Saturday, May 4, 2013

Gets Worse - Gets Worse / Year of the Bastard / Negative (2013)

EP, Hygiene Records / Evil Purple Bastard
August 3rd, 2012 / January 3rd, 2013 / May 10th, 2013

Genre: Grindcore/Powerviolence
Region: UK

This becoming a common theme but yes, once again I went about my life oblivious to something absolutely devastating last year: Get’s Worse and their self-titled 10” grind/powerviolence masterpiece. I believe it was the curator of Perpetual Strife or the guys at Built To Blast that alerted me to Gets Worse. And these guys are not fucking around. They craft savage grind, blunt and unyielding in it’s fury. Shit that is hard to top.

So while I missed that last year, you better believe I’m all over their two new EPs: Year of the Bastard which is digital only for now and Negative which was recently test-pressed in 10 copies for now. Both of these records prove Gets Worse remain stiffly at the head of the pack in vicious sonic warfare especially in the UK and are unwilling to compromise in their composition of undeniably ferocious powerviolence.

I’m going to wrap these two new EPs into one post here and also because it can’t be ignored I’m including the 10” from last year because it’s truly terrific; making this a three-in-one. Also I’m not including a link for the Negative EP that was just released right now since I don’t want to be a complete scumbag and leak shit. Besides it is a test pressing and it’ll be pressed in larger numbers and probably make it’s way onto bandcamp for free like all their other records.

Some patience if you please. I'll post a link pretty damn soon.

If you’re not familiar with Gets Worse they’re a three piece who hail from the UK and who are also pretty damn new to the scene as far as I can tell. You wouldn’t know it from listening though. Their first demo surfaced April last year and already blew shit up effectively, but it was quickly followed by the 10” which displayed powerviolence that will loosen bowels and leave massive poisonous craters; so loud and polished and tight it’s unreasonable.

Gets Worse are different from Napalm Death, Iron Lung, Water Torture, and Frightener but residing in that same realm, taking copious influence from them. Clean and filthy at the same time, the guitar and bass are thick and gritty chewing through speakers and headphones, tight drumming rattling the skull and blasting holes in windows, and vocals that will collapse lungs. Social and political themes abound, dealing in the disgust with weakness and ignorance, intolerance, all that good shit and fuck does it translate with the frontman’s pipes. The art adorning their records (by Tom is the Bastard) is pretty damn eye catching and slick too.

The self-titled 10” I grabbed maybe two months back and along with that ACxDc/Magnum Force/Sex Prisoner and SBB/Water Torture has been in heavy rotation ever since. Packaging is beautiful and so is the colour. Thirteen tracks in sixteen minutes (their longest release, including a Charles Bronson cover) and all of them gold, with a few major stand outs even then.

Three of them are within the first couple of minutes: "Tuff Guy" starts slow, an evil bass riff before the guitars join the groove— then boom, you're thrust into a squall of anger. The break down comes and then again the track accelerates savagely; the e-brake pulled one last time before the end. "Cheapass Weekend" scalds you with the blazing snare and sliding fury of powerchords before taking a very traditional punk groove and driving it into filth. It's a great thing indeed.

“False Friends” is the third monolith, craving high volume — a frenzied stomping brawl with one bringing in harmonics, and then a gap with a line worthy of a smile: "GO FUCK YOURSELF, YOU FUCKING ASSHOLE!" Very cathartic and also a bit amusing, proceeded by a distant shouting chorus as the riff gains momentum to a blunt ending.

Really though everything Gets Worse have recorded hear shouldn't be taken lightly. It's all written to be razor sharp and brutal. "Kill Shot" and "Armchair Activist" contain some huge grooves and nice switch-ups in pacing, easily as addictive as the former three songs. And then all of a sudden they drop "...No Fuss" on us and oh man is this ridiculously heavy. It's the first truly slow track and remains so only for a short time after a deceptive intro ramp: each blow from the guitar/bass coupled with the cymbals crashing, kicks peppering the sludge. This doesn't last however and the turn is not as predictable either: a brief grind and then into a bouncy set of rhythms.

"Straight Up Schrompfin", "Beyond Words", and "Liquor Lobotomy" have some of these lethal slow moments as well but play with them differently, and without fail coming up with spellbinding material.  Particularly "Beyond Words". The Charles Bronson cover is spot on and "Loner" should be mentioned specifically for it's Adventure Time sample at the end, if not for it's 30 seconds of stroke-inducing grind. The only other relatively short track is "Toothless" which quickly winds up and back down just as fast.

Year of the Bastard continues the attitude soaking the 10” with four filthy slivers, starting with the slow crawl intro of “No Resolve” which turns into a bloodbath not long after the sludge has settled. "Daily Fail" is 22 seconds of utter obliteration with an opening riff that will sear into your brain, followed by the no less grating and livid “Tunnel of Goat!”.

The self-titled track is the last one and is vrushing in it’s vitriolic agony, the vocals before a feedback-drenched sample (hilarious by the way) are some of the most pissed I’ve heard in a while — spazzing over top another deeply pleasing slow riff. There is no way you’re not enjoying this if you even remotely showed interest in the self-titled record.

Finally there’s the newest slice of material entitled Negative. And guess what? It’s no less terrifyingly awesome as the previous two records. Opening with a short and slow intro (“Negative PV”), Too Much Talk shows immediately Get Worse haven’t been slacking with a white hot attack, leading into a crushing break down and a frantic close.

The beast in this one though is quite obviously “Excessive Bullshit” — holy fucking shit is this aggressive and loud. This is the one that's been on repeat for me: an open that is a blistering pummel cut into by a perfect groove, which only gets more engrossing and reprehensibly enjoyable. It swings so powerfully you can't help but sway in it's gravity. The drums puncture your chest, spine-curving screams and growls shift to various styles all of which harbour great animosity in fractions of seconds. It's a track that will leave none standing.

“Scabs” sees them dive back into restless tumult, managing to entrance before droping out with only the bass left, and a final crushing riff. “Neighbourhood Ninja” opens the second side in expert fashion — eroding your bones with frenetic thrashing which opens up a bit more as the blasts become more punk-paced. “Pessimist” and “Positive PV?” might be my favorites on this side, back to back monstrous forces slamming down like granite slabs in rapid succession. The last one is “Stubborn” and it takes a similar approach to the opener but a little more bulky: tribal drums at first, then a slow writhe with layer screams and growing noise/feedback.

I suggest you do not hesitate to support these guys. I don’t know which release I like more because honestly they’re all without blemishes, equally enjoyable and jarring. This is sharp, finely tuned delicious grinding violence of the highest quality. Gets Worse have unleashed a series of precise strikes that will break bones if played at high enough volume.

The self-titled 10” is available for free download on their bandcamp while physical copies are very limited there. Same goes for over at Evil Purple Bastard (a few 10"'s, red I assume) and Hygiene Records (only the CD version) as well as probably a few distros, or from the band; they’ve said they’ll be out once the tour’s done. It comes with a download code for the Year of the Bastard EP which is not set to be released physically yet.

Negative is being pressed en mass to be released on May 10th as a co-release by Hygeine Records and Evil Purple Bastard so keep your eyes peeled for that. It is now available on bandcamp for free and in physical format. And also on bigcartel so there are many options guys.

Oh and as an added bonus they have their first demo up for free too if you’re into more free shit.


1 comment:

  1. Rad, just what I was looking for! Snagged the Self Titled up, I'll probably buy the others once I can, thanks for this one dude.

    - Chris of SHOM