Double Gnarly/Triple Suicide

Harpoon is a drum machine based ‘grindcore’ duo featuring vocalist Toney Vast-Binder of 7000 Dying Rats fame and guitarist/drum programmer Dean Costello (the band has also added Lair of The Minotaur bassist DJ Barraca). The term grindcore is relative here-this isn’t pure Napalm Death, nor is it the modern pseudo grindcore (Pig Destroyer, etc) that the kids are playing, but it lies somewhere in between and has a bit of thrash and punk thrown in for good measure.

At a brisk 23 minutes, the sticking point for many on the 12 tracks will be the programmed drums which make al already clinical, caustic tone, even more mechanical and sterile. Also the vocals of Binder are more in line with the modern hardcore/screamo style than classic grindcore. Still, there are some nifty riffs and structures that range from the typical blistering, scathing grindcore blasts (“Lefty”, “The Cacographer”, “Frogs, Boils, Locusts”, “You Should be Longer”) to violent punky expulsions (“The Midget and the Duchess”, “) and few grooves (“Sloth-Ass”, “The Difficulty in Listening to the Elderly”) and some tasty thrash injections (“Buddy System”, Bad Beekeeping”). It’s all furious and fun, and never overstays its welcome.

That all being said. Harpoon ‘feels’ like a project or gimmick outfit, and there’s nothing outstanding to truly pull you in or revisit. The programmed drums have a lot to do with it, but by the same token, I’m not sure whole will truly appreciate this material. It’s a bit to screechy and modern for die hard grindcore fans, and though the ADD riddled kids might appreciate it more, it still might be too  brittle and ‘metal’ for them.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by E. Thomas
April 11th, 2009


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