King Parrot – Dead Set (Housecore)

Thursday, 30th July 2015
Rating: 7/10

Phil Anselmo has turned into quite the hype-man for his Housecore Records. As he should – he’s the man who foots the bill, after all. The cross-promotional platform a figure like Anselmo can give a band is immeasurable, as he’s still one of the most identifiable faces in the underground, regardless of how iffy his new solo venture is. (Hey, Down is still rockin’, right?) Therefore, when he schleps around a band like Australia’s King Parrot, you’re going to pay attention, regardless of how up-and-down the band’s grinding goes on their second full-length, Dead Set.

Best characterized as grind with a thrash twist, King Parrot don’t funnel into many of grind’s predetermined norms, like super-short songs, brazen blasts, and a thin production job. On the contrary, Dead Set has legitimate crunch (the album was recorded at Anselmo’s Nosferatu’s Lair in Louisiana, so there you go), especially in the guitar department, where they are beefy. This goes hand-in-hand with thrash and punk-addled jams such as “Anthem of the Advanced Sinner,” and “Like a Rat,” which ably combines the band’s penchant for 80s Bay Area thrash chomp, with some brief doses grind extremity.

The unfortunate workaround with King Parrot is vocalist Youngy (real name: Matt Young). Youngy, who is barking pretty much throughout the entire album, has one of the more monosyllabic, but identifiable chirps in grind. Such separation from the pack is a good thing for him, but for the listener, it provides more than enough pause when we’re thinking of annoying, reckless vocals. That would be Youngy, who comes closes to spoiling otherwise worthy, and humming tunes like “Hell Comes Your Way,” and the expertly-titled “Home is Where the Gutter Is.”

The combination of Anselmo, the band’s rag-tag, banzai appearance, and even Youngy’s vocals may give King Parrot some extra grind face-time. But as far as where the band hangs in the master grind list, they’re not quite ready to sniff Napalm Death or Brutal Truth’s sweat (and weed)-soaked socks just yet.

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