Every time I sit down to try and write about a grindcore record, I find myself butting up against the same basic question: when it comes down to it, what really is the difference between a good and a bad grind record? I mean, it’s not exactly a style of music known for nuance, you know? To the uninitiated, grind probably sounds like a bunch of hyper-blasting and incoherent screaming. But even as someone who listens to a fuckton of grind, most of it still sounds like hyper-blasting and incoherent screaming. That’s why I love it. With the exception of pornogrind—which I just can’t get into because of how processed most of it sounds, particularly the underwater vocal effects—if you play me a grind record, the chances are pretty good that I’ll like it.
So unsurprisingly, I like the recent split 7” from Dutch grind outfits Suffering Quota and My Minds Mine. I fact, I like it a lot – I’m talking ‘totally lost my shit’ level like for the entirety of my first listen to the eight song, nine-minutes-and-change record. But trying to articulate what makes this split any different from any other grind record I’ve heard this year? To misappropriate a line from Hamlet, “ay, there’s the rub.”
Let’s try considering each band separately, shall we? Suffering Quota’s music falls on the more dynamic end of the grind scale. They manage to pack a surprising amount of riffs into each of their 90 seconds or less tracks, and even throw in the occasional stop-start or tempo switch to keep things from sounding too repetitive. According to their Bandcamp page, they recorded their tracks live in the studio, so I’m especially impressed by their drummer, who never sounds like he’s playing the same beat or pattern for more than ten seconds at most – I can only imagine what seeing him live must be like. Their track “Infected” might be the strongest song on the split.
As for My Minds Mine, their sound seems like more of a pastiche of influences than Suffering Quota’s more fluid style. Within the first twenty seconds of “Microdust Warfare,” for example, they cycle through a series of riffs that run the gamut from hardcore to death metal to thrash. The transitions between the sections are seamless enough, though, that nothing seems jarring or out of place. The best part of their half of the split is the vocals. Rosco sounds absolutely bug-fuck deranged as he growls and shrieks his way through their four tracks, with his performance on “The Horror” in particular sounding so painfully unhinged that my throat hurts in sympathy from just listening to it.
In the end, I don’t know if this split will convert anyone not already into grind over to the cause. If you’re already one of the tribe, though, this split is guaranteed to knock your dick (literal or otherwise) into the dirt. Highly recommended.
The Suffering Quota/My Minds Mine 7” split is now available on either black or grey vinyl via Wolfsbane Records.