Looking for some seething death grind that attacks you like a horde of rotting zombies crudely ripping your intestines from your gut? Of course you are, who wouldn’t be! Washington State’s The Drip barged onto the scene back in 2011 with their self-released, self-titled EP. Only a year later, their persistence had them jumping back on the grind wagon, self-releasing The Wasteland. Now two years on, A Presentation of Gruesome Poetics sees the band being snagged by Relapse Records to deliver 12 minutes of fast-paced grind and crust that relentlessly pounds away with the frenzy of Terrorizer and the pissed off barks, sludginess and power violence of Human Cull.
If high energy, barbaric grind tames your savage soul, maybe there’s a little something in here for you [At 12 minutes, it’s definitely a little something – Steel Druhm]! “The Catalyst” launches the cannon ball, coming in as the longest track and oddly enough, the opening strains have me thinking of a dirtier version of something Avatar might come up with. The drums start off a tad jarring and stark, but eventually get sucked into the fray and their pattern quickly jumps from mid-paced monotony picking up aggression to bludgeon with the force they obviously intended. The Drip come at you with a dual vocal style, used more sparingly in this opening track, becoming bigger and more pronounced from “Bygones Only Burn Once” and “Black Screen” onwards.
Brandon Caldwell appears to handle all the vocal theatrics on A Presentation of Gruesome Poetics – Really? “Bygones Only Burn Once” and “Black Screen” showcase screams and roars that are violent, stabby, high-pitched and have a hardcore edge to them, contrasting with the puking kind of aggressive, cleanly spoken growl also used. And for the most part Brandon’s violent approach brings to mind a mixture between the exuberance of Johannes Eckerström (Avatar) and the carnage of grindcore titan J. R. Hayes (Pig Destroyer and Enemy Soil).
There’s not a lot I can say about Shane Brown, Talon Yager (Mortal Remains) and Bobby Mansfield’s instrumentation, other that it hits you full-on wall-of-noise style apart from a few feet dragging sludgy moments in “Lash In, Lash Out” and “Bygones Only Burn Once,” so it feels like go-go-go from the onset through to the bitter end. Hooks are few and far between and mostly it’s the crazy tempo shift weirdness that had me craving a follow-up dose of Meshuggah. If you enjoyed the fast to slow and vice versa shifts of Human Cull‘s Stillborn Nation you’ll get a kick out The Drip‘s gruesome poetry.
The Drip present modern grindcore with a dirty production style that suits the delivery of the album and after a couple of listens it gets easier to pick up on Brandon’s lyrics. After spending some time with A Presentation of Gruesome Poetics and letting it really set deep into my bones, I had to reach the conclusion that it’s not an essential addition to my record collection. At six tracks and a little past 12 minutes I’m doubtful that adding anything further to the EP would do anything to help it out of the mediocrity it’s lost in. This is a decent collection of tracks with some kick-ass cover art that would make a black metal offering proud.