The Atrocity Exhibit
Extinction Solution

Plowing their way through England’s Midlands since ’05, The Atrocity Exhibit provides a drippy, gooey take on punk-riddled sludge-grind that feels distinctly, well, English.  There’s a scuzzy take on this genre here that could only come from the UK and it’s a sound purveyed by killer fairly recent bands like Among the Missing, Mistress and UFO Gestapo as much it was inspired by legends Napalm Death, Extreme Noise Terror, Discharge and even Iron Monkey.  The thing all of the above bands have in common with TAE is the fact that they all sound like they could be in the same smoked-stained, piss n’ booze reeking basement on an all-day DIY rampage bill.

If you were into these guys before, this is the best one yet for my money.  If you weren’t, then here’s what you’re in for.  “As you mean to go on” kicks off with a murky speech sample before a Lemmy on crack, punk/metal barrage goes down in a hail of bullets, shredded wheat murder riffs and deafening blast beats.  It merges into the ultra-taut snare drum pops, fret-breaking up n’ down riffs, bass licks that are damn near buried in the afterbirth and puking growl/nauseated scream trade-offs of true opener “Hatred Disease.”  The mayhem manages to catch a faint sewer whiff of a groove as the repulsive speed axe of James Caygill morphs into a chunking, bongwater riffage while bassist Fuzzy Dave finally establishes equal prominence in the mix.  It reminds me of Aussie nuts Blood Duster (circa Yeest with hints of Northcote) and Volatile in its equal balance of stoner swing, English crust punk, casket robbing death/grind and Lemmy nods.  “Principles of Karma” has a tangible sludgy nod that’s suffocated with an avalanche of lightspeed d-beat and relentless kick-heavy blasts tangling in deathmatch against nerve-frayed crackhouse shakin’ riffs, retch vomit vocals and tempos that get increasingly faster and faster.  Somehow it manages to be catchy even when it ups the violence about 100 times more than the preceding tune.

“Faustian Crisis Loan” is full on kamikaze crust with the manic squeal wheel nastiness of Dropdead mingling liquor loaded to the nines with the fastest eras of Napalm Death, Phobia, Excruciating Terror and Flesh Parade.  There’s a demonic death metal bent to some of the blasts here as that finely produced drum kit (especially the kick) with the roaring growls extending this shit far beyond the groove-grind style.  The lengthy 2:30 romp of “The Bitter Aftertaste of Exploitation” has 80s English hardcore punk carved into its face like some sort of ritual cult tattoo with the guitar work bringing forth thicker, sinewy workouts that are eventually cut to pieces by a woodshop accident of severed limb grind sawing.  1:32 ushers in slimebucket sludge riffs played so loud and over-the-top that they shook my bunkered basement walls even while playing the record at half volume.  A pivotal breakdown rearranges this part with lead taken by the bass guitar and all other instruments eventually joining together for a fetid death-sludge stinkout as the song draws to a close.  I’m not dissing on people who have the condition but “Domination Fantasy” has herky, jerky burst fire guitars that mimic rapid flashing lights with the end result a face first epileptic collapse on the floor with the band stomping your squirming body into oblivion.  Mutated doom/grind riffs return in the track’s endnote for one of the album’s heaviest, anvil-dragging grooves.  There’s a notable scaling up of anger and hatred with each new track as the album plays out.

Apart from a pit-rallying Discharge build-up, “Human Affliction” is lost in a hurricane of minute shy grind that’s as fast and rollercoaster raping as anything I’ve heard in the genre recently.  There are some hints of Repulsion scattered throughout this album and a cut such as “Cage of Cities” and its gory doom-grindin’, death-laden riffs brings some of that influence bubbling to the top across its hyperblast psychosis.  “Bandages for the Wounds of Civilisation” allows the bass to talk first with a ruthless 80s punk spew that’s overtaken by the sound of the entire band losing their collective fucking shit inside the funnel of a tornado.  Sickening and disgusting pure grind blood is shed on the majority of “Plague Mask Replica (a cool nod to Captain Beefheart)” but the second half revels in chugging, staccato hardcore riffs run through a thrash-compactor full of plugged pipe sludge.  I could call out every song on this 19-track platter of gruel but I feel doing so would see this review go on far too long for its time…I’ll end my assessment by saying the shortest 11 second monster (and awesomely titled) “Crawling Chalk Outlines” surprises by incorporating one of the album’s filthiest slop riffs in a total turning of the tables while closer “Post-Human’s” sprawling 3 minute pile-up pulls out all of the stops and throws the kitchen sink into Monday morning traffic in terms of showcasing the range of TAE’s grind.

Extinction Solution will go down as perhaps my favorite grind record of the year.  This whole motherfucker is just a blast to listen to and unlike lesser grind records there’s a lot of stuff that stuck to my craw long after I finished listening.  They incorporate some of the best elements from grindcore’s most powerful geographic hot-spots into a sound that not only does their UK legends and peers proud but mercilessly mixes influences from around the globe.  Sick fuckin’ stuff and certainly worth the money for a purchase in my loudmouth opinion!

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Jay S
January 9th, 2019


  1. Commented by: Jay

    Just a quick note/edit; UFO Gestapo is from France not England! Can’t believe I oopsed that one.

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