Magrudergrind - Magrudergrind (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick


Magrudergrind (2009)


Last year, Magrudergrind released their sophomore effort only to be tragically overlooked by Punknews and its readers. Yes, even I am guilty of leaving the record off my Year-End to keep the Chris Moore count to just one. After settling with Coke Bust's Lines in the Sand (debut from Moore's hardcore band), I started to crave the savage and ear-splitting noises of Magrudergrind; the record proved to have a lot more staying power. With Converge's Kurt Ballou and Pig Destroyer's Scott Hull manning the production and the mix, the Washington D.C.-based trio pummel through 16 tracks of top-notch grind and powerviolence.

Those 16 tracks seem intimidating, sure; but snug between the blast beats and movie samples is either a deliberately catchy rhythm or a standout section that's executed like a metaphorical punch in the face. Take "The Protocols of Anti-Sound," for example. After the guitars break, the vocals and the drums shift to a demented waltz coaxed by ADHD. When the record reaches "Bridge Burner," you're locked into a tight and steady groove--almost every "critic" has praised this song, so forgive the redundancy, but the track deserves it. If you couldn't tell the guitars were drop tuned, it's unmistakable here.

Even though the movie samples do add a dash of humor to the otherwise no-bullshit, politically charged song titles, they aren't at all cheesy. And there's no rolling double bass or real goofy dual growl/high-pitch scream thing--instead, simple and catchy riffs that sometimes recall ‘80s hardcore, sometimes death metal, and traditional screams with a nice grunt every once in a while tossed in for effect.

It isn't about innovation, but what can be done within one's limits; it's Magrudergrind's uncompromising speed and skillful bits of variation that makes for an accessible and powerful piece of heavy music. Don't miss out.