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Saturday, 9 April 2011

Why I Grind.

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In order that I might avoid repeating content and occupy yet more internet space reviewing dirge I thought instead to pose a question: Why does one like Grindcore?

The underlying motivation for this can be sourced at various springs, but recently I have found it necessary to go over the tired old quota of qualifiers as to why this particular form isn't the same as Death Metal or Punk- often this becomes a conversation more about defending and justifying grind's existence rather than extolling it's virtues.

To overcome this, then, I elect to note features of Grind that I deem to be it's property, the 'unique selling points' to borrow from the very ungrind world of marketing terminology. The identified aspects are just a beginning, I hope people will contribute their own ideas.

Without getting bogged down in the kung-fu competitiveness of drumming technique and speed, for me the foremost aspect of Grind is it's hyperactive, fidgety attitude.
This surfaces in many ways- perhaps most obviously in the ubiquitous 'microsong' - and permeates not only the actual music itself but also the aesthetic at large.
The nature of Grind's songs is frantic: the structures change very quickly and usually provide no quarter for the musician's ability, often benefitting from ignoring said abilities in favour of just banging it out as fast as possible.
To contrast this have you ever noticed how despite incredible drumming much Death Metal seems plodding and slow?

Music as a whole is beset by code.
Flowing not only from the audiences requirements of having their entertainment product clearly labelled, but pouring top-down from bands trying to set out attainable goals for their music. This includes Grind, like virtually any other anything ever.
However the rules that get fucked are the rules of the music business.
Grindcore operates in a way that ERODES the values of other music- ignoring the behest of quality and production. Again it benefits from from this counteraction; much of the best grind is incredibly under-produced, and packaged in simple black-and-white imagery. Ok so this is undoubtedly leftover genetics from Punk DNA, however Grind evolved this idea- bound the concept of anti-quality up with a fierce attitude to create a non-style.
The minute you start to properly produce a Grind band BAM!!! oh shit they have become Death Metal, or Punk or Crust etc etc ad nauseum.
Perhaps true Grind is platonic: an unobtainable idea that can never be corrupted into being.

Grind is fun.
Sure but so are a lot of genres, right?
Grind is like being held hostage by fun!
The music is so lively and energetic that the natural reaction is to start smashing shit the fuck up. And I mean that in a the best of ways, unlike the live scenes of the other extreme genres. Maniacal screaming, catchy riffs and blastbeats combine with a force strong enough to blur the boundaries of positive crowd behaviour and negative toughguy postures- resulting in a delightful mix of crowd surfing and silly wrestling. This is because the music is IMMEDIATE and FUN.
Due to Grind's disregard of quality and chaotic nature the live spectacle will probably be an exhilarating mess. It won't matter, don't let your mate who's well into Meshuggah whine about the instrument levels and things going in-and-out of key (or lacking one in the first place). These attributes are the entire reason to be seeing a Grind band in the first place- they are going to be as worn out as up-river salmon after 15 mins of playing their guts out (and if they are TRUE like say, Wormrot, having watched the entire gig from the front) so band and audience will come together in a commune of blissful exhaustion. Or you could go to a Metal gig and watch people nod a bit and buy expensive t-shirts, it's you life.

Those are my thoughts, GIVE ME YOURS.