Imagine being woken up to find yourself being eaten by hundreds of rats and a few flesh eating bacteria. At first you would be very confused by the situation, but after a few seconds of thought and insight, you'd realize how much you love it. Now, imagine a band by the name of The Sawtooth Grin that is that experience, but throw in a few calculators and increase the throttle. That would for the most part sum up Cuddlemonster, which in fact is 99% monster and 1% cuddle. Don't believe the title, this isn't the kind of music that you can cuddle to, unless you played it on 1 rpm and all the lights blew out. Due to the short overall length, you'll want to listen again, like a freshly skinned knee that stings. Blowing on it repeatedly brings emotions of discord and infatuation quite quickly. A shortcoming I found was that at times this reminded me of The Dillinger Escape Plan, which is a hard feat to pull of well, but in all fairness those moments of remembrance lasted very shortly. If you don't like loud and noisy music, this definitely would not be your cup of tequila. If the words "grind", "tech", and "fucking insane" raise your brow, look no further than The Sawtooth Grin.
The only thing that kept repeating in my head the entire time I listened to this record was "Wow, the Locust certainly do this whole 'chaos' thing a lot better." And that's my opinion of the whole thing, really. It's a big mess of high-pitched (we're talking exceedingly high-pitched) vocals and drums pushed all the way to the front. The whole record sounds like a band trying to be a chaotic grindcore band, but with less focus, poorer production skills, and a lack of any real threat. The band hasn't gotten the realization that what makes a good chaotic grind band is a focus on dynamics and structure, which this band certainly doesn't have. Part of me thinks this is a big joke, due to song titles like "Please Shit All Over Me, I Love It" and "Satan Would Sit in the Smoking Section But He Doesn't Like the Creepy Waiter," and also the last song, "Good Touch Bad Touch 123," which is a pretty well played instrumental groove rock song. However, it's not my job to tell you what a band's intentions are, just to report to you whether or not something's any good, which this most certainly isn't. Bonus points for funny song titles, though.
The Sawtooth Grin are quite the listen. From the first track, you are thrown into a whirlwind of grind, fronted with a singer that has, quite possibly, the most annoying scream in the world. That scream though is like that one guy you meet and you really don't like him at first. Then you go out one night, he gives you a beer, and you sit down and talk about stuff a bit and you find out he isn't all that bad. The drumming on this record is so chaotic, it's hard to follow what is going on from time to time.
The first standout track on the album would have to be "A 2 Minute Lecture On the Finer Points of Instability." Clocking in at 2:03, it takes you on quite a little ride. It starts off blazing. The drums just rip through and finally start to break apart and everyone meets in this pseudo-breakdown that just goes right back into blazing fast speeds before meeting again into this carnival-esque sound. Finally about a minute into the song it goes into their "emo-grind" as I like to call it. The song finishes up blazing right on through.
The next song is a personal fav of mine titled, "Sometimes She Tasted Like Burnt Plastic Smells." The beginning sounds like you are being confronted by Bowser immediately followed by breakneak speeds of insane grind. The reason I like this song though is because I am a huge fan of songs that are big breakdowns, and this song does it well. About 1:10 into the song it's your typical breakdown sound, which I love. The singer is just going crazy during it. It breaks out from the breakdown into a fast grind part only to find itself back in the breakdown moments later. It turns into this clappy, wanna be jazz part for a second, before ending the song in pure mayhem.
Sure this is a grind cd that has 7 songs and clocks in at 15:38 but if you are a fan of the genre, you'll probably appreciate it. "Please Shit All Over Me, I Love It" actually is 4:54 long. Quite long for a track in this genre. They aren't doing anything new here but they take the true and tried formula and make it their own.
6.0 / 10
Reviewed by 3 writers.
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