The Drip – A Presentation of Gruesome Poetics (Relapse)

Monday, 31st March 2014
Rating: 7.5/10

After two EPs, Washington’s The Drip makes the jump to the big leagues with A Presentation of Gruesome Poetics, their first offering for Relapse Records.  Grindcore as a genre can be a hard one to pull off, with the tendency to come across as pure noise for noise sake claiming many a band along the way.  The Drip have come through their six tracks weighing in at about 12-minutes unscathed, but you as the listener will not be so lucky (in a good way of course).

What keeps The Drip out of the “Was that a song?” doghouse is their attention to riffs.  Firmly locking themselves into the metallic end of the grindcore spectrum, their 2-minute song blasts are never a pure barrage of flailing blastbeats and discombobulated riffs atop screaming vocals.  Taking cues from forefathers Napalm Death and Brutal Truth, as well as Nasum, there is a true sense of place and order among the blistering pace the band frequently finds themselves in.  This leads to some absolutely devastating riffs that occur when the band eases off of the gas.

The slowed portion of “Siren” is the best example of this, with an absolute neck-breaker riff that pops out around a minute into the track.  The opening of “Bygones Only Burn Once” also provides some needed groove to spice things up from the fiery, scorching pace that fuels their delivery.  The added crunch of these groove-based sections (see “Black Screen”) gives the juxtaposition necessary to make the music sound even more angry than it already is.

While it will be interesting to see if The Drip can hold out and preserve their sense of barbaric urgency without sacrificing control over the course of a full-length effort, A Presentation of Gruesome Poetics is a pissed-off reminder that it is possible to take a step back from balls-to-the-wall speed and brutality without sacrificing the violent nature of grindcore.  Even with a knack for groove, The Drip will still strip the paint from your walls.

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