Assück - Misery Index (Cover Artwork)


Misery Index (1997)

Sound Pollution

This classic record is the last effort of the Florida-based grindcore trio Assück. For those of you who are familiar with the genre: Don't let the name turn you off. This has nothing to do with gore grind nor joke-grind such as A.C. For those of you unfamiliar with it: This is a very good introduction to the genre.

Assück were by no means pioneers of grindcore. They were however, in my opinion, one of the greatest songwriters the genre has ever seen. "Misery Index" offers 15 tracks of hard-hitting, lethally fast madness, all crammed into no more than 15 minutes. The low growling vocals, rapid blast beats, metal-flavored riffing combined with stop and go-parts, result in a nearly flawless display of what makes extreme music interesting. Even though every song has more or less the same feel to it, the song structuring keeps everything from getting anywhere near dull. Surprise attacks of breakdowns, mosh-parts, fast parts and ultra fast parts are arranged in a way that brutally grabs the listener's attention and doesn't let go until the last guitar stroke. The musicianship is also very impressing, especially the drumming. Guitarist/vocalist Steve Toshiba must have been amazing live, having the co-ordination to perform such high speed picking at the same time as growling equally as fast.

The lyrics are a chapter of their own. If you're fed up with regurgitated, predictable, slogan-based rhymes, look no further. Toshiba's lyrics are refreshingly deep, dealing with topics such as authority, violence, hypocrisy, futility and humanity's hopelessness in general. These topics may sound cliché, but they are dealt with in a very original and well reflected way. In some ways they resemble Bad Religion lyrics, only much crasser and darker. Highlights include "Of the many things worthy of dying there are none worthy of killing" (from "Lithographs"), as well as the opening line of the first track, "Qed": "Dare to speak of hope and aspiration, these are foul words, manufactured idols and the bait of lemmings".

If grindcore is your thing, don't limit yourself to new generation stuff like Pig Destroyer or Nasum, grab a hold of this disc.