King Parrot
Bite Your Head Off

Bite Your Head Off, the debut album from Australian extreme metal troupe King Parrot, was released domestically back in 2012 amidst largely positive reactions. Now after deservedly landing a multiple record deal with Candlelight Records, and currently carving their path through a string of shows in North America, King Parrot are making significant waves and Bite Your Head Off is getting the wider distribution it most definitely deserves. King Parrot play a vicious yet rollicking grind/thrash/punk hybrid, executed with deadly precision and frenetic energy as they blast and slice their way through 11 prime cuts in a mere 22 minutes of scant but quality playing time. Listeners with a penchant for the groove-laced grind and wicked sense of humor of bands like Blood Duster or Leng Tch’e should find plenty to like here, as despite the crossover tag they are often saddled with, King Parrot’s unrelentingly vicious sound is rooted in grindcore and the more extreme end of the metallic spectrum.

The skilful blending of styles compliments the grinding intensity at the core of King Parrot’s sound, giving the album a surprisingly wide dynamic scope. The speed-laced, blasting at the forefront of the album, illustrated on tracks like the devastating “No Coincidence” and punked-up violence of “Dead End”, are offset by nifty variations in riffs and tempo, coupled with a steady supply of taut, chunky grooves.  The band excels in the riff department, with an abundance of catchy, quality riffs flowing thick and fast, raising the stakes to a new level of quality and lending the album an addictive edge which demands great replay value. While not overly technical the guitar work is highly inventive and loaded with variety, playing a key role in ensuring the album avoids dwindling down a path of repetition or lapsing into one-dimensional trappings.

Despite some old school influences Bite Your Head off has a very contemporary feel, particularly with the modern though edgy production job, which features relatively clean, heavy and robust tones. The guitar tone is particularly tasty, imbued with a raw, serrated edge and ample heft to offset the cleaner aspects of the recording. The drums have plenty of low-end and crisp organic tones, while lead screamer Matt Young’s high-pitched screeches sync nicely with the band’s sound, despite sticking to a similar pitch throughout the album. His distinctive snarl has plenty of character and his frantic delivery is full of urgency and off-the-chain aggression.

The blazing album is over in a flash, but credit to the band’s songwriting skills that despite its short length the sheer number of standout tunes and catchy, memorable moments keeps you clambering back for more of the addictive mayhem. The heavy mid-paced crunch at the core of the title track displays King Parrot’s adeptness at devastating at half speed as well, although it doesn’t take long before the typically blazing tempos take hold.  “Shit on the Liver” couples face shredding grind with some down and dirty street level grooves and ragged hooks.  Meanwhile, the lurching gait of the mid-tempo “Lizard” offers a refreshing change in pace. The swaggering tune’s sturdy groove-based backbone features a touch of melody and killer riffs interspersed with trademark shards of blasting grind.

While King Parrot seem content to mostly rip through a song within couple of minutes , the tongue in cheek titled “Blaze in the Northern Suburbs” clocks-in at a heartier 3.10 minutes and is not only the longest, but the most fleshed out song on the album. The band seamlessly meshes death/grind/thrash and groove into a volatile cocktail of calculated extremity that forms a fitting centrepiece to the album.

Throw in some ultra-tight musicianship and an abundance of coked-up energy and Bite Your Head Off stands as a fun, gritty and scathing example of modern extreme metal that blends nasty shards of violence with a fun sense of humor, catchy songwriting and truckloads of meaty grooves. Hopefully with their new found success King Parrot can pump out a new album soon and really capitalize on the potential of this quality debut.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Luke Saunders
April 22nd, 2014

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