Starting with the early industrial bands, who incorporated a lot of noise elements in their music, there has been an ongoing fight between music and noise. Can noise be defined as music, or does it in fact stop being noise when it is classified as music? The battle has raged onwards as the genre noise has been more widely accepted, but it is still ‘only noise’
So does this really matter to the people who actually like noise? Noise music anyway tends to be a pain in the ass to review, as much as it is a pain on the ears. That being much of the point; finding the frequencies to make your ears bleed. Many of you might disagree with me on the last point but let’s face it, noise isn't about taking the easy path but challenging your perception and having your eardrums shatter in the process.
Grindstroke manages to create a stable mix keeping you on the edge of your comfort zone throughout most of the release. At points they let you grow accustomed to the monotone distorted riffs only to wake you up with a burst of aggression or some high frequency signal. Vocals can be heard sprinkled along the release, specially on “Fester with me in Muddy Waters” but there they mostly manage to create a moment of embarrassed discomfort. As you can probably figure out, the humor aspect brought forth by the vocal sections doesn’t sit well with me and breaks the strong minimal whole. At best Grindstroke manages to keep you on your toes with well timed surprises in the sea of steady distortions and at a good level insecurity.
After the tape clicks to a stop you don’t feel too tempted to change side and play it again. “Shining wrists” doesn’t leave you begging for more. On the other hand it doesn’t leave you hanging from a rope either...