Abcess/Population Reduction

Split albums are common in metal but yield mixed results. Far too often, listeners labor through 20 minutes of crap to get to five minutes of goodness. Here’s a combination that works – a dual platter from the bowels of the San Francisco Bay Area featuring death metal veterans Abscess (formed by two members of scene heroes Autopsy) and up-and-coming grinders Population Reduction. This is a half-hour of punk-crusted death, laugh-out-loud grindcore and basic but effective riffs.

Abscess contributed the first eight tracks, and they are primitive (perhaps intentionally) but good. “Bourbon, Blood And Butchery,” and “Volcanic Psychosis,” have a dreary, sludgy Eyehategod touch, and the rest of the songs roll with hardcore-fused energy. Abscess is comfortable working in a short format – they released a split with Bonesaw last year and numerous demos and EPs – and they certainly don’t waste your time here.

Population Reduction has been underrecognized in the grind genre for too long – not that playing grind will ever get you pushed off stage by Kanye West at the VMAs. Perhaps that’s because the members freely joke about how bad their music sucks. Not true – their two-person racket smokes most of the drum machine grind on the scene today. The band’s 2008 album “Each Birth A New Disaster,” was a hilarious treat and the seven tracks here continue with their humor-crusted grind. There’s no sacred cow for this band – the offerings include “Babies Are Assholes” and “Beer Feast, Bear Death.” You’d never know it but these guys both attended Oberlin College, although they didn’t go to the famed musical conservatory.

Go ahead and order this split. It only costs nine bucks. It’s less than a half-hour long, a perfect length for grindheads. Only 500 were made. Plus, Scotty at Tankcrimes has a habit of putting out solid records and you’ll be able to help pay his rent.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Justin M Norton
November 18th, 2009


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