posted on 4/2012 By:
The Italian punks in Cripple Bastards have been grinding along since the late 1980s, and though they haven't always been among the first bands that come to mind when the sub-genre’s biggest acts are listed, in that quarter-century, they’ve nevertheless managed to quietly and loudly carve out a place in the shadows of the higher ranks of grindcore. Starting out in far sloppier days with their heavily hardcore-indebted full-length debut Your Lies In Check, the Bastards have since morphed into a better-produced, less crust and more polished grindcore outfit, though they’ve lost none of their absolutely raging edge in the process. Senza Impronte, which is Italian for “no fingerprints” when translated via the wonders of the Internet, is a five-song EP, available on 7” vinyl. It’s the band’s first release for Relapse, and it’s the logical continuation of the sound and fury of their last long-player, 2008’s Variante Alla Morte.
Opening with the blast-happy “Regime Artificiale,” Senza Impronte comes out killing, with Der Kommisar’s guitar slicing nicely between Al Mazzotti’s blastbeasts and founding member Giulio The Bastard’s array of vocal screams and grunts and barks. Of the eight minutes of music contained herein, the title track is both the most pummeling and the most memorable – with a killer blasting intro and a swinging hardcore midsection that fit snugly together, ending with a stout riff and as much of a vocal hook as grindcore will ever allow. Between the grind and the punk, it’s a near-perfect pounding distillation of the Bastards’ ethic in two minutes’ time. Combine “Senza Impronte” with the closing punch of “Mondo Plastico” (“Plastic World”) and “Soggetto Leucemico / 10 Fassi Falsi” (“Leukemia Subject / 10 Missteps”) and it’s there that the Bastards’ attack fully hammers home. Of the latter tracks, the former is mostly a minute of hardcore punk, with a sliding and swinging riff to bring it home, while the split-titled closer is more experimental – it flirts with stop-start tempo changes and dashes of dissonant riffage, a la post-millennium Napalm Death’s exploration of the uglier and more angular side of head-aching extremity.
Though only Giulio remains from the band’s dirty beginnings in the Asti hardcore scene, Cripple Bastards’ angry, violent take on punk-fueled grindcore remains intact, noticeably sharper and stouter than in their earliest days. These Bastards are not always the most talked-about grind outfit around, but nevertheless, twenty-five years in, they’re still powerful and supremely pissed-off elder statesmen, and Senza Impronte is further furious proof of their continued vitality.
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