DNF - Hurt [7-inch] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


Hurt [7-inch] (2012)

High Anxiety / No Idea Records

For those who felt like Touché Amoré and Trash Talk weren't raw enough, might I suggest DNF? Boasting members of both bands, DNF specializes in extra grinding grindcore. No emotional bullshit, just breakneck hardcore speeds. While the group has been on the members' periphery, at least in terms of output, it has taken a major leap forward with the Hurt EP.

By some standards, eight tracks is certainly a full-length, but DNF plows through songs so quickly that Hurt feels like it's over before it has even begun. These tunes consist of rapid fire beats and barely comprehensible, shouted vocals. Sure, the tunes occasionally get sludgy, like during the powerful intro to opener "Homesick," or drowned out in feedback, like on just about every song presented. But for the most part, this is grindcore territory, and Hurt is a quick, disorienting listen.

"Homesick" is simultaneously the best and worst opener for the EP. It's arguably the least representative of the songs overall, as it's really a two-minute sludge instrumental with a 30-second hardcore song tacked on at the end. But when the band kicks into grindcore mode, it's pretty damn effective. From there on out, Hurt is a parade of bone-breaking numbers.

Hurt is a real ass-kicker, but it's also a little monotonous. DNF essentially has one setting, and its liquefy. But "Homesick" offers a glimpse into another direction for the band. Adding some sludge, or even psych, elements would help diversify the palette a bit. But that would be a totally different side project. DNF specializes in putting the hurt on eardrums, and it does it well.