Double Gnarly / Triple Suicide
posted on 2/2009 By:
Chicago’s Harpoon deliver the goods in a big way on their first proper full-length Double Gnarly / Triple Suicide. Originally a duo consisting of vocalist Toney Vast-Binder and guitarist/drum programmer Dean Costello, the band has since added ex-Lair of the Minotaur bassist DJ Barraca to their ranks. This album is mostly a re-recording of their 2008 demo plus additional tracks, with mastering courtesy of Scott Hull. Essentially a grindcore act, Harpoon also embrace noisy, pre-Killswitch Engage metalcore and a big helping of thrash, often sounding like the missing link between Botch, Slayer and Pig Destroyer. Double Gnarly / Triple Suicide is a brief but brutal collection of ditties that’s big on speed and intensity but balanced out by expert songwriting, all laced with a dark sense of humor. These gents are smart enough to know that straight-up grindcore can easily be dull, and have thus kept this twenty-five-minute blast engaging at all times with an array of attention-grabbing hooks, grooves and off-kilter rhythms. The excellent guitarwork of Dean Costello is a highlight; just listen to some of the head-scalping riffs he concocts on such numbers as “Lefty,” “The Midget and the Duchess” or the brilliant “Throngs” for proof.
There isn’t really much to criticize on Double Gnarly / Triple Suicide, as it does everything an album of this kind should, while falling short of being spectacular in any way. In the context of grindcore so far in 2009, Harpoon don’t have anywhere near the density or gravitas of say the new Napalm Death, but they’re a less demanding listen with a greater emphasis on simply rocking out. And the twelve songs they’ve delivered here are strong enough that Double Gnarly / Triple Suicide holds up very well on repeat listens. Not essential, but extremely solid and a lot of fun.
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