By Doug Walker
Formed in 2007, The Drip describe themselves as grindcore. 2014 saw their debut EP ‘A Presentation of Gruesome Poetics’ via Relapse Records. The debut LP has been 10 years in the making, but it has finally arrived, and it’s here to tear your face off.
The 13-song record moves along quickly with most songs clocking in around the 2-minute mark or less. More than the technicality and stamina it took to make this record, I appreciate their ability to find a groove in all the madness and still give it a legitimate head-banging quality. There’s a healthy amount of blast-blast beat throughout. My only real hangups on the record have to do with production, and they are pretty minor in the grand scheme of things.
Shane Brown’s drumming is intense, brutal and poingnant. They list Trap Them as an influence, and I can definitely hear some Chris Maggio nuance going on from the earlier Trap Them material. The production is very dry, which works well for the speed of the material. However, as dry as it is, it makes the drums extremely naked, which means any hit that isn’t precise is noticeable. Personally, I like that in a record. I like the sense of urgency it gives the music when it’s not absolutely perfect.
Bobby Mansfield and Blake Wolf have a powerful dual guitar attack throughout the record. It’s a lot of open speed strumming, not so much chug as long sustain on the notes. Some of the finer points of their riffs get lost in the sonic bombardment, but when it’s clear, their choice of dissonance and harmony is really cool to hear. They’re tuned down pretty low, which kind of defaults it to a heavy sound, but you don’t hear a huge loss of tension in the strings… so it doesn’t sound like someone playing a distorted rubber band. There are legitimate leads on the record. The best way I could summarize the guitar playing on this record is “dark.”
Bassist Talon Yager is locked in very tight with the drums. His bass playing is solid, and the tone is heavy. He uses some amount of distortion, which kind of makes him less present in the low end and the bass sounds like a lower tuned guitar. It would be interesting to hear a mix of this record with a clean bass track doubled with the distorted one to give the record a little more bottom end, but, that’s splitting hairs. The playing is solid. At high volumes the bass is present as a part of the band.
Brandon Caldwell has a sinister approach to his vocal delivery. While the words might not always be completely clear, the intentions behind them are, which is probably just as important. There’s absolutely no way to mistake the mindset of the vocals as they come at you. And this isn’t singer/songwriter bullshit. It’s brutal grindcore.
Overall, if you’re a fan of grindcore, this record deserves 31 minutes of your time. If you’re a production nerd, you’re gonna notice a few things, but if you just want to get your ass kicked by a record, this is a solid one.
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Record Label: Relapse
Release Date: January 13th 2017
01. Blackest Evocation
03. Gruesome Poetics
04. Dead Inside
05. Covered In Red
06. Terror War Industry
07. Painted Ram
09. In Atrophy
10. The Answer
12. Consigned to Fate
13. Bone Chapel