Pain Tank
97,901,726 Confirmed Kills

Hailing from the D.C. area, Pain Tank is a fucking unhinged bunch that rip through 13 tracks of fucking furious doom-laden, noise-blasted hardcore n’ crusty, punk grind that calls to mind Enemy Soil, Man is the Bastard, Employer/Employee, early Pig Destroyer, Skitsystem, Phobia, Inhale/Exhale era Nasum, Napalm Death and lots of other neurotic, repulsive influences.  With the formidable Steven Kerchner on the mic/auxiliary noise (Lord, Palkoski, Human Services, Vog, Lost-it, Seventh Gate and a million other bands I dig/dug), and a talented bunch of musical cutthroats at his side…this record is a must hear for grind freaks who dwell on the hardcore/crust side of the genre.

Spires of dizzying noise, feedback and power electronics scream to life alongside a military snare march and Chris Dugay’s fluid, crystal clear bass lines on powerhouse opener, “Uniform Shitshow.”  Monstrous, mid-paced hardcore grind riffs adopt a dense, concrete bustin’ lurch while Kerch’s sick screams, drill sergeant barks and deathly growls swallow up everything on Earth.  The violent political lyrics are a scathing attack on society while handling the jagged barbs with enough prose to really sink into the skin.  “Dollar Sign Suicide” goes for an all-out blast campaign with Tony Petrocelly’s machine gun snare, James Shaw’s lightspeed punk riffs and Dugay’s fortified bass groove really piling on the hatred and sticking it to the universal corruption in a frenzied “fuck you” grind apocalypse.  Shades of Phobia cut through the mustard gas and Steve’s sick vocal bile teeters between death metal dementia and full on crust punk roaring.  It’s fuckin’ good stuff with a short ass fuse.  As soon as you flick the lighter, this bomb just blows your goddamn face off…  “The Mouth that Doesn’t Open” kicks off with a vintage, punk rock bass solo before going into another minute long round of blasting madness with some thicker, slower descending riff runs that take no prisoners creeping their way to the forefront.

Dugay’s jangling bullet-ricochet bass licks are the star of “A Sheep just like the Rest.”  Again they lay right on the throttle, are impeccably mixed, completely buoyant in their mingling with the other instruments and hit the curves at 120 mph.  Tumbling, dissonant riffs concoct some sludgy, death metal Molotov cocktails with vocals to match and some of Kerch’s screams are goddamn sickeningly destroyed, higher ranged and just total fuckin’ insanity.  A lengthy feedback outro drags this demon down to its grave, paving the way for “Tropicamide” to level buildings in a shriek of last stand hate grind.  “Starvation Cockhard” has a nasty intro riff clamping down a filthy, sludgy doom stomp that’s beaten into place by lockstep drumming and oily skinned bass grooves.  The ear-bleeding guitar noise carnage drops more than a few nods to the Am-Rep sound but the tempos eventually heighten to freakish Enemy Soil-styled intensity.  Kerch’s vocal atrocities are the stuff of serial murder dreams and I’ve seen the dude do it in person.  He’s got not a merciful bone in him up on that stage.

At 35 seconds in length, you’d hardly think “Driving Back the Occupier” would have time to even establish a groove yet toxic, noxious blasts are interspersed with knuckle-dragging, murky sludge churls.  “A Need for Violence” stuffs a vintage punk d-beat in the middle of a 24 second assault n’ battery, capping off a killer speedy duo of tunes that are sickeningly offset with the lengthy “The Void and all its Temptations.”  Crumbling, pavement cracking bass grooves reek of Unsane on amphetamines as the doom-y, feedback spewing riffs and stumbling drunk pacing goes into some unrelenting grind that could give a shit about your well-being.  “Decommissioned Oppression State” barrels over the Washington Monument with a mulekick of belligerent grind chaos that’s juxtaposed to perfection by “When Integrity Means Death” and its ripping hardcore/sludge churns careening into barely human speed thrills.

The desolate, depression riffs that lead in “It doesn’t know what else to do” apply a methodical Grief/Noothgrush like pressure to the cerebral cortex; giving the listener some head-nodding respite until they smash your head in with maximum grind overload.  Closer “Barcode and By-Products” utilizes some open, atonal guitar chords that ring with esoteric, minor-key noise melody while the bass bludgeons hopelessly and the bubbling toms/kick drum thump propels this beast forth on bloody haunches.  At a massive 6 minutes in length it’s easily a show stealer ranging from bastardized noise, retching punk, head sick filth sludge, murderous death/grind and human shearing noise rock.  Kerch growls, screams, shouts, spits and chokes out line after line of putrid pestilence making for one of his best performances to date.  Everything about this tune just hammers the message home.

Pain Tank should really shake up grind maniacs.  This is a fantastic debut that’s upper echelon in my book when it comes to this style; it feels simultaneously fresh and classic.  There’s variety too and the mixture of faster and slower parts make the songs memorable and keep you guessing as to how they’re gonna fuck you up next.  All in all this stands as one of my favorite grind discs of 2017 and it’s going up against some serious competition.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Jay S
January 3rd, 2018


  1. Commented by: Glenn Whitehead

    Upper echelon, huh? When no aspects of music are to be tolerated any more, there is always this shit. Napalm Death is NOT!

  2. Commented by: Glenn Whitehead

    Upper echelon, huh? When no aspects of music are to be tolerated any more, there is always this shit. Napalm Death it is NOT!

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