Aah, the power of the low end. Not enough grindcore bands today recognize the power of a crushing bass groove, preferring to keep the riffs grinding and the drums blasting. Luckily, the gals (and guy) in Flagitious Idiosyncracy in the Dilapidation - the first non-gore related name Ive ever had to look up - know when to let up on the speed and settle into a gut busting groove. I had the pleasure of catching them last weekend, where they blew me away with an incredibly tight and focused performance. But the thing that stuck me most was the sheer intensity of the bass in this band, whether grooving or grinding: it was LOUD, and it never stopped.
I snagged a copy of their new EP after the set and, like their performance, the focus here is definitely the bass. Opening track Sakai starts off with a pretty ominous bass riff, which is soon joined by some rather tasteful guitar feedback, all before launching full throttle into familiar blasting territory. But the bass never fades from the foreground, crunching along over everything else. Its prominence forces the listener to recognize each song's rhythm, which tend to be rather strong, especially for a grind band. The punky, stop-start bounce of Zenmou is a shining example, sure to get circle pits started in a heart-beat.
While the excellent bass playing is Kakusei's biggest strength, it also contributes to its biggest weakness: you just cant hear the guitar. Normally this doesnt bother me, but every once in a while, a tasty little guitar lick rears its head to remind me that this guy is actually doing some neat stuff. Its the little flourishes at the end of the grind riffs in Sajou and Shosou that make me wish the band had just turned the guitar up a little bit. By the time closer Kyogen comes around, FID seems to have figured out the proper balance, and the reward is definitely one of the best riffs on the whole album.
This is a promising EP. FID knows how to write a memorable song, combining dinosaur-sized grooves with some creative guitar work that keeps the grindcore formula interesting. Hopefully by the time of their next release, theyll have found a more balance sound.
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