“I’ll never go to Africa again.” So ended “Raped by Elephants,” the first goregrind song I’d ever heard, from an album called Erotic Diarrhea Fantasy. That line is still funny after all these years, and the band so spectacularly terrible that it’s interesting. I’ve come around to better goregrind since, first by early Carcass and then Haemorrhage and General Surgery. Novelty grind, such as the shockingly good Trappist, has also wormed its way into my rotation. I haven’t listened enough to form an opinion, but Bitchfork and their “farm grind” is making a splash too. Defecal of Gerbe is novelty goregrind, except instead of gore the focus is on the scatological. Mothershit is also sung in French, meaning I miss about ninety percent of the jokes outside of some titles. C’est la vie.
Defecal of Gerbe is a hodgepodge of goregrind and goregrind-adjacent music. It reminds of early Carcass and Napalm Death, but also has some rudimentary slam similar in style but not quality to Cerebral Incubation crossed with Pig Destroyer’s chuggier riffs. The more modern take on the genre done by General Surgery is the main order of the day, as the old spontaneous sloppiness of the two early progenitors is replaced with calculated competence. Vocally, there are three styles. The first is a somewhat grating punk shout which I could do with less of. The second is low-pitched vocals that, unlike other goregrind bands, don’t sound like a pitch-shifted toilet (I say this in a completely non-pejorative way; I’m enamored with fun, silly metal vocals). Instead, it sounds like pitch-shifted Conqueror vocals, giving some moments weird war metal vibes. Finally, there’s an effective mid-range pig squeal that reminds me of Crepitation, and this makes for my favorite of the three.
There’s some fun to be had here, and Defecal of Gerbe is at their best when they’re hammering out some groovy riffs. Perhaps this is due to the irritating punk vocals being used less during these parts, but I’m convinced it’s more due to these riffs just being well-written and executed nicely. The best one of these comes in “Abbath Loves Friskies,”1 overshadowing the rest of the grind-by-numbers content of the track. Good, simple chugs rear their head in “Diarrhée Mousseuse” as well, which is chock-full of them. The grindier parts are again made uninspiring, partly by way of comparison and partly by way of them being uninspiring punk riffs sped up slightly. The songs blur together into a cohesive whole, overall Mothershit is structured well. Every minute or two your ears will perk up when a good riff hits.
Clogging your audial toilet, there’s entirely too much of Mothershit for its own good. Forty-three minutes of this stuff is a real endurance test and given that there are some downright annoying parts that add only aggravation, this long runtime is a tough test to pass. Opener “Sympathy for the Débile” starts with over thirty seconds of irritating French chanting, which sets a bad tone for the record immediately. Considering Wormrot can write a killer song in that amount of time, this is just dumb. “La Sono El’ Claque” ends with almost a minute of the sound that occurs when you touch your patch cable to the output of your guitar but don’t fully insert it and considering that this time frame could house a quality grindcore song instead, this is another senseless waste of time.
Mothershit isn’t a complete wash. There’s fine material splashed about its repulsive porcelain bowl, some satisfying bowel movements to be had. The problem with it is that none of it is good enough to put up with over forty-three minutes, and nothing here does anything remotely notable. General Surgery has better riffs. Carcass’ debut had better riffs. Haemorrhage is also superior. If you find poop hilarious and need some goregrind that oozes competence but lacks nearly all memorability, then Defecal of Gerbe is right up your alley, provided you don’t mind the sheer stupidity—and not the fun stupidity that often accompanies this stuff—that mar some of the composition decisions. All of this in combination—competent at best, overlong, some downright annoying moments—make for a record so “meh” that, apart from the admittedly hilarious cover art, it’s hard to muster any enthusiasm to spin. The production goes along these lines—raw but not too raw, flat, not overly loud but not something the excellent Metal-Fi dudes would breathlessly write about. Mothershit will likely be damned to unenthusiastic tolerance.