Double Gnarly/Triple Suicide
Harpoon’s Double Gnarly/Triple Suicide is bonkers windstorm grindcore anchored by a drum machine — cuz a drummer would surely fear eternal carpal tunnel syndrome when faced with these schizoid tempo workouts — formulated by the duo of Dean Costello and Toney Vast-Binder. Initial listens reveal some kinship with fellow machine-savvy grindists like Genghis Tron and Berzerker, but also a lot of early gorecore like Carcass and Obituary and crucial grind like (oldest) Earache stuff and Defecation. It’s cool to hear the drum machine tick-tick-tick its little heart out to the point where you’re like, “Hah, techno!” and fingers slip up and down uncontrollably on the strings while the vocalist corrodes his trachea just like Extreme Noise Terror used to. The guitars dabble in the deeper, darker, more downtuned recesses into which Bill Steer loved to dip his bloody finger. And the discipline of playing with a drum machine — it ain’t gonna wait around if you fuck up — always adds an extra dimension of admiration as I listen. But other than that, it’s what you’d expect from a grindcore album several decades into the artform: fast, faster, scream, screamier, etc. The conviction is there in spades but there is nothing to really make you sit up and say, “Holy fuck! How did they do that?” I have to confess, I was almost relieved when the album was over. But they’ve snagged a member of Lair of the Minotaur to play bass, and that’s a shit-hot band, so what the fuck do I know?