Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Album Review: Fiend - 'Derailed'

Fresno outfit's debut 9 song E.P. is like a six minute slow motion punch in the stomach sped-up - if that makes any sense. Sonically these brahs have it going ON, I dig the heavy-on-the-low-end Nails/Kill The Client power here with the old school high-and-tight snare to kind of counter it. The tracks rumble and burst through in gloriously monochromatic fashion, leaving the listener wondering if they're still hearing the same song they have been for the last 26 seconds or Fiend has bulldozed them further down the tracklist, and I always enjoy that quality in a Grind EP - when the whole thing is over before you know it by only the sound of the suffocating silence they've turn-tabled onto your cochlears. The vocals do leave a bit to be desired on a personal level, they teeter 50/50 on the extreme pursed-lip guttural bottom, and the high pitched scream at the top of the spectrum with no in between. Both ranges are completely indecipherable and the low vox almost kind of slow down the dark and beautiful shit-bonanza happening behind them with their dragged out Cannibal Corpsey brooootality. I just found myself wanting them to sing faster as the album progressed and it never happened. It's unfortunately almost somewhat comedic at some points. When Fiend do consciously slow down into a groove, as on the beginning of "Display of Insecurity', and 'Suffer In Silence' it works just fine (and what a groove it is). They cover the gamut here and don't paint outside the lines but the pummeling is still delivered.  'Derailed' sounds like grade-A professional quality grind, and while you could argue that it is a more than a bit run-of-the-mill it's always nice to have a band like this in your back pocket given the brief life-spans of so many other outfits out there and the ocean of mediocre nonsense that doesn't have the sonic anvil to the spine that these nine tracks bolster. I'll be keeping my eye on you, Fiend.

Here's their bandcamp page you sons of bitches: http://fiendgrind.bandcamp.com/album/derailed-ep

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