popcorn EP was originally intended to be a split with the now-unstable Frightmare, but due to delays from that end the band decided to release this material by itself. In case you couldn’t tell by the cover art or track titles (or the Frightmare link), this is a Razorback release, and while this Dutch outfit’s take on this style isn’t anything wholly original and has its share of downsides to boot, this is a pretty damn good EP that interests me enough in the band for me to keep an eye on them in the future.
If you’ve heard some of the Razorback staples such as Ghoul, Engorged, and Frightmare then you have a pretty good idea of what to expect from Fondlecorpse: a catchy mixture of old-school thrash, death, and grind with a modern touch to the vocals and musicianship and an almost exclusive focus on old B-horror subject matter. The band pulls off this popular formula to some degree of success, as all five tracks here are well-played and pretty damn fun to listen to overall. Opener “Twice The Hate, Twice The Carnage” is led by a catchy mid-paced riff that is expanded upon with some sweet melodic leads as the song goes on, and “Feral Mutant Attack,” my favorite song here, has some really sweet bass lines and contains some of the catchiest riffs the disc has to offer. These guys are definitely capable of writing (and playing) some pretty memorable licks, no doubt about it, and there are several really good guitar solos in here as well. But Fondlecorpse struggles in giving their songs the hooks needed to really make an impact on the listener; I’ve listened to this EP numerous times, and yet the only track I really find sticking in my head is “Feral Mutant Attack.” I would blame this partly on the mix, which has its share of problems--vocals are too high, guitar solos are too low, and the riffs just don’t leap out at you and leave their mark like when you’re listening to some of Razorback’s more established bands.
The fact that the style this group chooses to play is already nearing over-saturation and redundancy in the metal scene doesn’t help matters either, for while Fondlecorpse does make an effort to add their own little touches to the well-treaded formula, this is basically the same kind of stuff we‘ve been rocking out to since We Came For The Dead, and it just doesn‘t sound as fresh and innovative as it once did. Finally, while they're not terrible by any means, I didn’t think that much of Silvester Goregnome’s vocal work; lacking the over-the-top craziness of Frightmare or the genuine creative talent of Ghoul and Splatterhouse, the vocals mostly stay in a traditional low register and do little to spice up the songs, usually just making the riffs harder to hear.
In spite of these issues, I think most readers who are fans of the label will have a pretty good time with Blood and Popcorn. This band still has a ways to go before they’ll be mentioned alongside the other Razorback greats, but the fundamental songwriting here is tight and pretty damned solid overall. As its an EP, this will no doubt be available at a cheap price, so if you are into the style and looking for something new to munch on, I recommend you go ahead and give Fondlecorpse a try.
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