Release DetailsLABEL Willowtip
RELEASED ON 4/20/2004
posted on 5/2004 By:
To screamy to be goregrind, but too sloppy and vicious to be anything but grindcore, San Francisco's Vulgar Pigeons return to deliver some of the more destructive music I've heard in a while. Formed in 1998 and sharing members with Benumb, Imperialism is Vulgar Pigeons' sophomore effort, completely crushing their first album as well as any band currently tapping into the more hardcore side of grind.
Combining nearly everything that makes grindcore what it is, Imperialism jumps all over the map. Aggressive old-school thrash rhythms, ridiculous fucking tapping, liberally placed artificial harmonics, heavy-as-shit basslines that you'll feel in your gut - there's even a few arpeggios thrown in for good measure. Vulgar Pigeons use one of the more effective vocal styles in grind, working with both a hardcore yell and a low growl. Unbelievably stable drumming really works magic in keeping these songs feeling complete, providing the groundwork and changing at the perfect moment to compensate for the erratic time changes. Despite the general hardcore/thrash feel of the album, with sickening low-growls and a classic chunky guitar tone, there's a heavy nod to the more death metal side of grindcore, which should be apparent as soon as the first real track hits, "The Pollution of History". There's almost a riff lifted directly out of Carcass' "Inpropagation" - I can't say I'm too surprised, seeing as how Vulgar Pigeons appeared on a Carcass tribute album with their own take on "Corporal Jigsore Quandary".
Being closer to Benumb in terms of sound, in terms of songwriting, Vulgar Pigeons remind me of Cephalic Carnage in the sense that they're both highly chaotic but maintain their own unmistakeable sound. I'd almost label it as progressive grindcore, but that might be a little misleading. No, there aren't any middle eastern instruments, organ solos, or spoken word poetry, but there's a great amount of variety for a style of music that's so typically hated for it's consistency. (or unoriginality, as some may call it) They go from the strange and flurried blast of "Blot on Humanity" to the straightforward thrash of "Attack of the Bullet Belt Committee". It's admirable to see a band take grind and purify it while making it so fucking catchy.
Getting Agoraphobic Nosebleed's Scott Hull to produce the album was probably the wisest move the band's ever made, as I sincerely wanted to enjoy their first album, Summary Execution, far more than I actually did. The band didn't change in terms of musicality, they changed in terms or production. It's a vast improvement this time around. You could always tell they were playing something great, and it's about time we're able to hear it.
It's difficult to actually form a grindcore band with the intention of having your own distinguishable sound. To a lot of people, this is going to sound like just another boring grind release with yelled vocals. I fucking assure you though, in terms of quality and memorability, it doesn't get much better than this.
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