The second transmission of the Profane Existence Limited Edition Single Series—a subscription service that delivers seven inches of brand new vinyl to your doorstep every month—is from the latest Minneapolis-based troupe of metallic crust punkers, Despise. The band features former members of a handful of Midwestern crust acts—most notably Minneapolis legends, Destroy—and is fronted by Hannah, previously of Chicago’s Securicor and Krang.
Despise’s songs are deliberate, forceful blasts of punk obliteration, just as much as they are subtle cultivations of gloomy, blackened nervousness. By incorporating aspects from the crustier side of black metal, "Desolate" successfully conveys dark tones without compromising any thrashing vehemence. Hannah’s throat-ripping vocals are consistently growled, rather than given the “blown-out” effect vindictive the recent raw noise trend. The instrumentation remains equally unswerving; the mix never allows for one player to outshine another.
Whereas side A leans more in the metal direction, the flipside shows a band that is no-doubt indebted to the artless D-beaten torrent of classic Minneapolis crust punk. As the needle drops and the first chord of "Inebriated" is struck, it’s as if you can feel the chilly perspiration of 25 plus years of cold, damp basements begin to slowly drip down the small of your back. As the music begins to take over, it's easy to imagine yourself feverishly avoiding the clumped Brillo Pad-like consistency of the dreadlocks that threaten to hit you in the face and/or spill your drink with each flail of the owner’s head. You bury your forehead in the Misery back patch on the person in front of you and just push… And, well, you get the point; it's easy to get lost in this stuff.
This record is yet another example of why Minneapolis remains one of the world's premier crust punk locales.
8.0 / 10
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