In these hard times it is necessary to save your hard earned wherever you can. If you baulk at the price of Otex, then acquiring “Grind Is Protest” is a handy way of clearing the clogs from your lugs as it acts like a sonic syringe to forge a way into your inner ear.
AGATHOCLES present their Grindcore in straightforward fashion, there's little in the way of embellishment as they try to bludgeon their point across, riffs drop like lead balloons upon the listener, they're on the Mr Creosote side of heavy and just as messy in the execution. There are no attempts at winning any pissing contents, the delivery is honest and simple as the tracks depth charge along, rarely exceeding the minute mark. The main distinction between tracks tends to be the varying tempos, they range from a punchy, Punky mid-pace through to a nitrous kick, at all speeds there is a weightiness that means squashed toes if you stay in the way.
You could argue that most of these tracks begin to merge due to the lack of defining features, that would be missing the point somewhat, if you were expecting an easy ride then Grind is the last train you want to catch. There is subtle difference between the tracks, be it the organ (grinder) accompaniment of the title track or the smattering of rudimentary lead runs that pop up and off here and there. Intent on battering your bonce until your brains turn to mush and leak out of your ears and nose, the drums adopt that favoured genre staple, the snappy snare. With that slight echo to them, the snare reminds you what listening to this music at daft volumes for too long will do to your hearing, they perfectly embody tinnitus, at least you'll recognise it when it comes. The drums are the driving force on “Grind Is Protest,” full on force that wallops and wrecks as the skins project the main sense of speed, there is a bucketful of blast but here there is plenty of strafe and stutter too.
The track titles tell you all you need to know about the subject matter, suffice to say that the vocals reflect how pissed AGATHOCLES are, the bark and snarl brings to mind a bear with a sore head frequently joined in a foul tempered duet by a Tasmanian devil. Often the vocals become percussive as they punctuate with growl and gnash, this is particularly so during the choruses, which tend to be just the song title repeated. It's hard to describe anything on this album as catchy but repetition brings recognition and so the inevitable foot tapping eventually follows, though at times the pace means your toes will begin to fray at the end. The production is such that even turning down the volume still makes “Grind Is Protest” hard to ignore and it has to be said that for those moments when you want your neighbours pictures to fall off the wall, this is ideal.
This album certainly relishes kicking up a stink, there is an unsavoury whiff about it, not in any Porn/Gore sense, more an unwashed sweatiness brought about by excess adrenaline. Despite pissing on the establishment, AGATHOCLES retain their humour and show there's plenty of fun to be had whilst lobbing shit at anything that takes itself too seriously, Horns Up – Fuck Off indeed.
(Online December 14, 2008)