Genghis Tron is something of an anomaly in the world of music. On their Myspace site they list themselves as Grind/Electro/Metal, which is a pretty disconcerting declaration to some. It sounds a bit off-putting, like a botched crossbreeding that has yielded mentally handicapped offspring in the form of songs that should have never been written. That's the way it usually goes, but the real trick behind Dead Mountain Mouth is that Genghis Tron pulls it off, and capitalizes on everything their first EP did not. The added electronic elements within the songs add a very recognizable flair to the record, sometimes washing away the grind elements and leaving us with a pulsating undercurrent of electronic beats.
Put your fears to rest metal heads! The musical hybrid monster that the Tron' have come up with not only works, but it also adds a distinctive set of new sounds to a withering array of tired grindcore ideals. These engrossing ideas help to preserve the freshness that most bands in the genre lack. This sonic aesthetic is in turn what keeps Dead Mountain Mouth so interesting and dynamic enough to warrant successive listens. Aside from the fact that they use a homophonic pun for their name, Genghis Tron has crafted an enjoyable shitstorm of a record with only a handful of synthesizers, a single guitar and one pissed off gentleman on vocals.
Dead Mountain Mouth is the band's second release on Crucial Blast, and first full length since the band's inception. Truth be told, it is light-years away from their first EP Cloak of Love in terms of how much the band has progressed in the field of writing songs. While the aforementioned EP showed a degree of promise, this is the record that expands upon those promises and articulates exactly what the EP tried to. It accomplishes that feat and more, only this time the band knows restraint and when to let loose in full throttle grind fury.
The production on this record is pristine thanks to Kurt Ballou and God City studios; it captures everything from the blood-curdling intensity to the warped electronic mind-fuckery that was recorded on 2" analog tape in Massachusetts. These sterling production values add a degree of confidence to the songs that make the lot of them seem that much more brooding when they need to be and give the record a more accomplished feel.
As previously mentioned, breakneck speed is not the only trick up Genghis Tron's sleeve. While they have their lion's share of breakdowns and otherworldly speed guitar hacking, it is Genghis Tron's other elements that make them more than just a by-the-numbers grind band. Their use of electronic antics that weave sporadically in and out of the tunes is pitch-perfect and rounds out the songs very well.
Some advice if you're a metal-grindcore-whatever enthusiast, don't let the term "electro-grind" thwart you from checking this out, as it is a lot meatier and interesting than the sum of those two terms. The record is intense through and through, certainly not for the faint of heart. The first track "The Folding Road" starts the album off innocently enough with some buzzes and blips, and then proceeds to launch its aural assault of undecipherable lyrics, wavering electronics and some stringent guitar licks. Replete with a slow motion chug-chug metal breakdown at the end, this first song sets the tone for the entire record.
While the first song is pretty standard territory for a band such as Genghis Tron, they do venture off the beaten path a few times and into unknown territory. The longest song on the album "White Walls" is punctuated with an extended display of synth-doodling that shows the band's softer side. The song "Warm Woods" shows off the band's electronics fetish more than any of the other songs on the album. Since this is the band's first full length, I would not be surprised if they take the journey to more experimental plateaus with new music.
With Dead Mountain Mouth, Genghis Tron successfully incorporates new ideas into a genre that has long since become stagnant. At the end of the day they are still a metal band, but what separates them from the rest of the bunch is that they are doing something slightly different. Creativity is always rewarded and this case your reward is a slightly off kilter grind album that maintains its propulsive intensity while attempting to do something unique with electronics. It isn't a perfect album, but it is a hell of a lot more interesting and creative than most heavy music around today.
7.9 / 10
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