This "ogre-green" tape unites two underground grind-acts, and both of them are featured with particularly lo-fi output - not least due to both sides playing in mono. For the label owner's own project Larva this release is the debut, whereas Arroyo has released a demo and a 4-way split earlier on.

First we have 5 minutes of filthy oddity a'la Larva. Its songs are just a few seconds long bursts of mincecore and noisier grind with muffled howls and snarls, a very grainy guitar sound, and simple programmed drums with oddly good source sounds. The space between these two- to three-chord bursts are filled with edited samples from old movies (or series, I didn't recognize them) that seem to have little to nothing at all to do with the songs themselves. They do, however, give Larva's side a neatly humouristic and perverse vibe, and a lot of originality.

The songs give a lot to digest to the few who are willing to submit their sanity to this lunatic chaos. This kind of experimental underground grind is next to impossible to grade, and the nine songs (with the abundant sample-use) lasting for mere five minutes doesn't make it at all easier. So, in conclusion, check the band out if you dare. I will absolutely be waiting to hear more from Larva.


Next up: six minutes of Arroyo's lo-fi mincecore. The songs are mostly of the faster kind and blast forward with little pauses, with just occasional churning mid-tempo riffs giving the listener something concrete to hold on to. My guess is that these songs were recorded live in the band's rehearsal-place, as some of the drum fills, guitar shreds and growled shouts have such a delivery that they plain couldn't have been planned. There is a natural and strong flow of energy in the band's playing, which transfers to the highly energetic songs.

The soundscape is very harsh, grainy and distorted, but one can still make out the songs' basic structures due to the easily audible bass pounding. The drums and guitars mush up in the very fastest parts, but those moments are just condensed chaos amidst a sea of distortion-mess; they kind of belong there. The muffled growls and hoarse screams remain audible no matter what, and along with the steady bass-pounding, their simple patterns are one of the things that for the backbone of this release; they're the things you perceive most easily. The messy soundscape makes Arroyo's recording a perfect companion for Larva's side, and shows that Arroyo keeps on getting better at their mince-grind.


The recycled tape's cover is printed on a glossy card, and the basic infos, track lists and so forth are printed on a separate piece of printer paper. Noting that the musical style is as lo-fi as it is and that the label releasing the tape is called "DIY Noise," that's all you should expect, too. I have no complaints. One just has to be prepared for a lot of reeling between the sides, heh.

The tape's sides complement each other, as they have enough of both differences and similarities. You might want to check it out if you want a short but high-quality piece of lo-fi grinding, and you aren't afraid of less high-brow topics and approaches in the genre. If only the tape was a longer one...

7 / 10