Release DetailsLABEL Scarlet
RELEASED ON 4/30/2012
posted on 7/2012 By:
There’s one of those memes going around that relates to awkward situations. It starts “That moment when . . . “ and is followed by something potentially embarrassing. After repeated listens, it somehow felt apropos to do a series of those based on my experience listening to the new release from Natron.
1. “ . . . you discover the new album is an album of re-recorded old material.”
“Hey, new Natron!” I exclaimed as the opportunity to review Grindermeister presented itself. Once it arrived, I read the gnarly track listing and loaded it up to listen. About halfway through, I glanced at the press release and found that these were re-recordings largely drawn from their debut full-length Hung Drawn & Quartered, plus one track from their Unpure EP. That’s the sort of thing that can dampen your experience right away – especially when you haven’t heard the original versions.
2. “ . . . memories from your past are disproved.”
Many years ago, I bought a used copy of Negative Prevails from the local music store. It was one of those places with several listening stations so you could check out the used stuff before buying it. I had never heard of Natron before but was drawn to their melodic/technical styling (them being a grindcore band never even entered my mind.) Although I didn’t spin it with any regularity, I always kept Natron in the back of my mind as this awesome band I could whip out on people (and of course, if I ever needed something really badass to listen to.)
Well, things in the back of your mind don’t often get a lot of attention. I did eventually pick up Bedtime For Mercy, but it has served more as a placeholder than anything else. I didn’t even know about the two that followed until I started writing this. Did something happen in the meantime? As I listen to Grindermeister, I hear nothing of what I remembered. The material is serviceable, at best. I can’t imagine these tracks have been changed too much with the update, although I’m sure the sound quality is better. I’ve listened through several times and have spent more time asking “How much time is left?” than “Woah, what was that?” as I look back to whatever the playing device of choice had been. All of which left me wondering if I had glorified my memories of Natron because they were a discovery that I made on my own in my early 20s, the “more underground than thou” part of my life where mediocrity could be ignored in the name of obscurity.
3. “ . . . the best track on an album is the cover song.”
That’s never good sign, right? Their take on Terrorizer’s “Dead Shall Rise” is pretty killer, and it grabs the listener right away. The problem, of course, is that it makes the rest of the album seem that less impressive by contrast, and “They do a mean Terrorizer cover” is hardly the sort of sentiment that ends up on one-sheets and cover stickers.
4. “ . . . your negative review of an album that you requested from the label gets submitted to said label.”
Grindermeister is an album that probably didn’t need to happen. Natron has a cult following at best, and they aren’t likely to garner a bunch of new fans with this one. In addition, re-recordings are rarely even embraced by fans because the usually like the originals better. Although I can’t recommend this, I can say that it has stirred up enough curiosity in my mind that I’ll be awaiting their next offering of brand new material.
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