Symphonies Of Slackness
posted on 4/2009 By:
2009 has been good to me so far. Behind the February offering of Napalm Death's monstrous Time Waits For No Slave and the April release of Brutal Truth's return, I also belatedly stumbled across this year-old offering. Don't let the overt silliness of Symphonies Of Slackness fool you, kids. Behind the oddball song titles and the parody album title and the perversely suggestive moniker lies an absolutely ferocious and severely punishing Aussie grindcore collective.
Captain Cleanoff is old-school, although not particularly so in production values. They’re clearly influenced by the founding fathers of grind (Carcass, Napalm Death), and yet they’re sporting the sheen of a modern outfit (or at least a modern Napalm Death record). The disc sounds good; the songs aren't simply short bursts of madness--they're well-constructed bursts of madness. Like the best grindcore platters of yore, the record ebbs and flows, with tension and release of a more traditional nature, just sped up to the point of chaos. These tracks are not content to merely bludgeon, although bludgeon they do—they’re happy enough to groove when the time is right. (Witness the vintage thrash-core-esque breakdown in "Mr. Serious.") The riffs are simple, vicious, chord-based, punky; the bass tone is gnarly, fuzzy, Embury-onic; the drums are relentless, pounding one moment and rocking the next, never letting up and never falling short. The vocals alternate between high screams and low growls. Despite clearly borrowing its title from Symphonies Of Sickness, that Carcass classic is not the most immediate record I’d point to when describing Slackness. This symphony plays more like that symphony with a hearty dash of From Enslavement To Obliteration crossed with World Downfall.
If you like grindcore of any and all eras, this one’s for you. If you don't like grindcore, I still recommend that you check out Symphonies Of Slackness—it’s frantic and blistering, but it’s got enough old-school flavor to transcend most grind-detractors’ biggest criticisms (lack of any memorable moments, the focus on destructive power at the expense of mood, etc). These Symphonies are more than worth your time, and it’s highly likely that this would’ve made my Top Ten of 2008 had I run across it in time.
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