Ten seconds into Future Cancer, I was damned sure of one thing; this band is from Long Island. Combine the irreverence of the name Piss Vortex with their progressive spin on, of course, grindcore, and you’ve got one grimy, disgusting EP dredged up from the alligator infested sewers of… Copenhagen?
Piss Vortex function as a marginally more digestible version of Dendritic Arbor, the noise-grind moguls of Philadelphia1 whose 2015 release, Romantic Love, would have been a shoo-in for my year end lists had I discovered it before December. Even the cover of Future Cancer is remarkably similar; yet Piss Vortex bristle with a different energy. “Den Moderne Mands L├ªnke” tries to cram a Mastodon shaped peg into grind’s formless hole with spectacular results; skronky but smooth riffs and maximalistic drum fills battle for dominance for just under two minutes, leading into the thirty second outburst of “Bug Chaser.”
The band’s grooves are no less immediate, and “Failing the Voight-Kampff Test” delivers a massive one for most of its back half, coming off of a disorienting polyrhythm between the guitars and drums. It’s a song that Pyrrhon would be proud to cover2, and true to form sports a very Moore-like vocal performance. Piss Vortex know their way around chaotic grind, and their songs are tight and interesting with a ton of replay value.
As far as writing and performances go, I can’t find a fault in Future Cancer. It’s pissed off and disgusting, and closer “Patterns of Repetition,” proves that the band can dial back and get even more intense, relying on subtle jazz-influenced drumming to propel dissonant leads towards a tidal conclusion that, true to form, ends on the same two-note phrase that the album begins on. It’s a small touch, but one which really ties together the eleven minute EP.
I could go into greater detail on the sounds and technique of Future Cancer, but in the time it would take you to parse the impenetrably dense prose, you could have listened to half of the EP. It’s more great dissonant noise-grind that I so crave, and like all great grindcore EPs, it makes you want to listen again and again; an act facilitated by the band’s clever composition. If you’re a fan of Kronos-approved avant-garde death/grind like Pyrrhon, Okazaki Fragments, Dendritic Arbor and even Ulcerate, both Future Cancer and the band’s previously released full-length are sure to scratch at your festering wounds [Long Island doesn’t have alligators OR sewers! – Strong Island Druhm].