I seem to have a knack for grabbing consecutive promos by two-piece bands. Last year, it was the one-two punch of Brits Godflesh and Anaal Nathrakh. This week, it’s Dynfari and the subject of this review’s intense scrutinizing observation, Minnesota’s Dissident Clone. Very little is known about them except they had a stint in a band called Wraith years ago. Their 10-minute debut (yes, you read that correctly), State of Dysphoria, has arrived in my office, but is it worthy of skipping one-sixth of an episode of this season’s Real Housewives of (INSERT MAJOR METROPOLIS HERE)?
If the short blast of opener “Waiting to Collapse” is any indication, I’d say yes! It reminds me a bit of latter-day Napalm Death and early Converge. Guitarist/vocalist Patrick Morris has a chunky mid-range that reminds me of Yeest-era Blood Duster while possessing some acidic higher registers, and his riffing is pretty solid. Drummer Chad Brunsell also does a great job behind the kit, keeping a sensible groove and grinding whenever necessary. And just as it switches off, it’s over and done. Go in, do your thang, and git!
And the rest of this four-song EP isn’t bad either, though it doesn’t quite reach the high energy of the barely-97-second first track. “Eye of the Storm” veers a bit into 90s mid-paced hardcore, only with Brunsell’s drumming and some atonal riffing to keep things heavy and interesting. “Crushed from Above” brings some downtuned D.R.I. influences before heading into deathy, almost Asphyxiating riffing. “Servile Sector” is groove-based hardcore with some flourishes of grind thrown into the mix. All of it is played quite well, but my problem with the EP is it feels like it’s two guys playing to their influences more than they are trying to craft a series of songs with a connection to each other. While it’s definitely not the worst thing in the world, it does make the EP sound more like an idea than hinting at what they’re looking to go for on a full-length, if they decide to do one.
Soundwise, it’s not bad for a self-produced EP. The drums are a tad muffled, but overall the sound is consistent and bright enough to punch through. Like I said, though, with a bit more fleshing out of their songwriting, they could definitely lead to something, as I enjoyed what I heard so far. This is not a bad snapshot of where they want to go, and besides, I can think of a million other ways to waste 10 minutes that are much, much worse. Definitely worth keeping an eye on.