King Parrot make grindcore great again. At least that’s what I thought after first hearing the Australian quintet’s 2012 debut Bite Your Head Off, which bucked genre norms by fusing groovy aggression with honest-to-God vocal hooks and a “hip slumdog” attitude. In my review of 2015 follow-up Dead Set I referred to the band as the “Die Antwoord of grindcore,” and that remains one of my favorite analogies I’ve made at AMG to this day. Sadly even Phil Anselmo’s oversight under his Housecore Records label couldn’t make that record a total win, and despite the fact I still enjoy Set two years later, the truth remains that for all their raucous energy Parrot simply don’t write very interesting riffs. Does third full-length Ugly Produce finally manage to mix the group’s rotten aesthetic with some truly fresh compositions?

Things certainly start promising enough. Opener “Entrapment” bursts right in with the group’s trademark “burn the house down” vivacity, bristling with guitars that alternately charge and slam forward with rhythmic bluntness. Topped off with an explosive chorus that contains some surprisingly dramatic chords, the end result is a track that more than delivers on Produce’s “fruit meets Hills Have Eyes” artwork. And the extremity doesn’t end here. The remainder of Produce’s 27 minutes fly by in a blurry stampede of face-smacking riffs and battering drums, with highlights like “Disgrace Yourself” and “Die Before You Die” barreling forward on surprisingly melodic licks that recall a heavier and grimier Warbringer. Likewise “Numb Skull” follows its burning grindy blasting with a breakdown stomp that ends the track in fine form.

As always, the true highlight of Parrot is vocalist Matthew Young. Even with over 3000 artists listened to according to last.fm, I’ve never heard anyone quite like Mr Young. Rather than a scream or growl, the dude belches out a high-pitched squawk that recalls a cross between a demented muppet and Iron Reagan’s Tony Foresta.1 Young’s voice is both manic and snotty, adding a wild punky edge to the proceedings that I’m sure makes the group a blast to see live. He also continues to deliver on Parrot’s characteristic repeated vocal motifs, with tracks like “All Hail the Grub” featuring an almost melodic scream-shout in its refrain and nearly every other song featuring a prominent shout of the track title.

Unfortunately Set’s biggest pitfall remains: these riffs are basic. If these riffs were a person, they would be an early-twenties female who lives off Instragram and pumpkin spice lattes. Others that aren’t generic are outright stale. Aforementioned “Grub” leans hard on Parrot’s trick of repeating a note or chord in sequence and expecting it to please, while closer “Spookin’ the Animals” features an awkward half-time progression that’s only barely redeemed by some satisfying chugs. Many of the choruses also feel far too repetitive for songs that average only two-and-a-half minutes, and several miss the mark entirely. See the attempted anthemic refrain of “Piss Wreck,” whose chant of “Piss wreck is here!” inspires less raised fists and more limp dicks. The mix is also boomy and brickwalled, with a sound that blurs everything together like a drunk hobo rubbing shit on your windshield.

Nevertheless Produce is a record that’s hard to hate. As before, Parrot maintain a unique aesthetic that’s rowdy, fun, and motherfucking dirty, leading them to stand out amidst a sea of modern grindcore bands who sound like they were made from a Napalm Death cookie cutter. It doesn’t hurt that the group keep things brief at ten tracks, or that cuts like “Ten Pounds of Shit in a Five Pound Bag” become deceptively catchy with multiple listens. The band clearly have a ways to go before they’re the next Pig Destroyer, but I’ll happily follow along in the meantime (and those bizarre music videos don’t hurt either). At the end of the day King Parrot might not make grindcore great again, but they sure do know how to make it entertaining.


Rating: 3.0/5.0
DR: 4 | Format Reviewed: 256 kbps mp3
Labels: Agonia Records | Housecore Records | EVP Recordings
Websites: kingparrot.net | facebook.com/kingparrotband
Releases Worldwide: September 22nd, 2017

Show 1 footnote

  1. Which is the same comparison I made in my last review. Because when the fruit is low, you take it.
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  • Nukenado

    Nice review, and interesting music.
    But however I must disagree with the tagline;
    Beaten To Death made grindcore great again. Døv, Døvere, Død is amazing.

  • If you haven’t seen King Parrot live, you have NO IDEA just entertaining/nuts Matt Young is. And that’s what he sounds like live, too!
    The guy is a STELLAR frontman for this type of music, and can literally win over any audience. Worth the effort to see ’em for sure.

  • Dammage

    Whenever I see this band’s name I get them mixed up with Hatebeak and get really confused when reading the review

    • I did this too.

    • Master of Muppets

      Guilty

    • John Mosley

      Same

    • Mollusc

      We should’ve called our parrot Hatebeak, he’s a bitey bastard.

  • devul

    I just saw them last night. They’re on the Superjoint tour. Their stage show is intense. They’re a “must see live” band for sure.

  • Thatguy

    The perfect band photo.

    Five ugly guys making ugly music.

    Great stuff.

    • Name’s Dalton

      Have you listened to the new Unsane album? Ugly noise rock of the finest order.

      • Thatguy

        I will check it out.

        I also think KP have outdone themselves with the video. Previous ones were just creepy. This one is cheerfully offensive.

        • DIMENSIONAL BLEEDTHROUGH

          These guys make the best fucking videos, every time.

        • Nukenado

          What’s offensive about this?
          You can clearly identify with dildo dude (dildude?)’s personal struggles against the higher class aging douchebags and feel the intense glee when he performs a role reversal on them. It’s a classic revenge story!

          • Thatguy

            Ha.

            I guess you are right.

          • [not a Dr]

            Dildodude? He is ready to enact the Hungry Unicorn!!!!

      • Thatguy

        And I just had a listen. Good stuff.

      • herrschobel

        yeahhhhhh…going to see them on sundy in berlin…been listening to these guys for almost 25 years now…to me they are the perfect band

    • Carlos Marrickvillian

      St Kilda supporter = -0.5

  • Luke_22

    I always enjoy these guys but they never quite blow me away. However, having seen them live, they put on an intense and really killer show.

  • Nick Heigelmann

    Why do people even review records anymore. This review is as useless as most music “publications” are these days. The act of reviewing in itself should be phased out. From the first paragraph your douchy overtones are pressed on thick and automatically make for a negative and unsympathetic venture. There was an angry metal guy already and it was Grimoire of Exalted Deeds. You’re just a poser. Fuck off

    • John Mosley

      This is a nice place. Don’t fuck it up.

      • Master of Muppets

        Holy shit, reason prevailed. Even the people who suck on this site manage to do so less/more-manageably here then other corners of the interwebz.
        I fucking love this site.

        • John Mosley

          By the power of Greyskull!

          • sir_c

            For sure that AMG ain’t that old yet?

    • Master of Muppets

      This whole comment is a negative, unsympathetic venture with douchy overtones pressed on thick, brah.
      I’m always intrigued by rants like this. What’s the end game here? Do the hate spasms lighten the anger load enough to make life bearable again, or do you think that you’re going to dismantle reviewing at large with these words of… well, not wisdom, but they’re words, I’ll give you that.
      Anyway, lighten up is the moral of the story. If you didn’t care for the writer’s tone, style, taste, etc, there are considerably more effective and adult ways to go about expressing your discontent. Would you take someone seriously if they spoke to you as you have? Food for thought, anyway.

    • Name’s Dalton

      I stand firm in the belief that moms of sons in bands shouldn’t read reviews of their kid’s music.

  • manimal

    Haha. Found the following comment on the embedded vid’s y’toob comments section:

    “I once got a rub n tug in Collingwood and the lady asked me if I knew anyone from King Parrot cos the whole band was in just before me. I said , yeah nah , sorta.”

  • Carlos Marrickvillian

    Saw them late last year… farken great band!

  • Flyingguillotine

    Can confirm the live show… King Parrot pulled off one of the best audience turnarounds I’ve ever seen. I caught them at the Whisky when they opened for Cattle Decapitation. It was their second ever show in the US. It didn’t seem like most of the crowd knew who they were or what to make of them.

    But Young refuses to let the audience stand there… Grabbing people by the hair to make them headbang, throwing water in peoples’ faces, jumping into the pit; the guy’s a force of nature.

    By the end of their set, the same crowd that at first was just standing there with hands in their pockets, were carrying Young around the room as he sang. It was incredible, and one of the best shows I’ve ever caught at that venue.

  • sir_c

    Video was highly entertaining! It does remind me of some Beasty Boys clip, when the guys are walking.
    I believe this kind of music is best taken with a pinch of salt, and I mean this as a compliment.

  • Here’s Johnny

    that might be the best music video ever.