False Flag/Neck Deep in Filth – Split EP


An absolutely devastating split from India’s experimental crust grinders False Flag (a perennial favorite in the Snyder household) and Nepal’s doom-burnt thrash punks Neck Deep in Filth that gives you 5 tracks of pain when all’s said and done, without any filler getting in the way.  Anyone that was around for the heyday of freaked […]

by Jay S

An absolutely devastating split from India’s experimental crust grinders False Flag (a perennial favorite in the Snyder household) and Nepal’s doom-burnt thrash punks Neck Deep in Filth that gives you 5 tracks of pain when all’s said and done, without any filler getting in the way.  Anyone that was around for the heyday of freaked out punk/metal releases by labels such as Life is Abuse, Pessimiser, Slap A Ham, Crimes Against Humanity and Prank should go nuts for both bands’ offerings.  Additionally, each outfit brings some interesting nuances to the crust genre’s gutterball mentality and with more than the requisite “we’ve got your throat-in-a-vice grip” sonic aesthetics.

I’ve followed False Flag since their demo and they’ve been operating at a high level ever since.  Each passing release seems to exponentially raise the ante on the intensity of the instrumental/vocal performances as well as the songwriting urgency.  Their side kicks off with piercing Cavity/Melvins’-esque feedback that rips eardrums apart during the intro of “Docile Body.”  It doesn’t take long for the quintet to place the listener in a storm of pure aural corrosion; stop/start blasts swing into off-kilter 8-armed beats as cast iron vocal decay chops its way to the forefront of vastly ambitious and creatively immaculate twin guitar venom (complete with high-end melodies, clean licks and toxic shred), Kamran Raza’s gristle throb bass lines and a generally slaughtering attack that constantly shades and layers the atmosphere with malice that’s alternately catchy and fucking mental.  “Flesh (Burns Flesh)” tears your head off with a climax placed at the beginning of the song in the form of a hornet’s nest of shrill, thousand sting grind riffs, brute force blasts and dual vocals so harried in their mind-numbing shouts, screeches and hollers you can imagine a couple of larynxes lying on the studio floor by the time the song was completed.  This is totally classic stuff but the tuning of the guitars adds harmony/melody where you’d think it couldn’t possibly exist yet it does.  The tri-headed voices of lead singer Pushkar Nalawade and guitarists Shaunak Phadnis and  Rohit Chaoji lend the tune the frantic, “with all abandon” landmine explosions that the music itself specifically asks for.  Easily one of their best tracks to date there are forays into clean n’ haunting post-punk atmospheres that feature heavily on the trippy, intricately picked guitar notes, limber walking bass lines and drummer Aryaman Chatterji taking serious time to build a skyscraping power trip out of his boiling tom drums and militant snare marches.  The boys collide post-punk’s scratchy ambience with some doomed-out, blown to shit crust for a fearsome finale.  EP standout “Counterfeit” has even more brutish grind ballast to dish out as sludgy shoves interject the speed-freak madness with molten heaves and gorgeous acoustical melodies appear only to be swiftly eviscerated by minor-key, blackened scathes.  False Flag rounds out their contributions with “Mann Ki Baat,” less than 19 seconds of possible political samples and short-tempered fury grind.

Neck Deep in Filth is an excellent pairing for False Flag’s lunacy.  They’re a little more straightforward but they’ve got some unusual touches to their sound as well and enough anger inside their collective to stuff a nuclear warhead full to bustin’.  “Bastion of Bigotry” has an ominous creep for an opening; slicin’ and dicin’ its way through waves of feedback, squalidly psyched-out early Electric Wizard bass frequencies and slowly rising sleaze chords.  A murderous shout/scream has some touches of Mike D. Williams but soon the pacing kicks into a hurtling d-beat with crust/grind fury given some tense, slowed-down Slayer riffing and even a little rotten death metal vibes popping up.  Those mountain toppling kick drums and the dirtbag guitar break at 1:30 give me that mindset of wartorn city battlegrounds as the band sets things up for a noxiously sludge-bombed ending.  They remind me of bands like Siege, Seized, His Hero is Gone, Gloomy Sunday, Catheter and Lifetime Shitlist.  Their second jam and the EP’s final stand “A Gift from the State (A Bullet for your Head)” is on overdrive from the first note and it has some hogfat guitar riffs straddling the line between punk and unbridled death/thrash with no apologies given.  I love the fact that these guys like their brethren in False Flag really value the bass’ presence (which is sometimes rare in this kind of material) as every pulsation is guaranteed to loosen molars and release bowels.  A divebombing swoop of hopelessly doomed Sabbath-y riff-shifting and neck in the rope feedback brings this split to an appropriate close.

Though it’s a fairly brief release, False Flag and Neck Deep in Filth pack plenty of meat onto every bone with a high standard set on the musical arrangements and overall heaviness.  Genres blur, instruments cripple, riffs weld to the brain and the vocal atrocities put a knife right up to your scruff.  Anyone that’s into crust, hardcore, grind, thrash and doom should find plenty to love here.

 

 

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