"Degradation" is the debut demo by the Finnish crust-act Squalor. It's available as a recycled tape, and as a free download you should find easily by browsing the net. Sadly, no lyrics are included, but just a short statement: "Ignorance of misery is the worst insult of all."

If you are into raw and noisy crust and enjoy some mince-grind and d-beat-vibes, you're in for a treat. The guitar's raw buzzing is accompanied by some lo-fi crackling, whereas the bass is a nicely plump and sturdy. The drums are really lo-fi, and their hissing and damp sound is a big part of the demo's personality along with the vocalist's high and sharp shouts and low gurgling growls.

The songs range from mid-tempo riffing to mincecore-styled faster blasts of crust, and present pretty much nothing new or fresh to the genre. On the contrary, this demo seems to be aimed for those people who enjoy the basics with a coating of hiss, feedback, and occasional heavy influences from Japan's noise punk/d-beat-legends.

It's a good demo, but not a spectacular one. The band's got work to do in playing tighter together, as now the instrumental performances seem just a big separate from each other somehow. This is the main thing that needs fixing, as although some of the songs are pure killer material, they aren't played tightly enough to do them 100% justice.

Despite the critique, I'm definitely waiting to hear more noisyness from Squalor.

3 / 5