It's probably the same the world over. You're driving through unfamiliar countryside and find yourself lost. After going round in endless circles you rejoice in finding a local leaning on a gate. You ask him the way and listen attentively as you are directed past the old barn, the ten acre field and the Red Lion pub. Off you go, uncertain but hopeful until an hour later you come across the same old git leaning smiling against the same old gate. “I thought you said it was that-a-way,” you complain. The old boy stares steadily into your eyes and says, “You ain't been talking to my twin brother have you?” After listening to a further explanation of old Oaks to the left and tumbledown churches on the right, you set off again not at all convinced until an hour later you come across a familiar old man leaning against a gate. “Big family you've got!” You exclaim before running the old bastard over.
CRIPPLE BASTARDS are that old boy, sending you fuck knows where within the space of the same song .Presenting a collage of Grindcore, Hardcore/Old School Punk and Death Metal that for the most point runs consecutively as opposed to trying to fuse genres.
“Desperately Insensitive” does not immediately engage and on first listen sounds something of a mish-mash however repeated plays reveal a cohesion to the splattering of styles. The punchy Hardcore strongarms straight into the Grinding speed runs whilst a pummeling Death Metal bangs both the other two genres heads together. A discerning production ensures that all the discordant brutality blasting forth is delivered to lethal effect as everything is served up in perfect balance.
Rabid rant-alongs break into barked choruses demonstrating amply if you had not already guessed it that CRIPPLE BASTARDS are not happy bunnies, The hate and anger is spat out with caustic effect. For all the furore there is plenty of variety, tempos go from an earnest gallop to heart exploding all out dive bombing. The separation of styles, albeit changing in the space of ten seconds, keeps a grip on your attention. This Grindcore you have to think about, it's not served up on a plate for you and you will have to grub about in the muck to gain maximum enjoyment.
The band deliver the goods tight, there is no slack at all in proceedings, if you could pluck them, they would twang. The forcefulness of the guitars is strong but nonetheless does not overwhelm the drum battery which blasts and rattles along shoulder to shoulder with the six strings whilst the bass pile drives along, the whole complimented by the percussive nature of the vocals.
Subject matter only goes to show how pissed CRIPPLE BASTARDS are. They are forthright in their commentary on what irks them, whether it be scenesters or the NATO action in the former Yugoslavia. The invective is delivered with honest contempt and not without a rough eloquence.
Once the band have machine gunned through 19 tracks of the album proper you are treated to a bonus live recording from Obscene Extreme 2003. The band comes across as a more fluid prospect live, a seemingly more straightforward assault of Grind/Punk/Hardcore for you to enjoy.
In all this album challenges you both musically and lyrically. The production dictates that you have to give your attention and in that sense you can forgive CRIPPLE BASTARDS for sending you this way and that, after all, who says that A to B is the best way anyway? (Online July 17, 2006)