Label: Bizarre Leprous Productions
Release Type: Full-Length
Here it is: an album that is sure to separate the true grind fans from our unfortunate, and woefully numerous, fair-weather friends. This intentionally raw, Lo-Fi production (enough to misconstrue it as a Live recording) comes to us straight from the underground - EQ'd so the optimal listening experience is one decibel below the pain threshold. The poor production is its charm, really. And that is just how it was meant to be! Don't get me wrong, I can get snobby about production from time to time - I simply prefer turning an album up over turning it down.
SFHS draws their influence from each step of the evolutionary ladder from crust to modern grindcore. They also lean heavily on FETO-era Napalm Death and, just for giggles, toss in a splatter of gore. Interestingly enough, they manage to serve us this blend on each track - with few songs sticking to one distinct approach. This is the prime reason why poor production should not be a deterrent. Even through the chaotic blasts, the pitch-shifted vomit growls and the bass-heavy groove bits, you can make out 90% of the riffs. And the other 10%? Super fun, of course.
Never mind their name; just taking a quick glance across the track list gives the clear indication that these guys do not take themselves too seriously. The titles randomly evoke thoughts of powerviolence, goregrind and everything in-between. As if "It's Not Taboo If It Happens To You" and "Bohemian Sodomy" could be taken any other way than humorous...
I mentioned the pitch-shifted vomit growls. This is indeed the mainstay on the album. They are well placed within the mix; not overpowering, not so low as to cause bass issues; and more importantly, not sounding like a clogged, gurgling sink. Throughout the play list everyone gets into the vocal act, with a powerviolence screamer, a hardcore rasper and some death grunts here and there to keep the variety alive.
And that is the key word for Super Fun Happy Slide: variety. The first three songs give a great sign of things to come. Track one is a classic ramming-speed blaster; the second tune has a groove/grind intro that erupts into crusty powerviolence; while track three progresses and devolves from classic Napalm-esque grind to pure chaos and back.
But wait - there's more: Guitar solos! Well, decent snippets of guitar solos, with "Let's Thrash Metal" and "I Can't Believe It's Not Carcass" fittingly getting the longest stabs at the lost art of 6-string wankery. Unless you consider the new ANb grind, I have to search pretty deep to find a recent grind release featuring solos. Three cheers for SFHS!
Groovy goregrind fans will feast on "Gastrological Ventriloquist." Gore fans get plenty of moments throughout the album, but here is their song. (By the way, who is the voice from the sample at the end? Is it Robert Llewellyn - the guy who played Kryten in Red Dwarf?) Anyway, the rest of us grind freaks get to share the remaining 18 tracks with our gore brethren.
Yes indeed, friends, 19 songs in 24 minutes. Like I said, just how it was meant to be! The only disappointment I can think of is that they did not toss in the "Yes!" at the end of their "Retreat To Nowhere" cover. That's right - objectivity is key here on Chainsaw Justice. Seriously though, The Undislodgable Nugget Scenario deserves consideration in any Year-End-Top-10-List discussion. That means you better get your hands on it now before the Xmas rush kicks into full gear.
(Note: The band was nice enough to chime in on this one: "...And the sample on Gastrological is spoken by an Aussie actor called Shaun Micalleff (not sure about the surname spelling) playing a character called David McGahan (or that surname) on a 90's comedy show called Full Frontal.")