Death By Fungi
In Dearth of.... EP

My buddy Hassan Amin, vocalist for the almighty grind lords Multinational Corporations always turns me onto cool new bands.  Props brother Hassan!  Death by Fungi is a hardcore/punk/crossover unit hailing from India and their debut 4-track EP In Dearth Of scratches several of my extreme musical itches all at once, gettin’ my leg kicking in the air like an old hound dog.  Mixed by Andy Nelson from Weekend Nachos and mastered by guitarist/vocalist Brad Boatright of my personal favorites From Ashes Rise, this EP sounds huge.  Big sounds are nice but if you got small songs you’re fucked regardless.  Let’s just say that Death by Fungi know how to put together some sweeping, mentally devastating punk-rooted jams.

“Black Lung” cracks your head open right out the gate with a whiskey bottle in hand as it staggers through broken glass and a sludgy, Coalesce-honed breakdown.  Drummer Aryaman Chaterji thusly thereafter sends the track down a wrong way road on a Swedish d-beat death ride that calls to mind Skitsystem while wiping out every human on the streets in the process.  Kamran Raza’s basslines are thicker than pond scum stew and incite guitarist/vocalist Vrishank Menon to riot with pissed off hardcore shouts, mutilated punk/thrash riffing, NYC noise-rock whitewash solos (Today is the Day/Hammerhead style) and goddamn BEEFY sludge meltdowns that favorably got me thinking of skull-squeezin’, pop your eyes out Ohio filth rock.  These guys sure as shit don’t limit themselves and it pays off.

Reminding me of the catchier, more melodic side of crust purveyed by Remains of the Day, Bread and Water and From Ashes Rise, Menon’s relentless riffs on “Pathfinder” are the result of Ramones’ influenced pop punk anthems pushed to the fucked up snapping point by damaged hardcore.  The minor key, high-end melodies and swirling instrumental interjections washed in mescaline majesty really hits a similar and powerful emotional response that Remains of the Day coughed up with a gallon of blood on their criminally underrated swansong Hanging on Rebellion.  This tune is as melodic as the crusty jams can get.  “Iced” has a stop/start, staccato churl with sputtering drum patterns, lockstep riffs, noise guitar leads and plunging bass grooves that reek of the New York alleyways that Am-Rep owned.  I’m hearing trace elements of Strap it on and Scattered, Smothered and Covered before a chorus overflowing with melody validates the Fugazi mention I caught online in reference to these cats.  Never content to rest on their laurels the track ends with an anvilstorm and acid rain spray of double-bass drumming, steamrolling basslines and freaked out riffage.  Closer “Endless Rain” piles on the infectious glorybound riffs, shout-a-long gang vocals and twinging melodicism in the same manner as “Pathfinder,” but the big difference here is the inclusion of completely clean chorus vocals that don’t fuckin’ suck in the least.

You want a great punk/hardcore record that cultivates and explores every facet of the genre?  Death by Fungi accomplishes that mission in a meager 4 songs.  The only complaint that I have is I want more, NOW!  Seriously though, I’ll be on high alert for the day this trio gives us a full-length platter.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Jay S
December 22nd, 2016


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