Saturday, January 21, 2012

Occult 45 - Grind Funk Railroad

It's been a hectic week with me trying to run around and visit as many friends as I can before I head back off to school. Now that the week is coming to a close and I've made my rounds, I actually decided to check my email and I noticed a message about this free grind demo, Grind Funk Railroad, from Philadelphia-based Occult 45.

Free grind? Color me interested. This is some cool shit. Fuzzy and with a lot of d-beat influence, there are some relatively unique passages on this demo. The opener "Intro/The Farmers Daughter" is a brooding, groove-laden monster of a track. The intro passage is slow, almost doom influenced, and guitarist Dean Sykes' use of bends works really well with the fuzzed out, feedback filled production. What I assume to be "The Farmers Daughter" begins after a True Romance sample, and leads straight into "Body Melt," which is easily the most grindcore track on the demo. Drummer Jason Dost plays some absolutely frenetic blastbeats while vocalist John Hauser ferociously belts out the title of the track.

One thing I noticed with "Body Melt" and even the extremely short "Passion for Ignorance" is that these guys know how to break it down. I tend to enjoy it when even the most abrasive grind tracks devolve into a groovy, slam-pit rut. The final track on the relatively short (even for grind) demo "Tehran Desert Vampire" is a bit crustier which is a welcome change of pace coming from the previous two tracks.

Overall while Occult 45's sound on Grind Funk Railroad isn't the most original, they make up for what they lack in originality with the execution of that sound. There isn't a bass on Grind Funk Railroad, and that's what made me think of Magrudergrind the first time I listened through the demo. That's not to say there isn't any bass frequencies though, as the guitar is tuned low and has a very fuzzy, organic tone. They've also got all the ferocity of Magrudergrind to boot. Definitely worth checking these guys out as they release more material.

7.5 out of 10


Intro/The Farmers Daughter 

Body Melt

Passion for Ignorance

Tehran Desert Vampire

Choo Choo! (Bandcamp)

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