Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Graf Orlock- Destination Time Today

Official Myspace
Label:Vitriol Records
Release Type: Full Length, LP
Genre: Grindcore

Every one's favorite movie obsessed band, Graf Orlock are back with more movie quotes than Egon could track. For those who are unaccustomed to Graf Orlock, picture all your favorite action/sci-fi movies from the 80's and early 90's crammed in between blasts of angry grindcore with tons of rhythmic pauses and hardcore emphasises, paired with a lot energy. A very fun and energetic band, their first LP was highly enjoyable and pure fun, so I had high hopes for this one.

Doing a compare and contrast, using 2006's Destination Time: Yesterday the only thing that's really changed is the band's intensity. Where Yesterday was blistering fast, and skillfully interjected breakdowns, stomps and movie quotes to heighten the intensity, it feels that Today leans a lot more to hardcore and the more mid paced side of things and loses a lot of kick that their first LP had. An area that I really don't like to frequent is how much is too much of a gimmick? The title of "cinema-grind" has been bestowed upon Graf Orlock, and for obvious reasons. Usually I dislike bands that have a gimmick, but I really dig Graf Orlock because they understand entertainment and combine it perfectly with music that, like the actions movies they worship, is fun because it doesn't take itself too seriously and melds the ridiculousness we get with hindsight after seeing Terminator 2 10 years after you first saw it with the awesome explosions, action, characters and stories of that little nine year old kid watching Arnie combat a liquid robot. In short, Graf Orlock know their audience and balance solid music with a fun attitude. The production is solid, the musicianship is fine, there's really no complaints to be made about that stuff, just the songwriting's a bit unsatisfying.( although I really like how the album ends and the track Pre-Retirement Nerves; "Cop Killers")

Immediately, the first complaint are the quotes. While normally quotes are just a garnish, with Graf Orlock they're a pretty big part of the sound, and these quotes this time around aren't as funny, cool, or nostalgic as they were on Yesterday. Of course the Terminator quote is great, but there's no moments where the music's blasting, a quick violent quote is interjected, then you plunge down a grindcore roller coaster. The songs aren't too memorable and allows for an enjoyable listen as background music. The solo in An Interest In Prosthetics is appualingly bad, I think it's a guitar but sounds like bagpipes, really bad move. It's a hard gimmick for them to keep up and keep fresh, and with this release it seems to have worn a bit thin. There aren't many parts I feel I could bang my head to, or see myself enjoying live, there's not too much to set the songs apart.

On the brighter side of things, the album's dirt cheap, and of course has excellent packaging and is very neat. If you're a fan of any of their work, or think this might interest you, don't hesitate to buy it. It's the kind of album you'll never regret buying, but might not listen to it that often.

The end of the trilogy is a bit disappointing, but it maintains a level of quality that doesn't leave you bitter or annoyed. Do yourself a favour and get their first LP, great album and a lot of fun; Really done well.




King Cripple said...

Sounds like the same trap Austrian Death Machine fell into. As gimmicks go, structuring a band around memorable movies/quotes has a fairly short lifespan.

The first album sounds pretty damn entertaining, though.

Andrew Childers said...

i'm still turntable-less for the time being. anybody got any word when this might come out on CD? i've seen nothing out of level plane on that.

Flesh Monolith said...

No idea about cd pressing. I bet it won't be out for quite some time. The first album defiantly rides the gimmick well and creates music that surpasses the gimmick. Check out Phantom Limb too, it's the band's hardcore band; they ain't so bad.