Wednesday, December 29, 2010

New Vinyl Roundup--Assuck--Blindspot

Having just this week obtained a turntable for myself to geek out on and sling my DNA at, I decided that now the time was finally ripe to introduce the New Vinyl Roundup feature, where I get records that might be new (they aren't, they're just new to me) and give you the inside skinny about what kind of crap you can buy at a show down at Red 7 in Austin, TX.  Today's feature was only made possible through the lack of effort of one Van Damned of Crustcake fame, who I count among the tip top as one of my crustiest and cakiest bros.  He left this record (as well as Tragedy's Vengeance LP) in my car a while ago, and I've been keeping it safe for him until he finally apparates to claim what is rightfully his.  Well, surprise, bitch!  I'm listening to your records!

Assuck takes me back to good old Bakersfield, CA, where I grew up in suburban bliss (read: angry white punk rock kid).  I had some homebros who would argue music with me from time to time, and one of them came across an Assuck album and for some reason bought it.  This was unusual for us back in those days, because this was pre-Interbung and pre-actual-employment for all of us, and the fact that he would spend some of his weed money on a record none of us had ever heard of is, I suppose, a testament to Assuck's truly ridiculous name and admirable punk rock aesthetic.  He brought the album home and showed it to me, and I remember being impressed with his boldness for buying and bringing home an album by a band with the word "Ass" in their name (these were much more innocent times, indeed).  We immediately put it on, hungry to have the cutting edge on our friends and ravenous to be the first to have heard such an exciting band with a curse word emblazoned across each and every one of their albums.

What came out was...unsettling for me.  Assuck is a grind band, for one thing; I was more than accustomed to things that were reasonably faster than the average music, but this went beyond the simple rebellion that I had cultivated from political punk rock and constantly whacking off.  It had what I now know are called blastbeats.  Holy shit, I remember being completely taken aback by such a brutal assault.  This coupled with the (at that point) amazingly guttural vocal style made me long to hear the nasal vocals and socially acceptable rebellion style of my favorite bands.

This early foray into the bleak, unsettling world of grindcore sticks with me to this day.  Since Van bought an Assuck album at some show we went to (I think it was Thrones), I decided that the imposing album should immediately be listened to by me so that I could listen to it with my impressive new set of ears and the adult cool that keeps me from being frightened by any new music, except Lady Gaga (have you SEEN that bitch?!?).  What I found zapped me back to that bedroom in the year 19-dickety-whatever where I got my first taste of tr00 underground grind.

Blindspot is, in the normal fashion of Grind EP's, painfully short.  At seven songs, it's actually pretty tedious to listen to, because every 4 minutes or so you have to go put the needle back at the beginning of the side or flip the record over.  What is this, the middle ages?  Listening to vinyl, I guess it basically is.  Assuck's grind assault sounds just as I remembered it to sound, which is to say it's got the guttural grunts and br00tal slams that, during my formative punk rocker years, would invariably lead me to turn my nose up in disgust and pretend that I wasn't afraid of something so extreme, and that I just thought it was gay.  Assuck churn and blast, the music adequately disjointed and tumultuous for my average 7 a.m. music listening sessions.  The EP also has that old-school "charm" of early metal, having been recorded at Morrisound Studios in 1992, which, as we all know, is the heyday for br00tal metal music that nobody had any idea how to record or mix.  Which is a good thing...right?

The debate over analog versus digital recording is a kvltroversy I intend to explore later on (soon), but the bottom line is that Assuck is not as gay (frightening) as I remember them being.  In fact, they're pretty good and should be (and probably already have been) experienced by any grind enthusiast on the market for something that will make you feel superior to others due to it's shaky production and early 90's aesthetic.  You haven't heard Assuck yet?  *Scoff* I've been listening to them since I was, like, 10.  Get with it, homo.

Now let's all go start a fire and ride our skateboards...oh lame...I mean get ready for work.

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