I have one more album to present to you this Grind Week, Maruta's 2008 offering In Narcosis. This week has been quite a week, and between doing everything exactly the same as I usually do and staring at the wall above my computer desk, I'm beat. Being a big, fat dynamo is difficult to keep doing nonstop all day, and with so many bands that I'm committed to stalking, I've got very little time for anything else in my life, like video games (I don't own any portable, play-while-you-lurk handheld systems) and guitar (which is usually too big to carry while you flee from the police). But I'm not trying to transmit subtle cries for help through the Interbung today, no sir. Today I want to talk about disappointment.
Disappointment is something that we all must deal with. If you have kids, you probably know all about being disappointed (hi dad!). I've been stewing on disappointment lately, and I'll tell you why. The other night, I was walking around my apartment in my (increasingly) normal fashion, sober (?!??!?), clad in my fine sleeping shorts. As I was walking, I disappointed myself by kicking the holy hell out of my couch, which is a large and unforgiving piece of seating when engaged with the bare foot. I was in agony, my toenail broken into the quick and spouting blood like the neck wound of some Quentin Tarantino movie's villain during the dramatic final showdown. I was quite disappointed in myself because:
- I know where that fucking couch is. I see it all the time, and yet still swung my dumb foot at it like it didn't even exist.
- I made my toe hurt, and I need that toe for standing, which I do about ten hours a day for work.
- It made the floor bloody.
However, sometimes we are lucky enough to avoid the horrible sting of disappointment. Literally just this morning, I was at the grocery store. I was buying this week's groceries before work, which I always do. The store was busy this morning, though, and as I loaded up my pointless shit onto the conveyor, I saw a dude standing behind me in line. This dude was maybe my age, but probably younger, and he was holding a single item in his hand, a can of delicious Pringles, plucked from the vine of inspiration to set mankind free from chips that don't come packed in a tennis ball canister.
God I love Pringles.
I briefly considered being a cool d00d and inviting this forlorn fatso to cut ahead of me in line. He had fewer items than me, and I didn't want him to just hang around. But the store was busy, and I wanted to drink coffee at home, so I decided "fuck that guy," and checked out. As I was loading the last of my bags back onto the cart, I noticed that this fellow had handed the Pringles to the cashier, who scanned them and gave him his total. And this dude whips out....
...and pays the 99 cents via check. I immediately decided that I was glad that I hadn't allowed that asshat to go ahead of me. I might have murdered him with lots of witnesses and would be writing my inane opinions from the Green Mile.
So what does this have to do with Maruta and Grind Week, you ask? Well, in the same fashion that I decided that the dude behind me could eat a penis, I've similarly come to be skeptical of my friends' opinions of music. I love my friends, and each of them are like a star in the sky, unique, beautiful, and special in every way. But I know what to expect from their recommendations, and I've (finally) learned to tailor my expectations of the music the recommend accordingly. Maruta was a band that I assumed would suck because the recommendation came from 8===D, who I love like a velvet child but whose taste in music is highly suspect.
My low expectations yielded me a pleasant surprise, though!
Maruta is a technical grind band of the highest caliber. They're borderline tech-death (which 8===D would never admit), but they fall into the genre of "grind" by virtue of the fact that they, like Nasum before them, languish in the characteristic sudden blastbeat and turn-on-a-dime style of classic and br00tal grindcore. I love it. Maruta's riffs are skronky and angular, their hooks hook-y and their songs off-kilter and hateful.
It's like a dream!
I think the thing that I really like about this album is that sense of wonder that somebody could write and then remember how to play such off-kilter and borderline proggy riffs. It's something that, as a guitar player, I've always wondered about, since the riffs seem to have such odd phrasing and arbitrary time drops and they all have to learn to play the shit as a band. I just can't imagine teaching a drummer to play along, and a singer (who tend to be pretty worthless as musicians and humans, on average) to sing along and hit his cues correctly. What a logistical nightmare!
But Maruta pull all of this off artfully, and add some pretty saucy soundclips to convey their anger about...well...whatever it is they're angry about (there's lots of stuff these days, and I don't look at lyrics anymore). So, I guess what I'm asking is, have you ever listened to Maruta? NO? But they're a really good tech-grind band! You should go listen to them; it's easy to steal their music from the Interbung. I mean, show me something that isn't easy to steal from the Interbung, right? Maybe couches, I guess. But fuck those things. They'll hurt your toe and make the floor all bloody.