MAGRUDERGRIND - Bringing Power Violence Back To Grind
February 22, 2016, 2 years ago
Washington, DC grindcore/power violence band Magrudergrind are one of the best in the biz these days, the band's energetic, punk-tinged sound nothing if not pure energy. And their new album, II, is their best yet, not that it marks a huge departure from their previous material, although the production is boosted (if you ask me, it works: huge and clear but still heavy). And, no, it's not their second album.
“The record is called II even though it's not our second record because it kind of is our second record as far as this iteration of the band goes,” says guitarist RJ Ober. “Also it's kind of funny to name the record II when it's not our second (laughs).”
The disc (the band's third full-length) is their first on Relapse, and first since 2009's self-titled album on Willowtip. It's also the first with drummer Casey Moore (we're confused too, don't worry), who does an incredible job on the Kurt Ballou-produced disc.
“When I joined the band [in 2007] I started writing a lot of the music, so the sound had to change a bit,” says Ober. “Now with Casey in the mix, he definitely brings a different energy to the band. We parted ways with our old drummer because he wasn't so interested in being in the band any more. Between that and personal issues, I don't think he was digging it, and if you're not into it, you're not going to make interesting music. So where he wanted to phone it in, it was a fresh project for Casey and something he could jump in to and make his own, so he's all over the record.”
One of the aspects that sets Magrudergrind apart from other grind bands today is the addition of power violence sounds to the mix. Ober says that power violence was a “day-one influence for sure,” pointing to the genre's abrupt time changes and generally mean sound as being important to Magrudergrind.
“It was a great time that none of us were around for,” he says about power violence's early-'90s heyday, “but as it turns out, in a weird twist of fate, we've become close with a lot of the people who were around in southern California in the early '90s. It's a trip because we grew up aping that and listening to that kind of music, then we got to do a two-week tour on the east coast with Despise You, and it was the first time they'd come out here in ages, and Joe [Denunzio, vocalist] from Infest is on the new record, he does a little guest spot on the record. To me, those records, like old Lack Of Interest and Infest and Man Is The Bastard records, to me those sound as urgent and brutal in 2016 as they probably did then. I can't imagine what they sounded like then.”
Another refreshing element to II is that the album clocks in at 24 minutes, which is, really, perfect for this kind of music. Most grind records are short, mercifully (I say this as a grind lifer), but Magrudergrind definitely get to the point and get the hell out.
“I don't have the patience for anything more than 20 minutes,” laughs Ober. “I mean, our songs are short, our sets are short, the record's short. If you slow it down, each song has the same amount of riffs and parts as a normal-length song, it's just that everything's sped up, so it stands to reason the record should be 20 minutes and not an hour long. I think 25 minutes is the cutoff for full-length distribution, or something like that, so I'm told. We struggle to get there (laughs).”