GAF started out as a groovy and rocking goregrind-group in 2007, and released their debut album "Mongofied" (reviewed here) in 2008. On their second full-lenght "Cultivate Disdain" their style has drifted away from the goregrind-elements and gone towards a more death metal-based groovy output (with the humouristic aspect still intact), which is firstly and most evidently noticeable through the almost total abscence of goregrind-gurgles. The album was recorded already in May of '09, but it's release got delayed all the way until June 2010.
Some of the band members play in more or less rock-influenced bands Temples and Elephant Bell, so it's no wonder that it shines through with GAF as well. The songs are based on the heavy rhythms, dirty humour, rocking groove and short song lenghts - all familiar elements in goregrind - with some slower, more sludgy death metal-heaviness and some pure blasting from traditional grindcore. It adds up to a rather heavy and violent rhythmic catchiness with a great dose of variation between the songs and a good deal of small compositional hooks scattered here and there.
One very noteworthy thing is the style of the compositions; all the songs are made to work individually, and thus have their own way of progress, tempo switches and hooks, but they also form a pretty seamless whole that flows naturally from it's beginning to it's end with no unintended interruptions. The album includes a huge deal of "hit songs" that are bound to get to you right on the first listen, and as they vary from rhythmic death metal to some groovy rock-riffs you're not easily bored by their swarming either. The album induces a good and energized mood.
The album's production is top notch, albeit I would've welcomed slightly more dirt into it's heaviness in addition to the gritty bass string distortion. Everything is clear and well audible without sounding polished, and the sounds manage to add the necessary power to, for example, make the guitar rhythm-gimmicks work. The vocals are split between three people; the main vocals are gruff shouts and growls, and backing them up are some higher and harsh shouts, along with the usual goregrind-gurgle used just here and there. The main vocalist fits to the songs' moods well and adds to their power, and the backing vocalist brings some pleasing variation - he should work on his shouts for some more though, as they are currently rather monotonous. The visual side consists of detailed, hand-drawn and pretty deranged gore, while the lyrics (all of which are included in the booklet) are of the style that you can guess from the song titles already - bad humour and gore. Like it or don't, but it's all made with pretty high standards.
The album isn't worth full points, despite the praise above. "Cultivate Disdain" was recorded too early after the band's debut, which shows in the song material being partly split between GAF's past and current/future expression, meaning that the songs don't always seem to be sure what they're meant to sound like. GAF has done quite a few gigs lately, and I hope that it has helped them in refining their style so that their next release will stylistically be more linear. Nonetheless, the album is highly recommendable for anyone into dirty grinding groove and death metal with a strong drive, and it's highly affordable as well. It'll be interesting to hear this album's follow-up.