FEATURE: Off-Center With Ojayy: “Verotika” – Written and Directed by Glenn Danzig

In a new series by Ghost Cult’s photo and video editor, Omar Cordy will pop in from time to time and gives his take on the creative output of musicians and personalities from the industry, be it films, graphic novels, cool side-hustles, interesting hobbies, and other endeavors; Ojayy will have his say. In his debut column, he takes on the much-buzzed-about directorial debut of Danzig, Verotika. Continue reading

Torch Runner – Endless Nothing

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Just when you thought that grindcore couldn’t get any more punishing, with recent releases by Nails, Columns and Misery Index plumbing new depths of aggression and hate-filled violence, along comes Torch Runner, a three-piece from Greensboro, NC, who with new record Endless Nothing (Southern Lord) look set to cause even more cerebral haemorrhages and broken bones than your average night at an unlicensed boxing match.

Clocking in at a mere 22 minutes, Torch Runner waste little time in creating an atmosphere of unease and tension with the squalid feedback and unhinged brutality of the likes of ‘Attrition’ and ‘Bound by Misery’ causing merry havoc. Aided by a brutally thick guitar tone and a vocalist who sounds like he’s on the verge of escaping from his straightjacket, the songs on offer here are short, sharp and about as pleasant as being on the receiving end of a cup full of battery acid. However the band aren’t just another set of one-dimensional speedfreaks as the tortured crawl of ‘Godlust’ and the skin-crawling sludge of ‘Circle of Shit’ emphatically proves. The latter in particular features a bass guitar tone that could bring down trees, while the intrusive feedback is reminiscent of Eyehategod at their most unpalatable.

While the members obviously have an appreciation for the crustier side of things as so many on the grind spectrum do, here the influence has been carefully imbued into the songwriting process, rather than smeared haphazardly on the surface like a layer of, well, crust. This gives Endless Nothing a feeling of authenticity that many of the bandwagon-hoppers just can’t manage.

A truly horrible and violent album that will have fans of Nails and Brutal Truth foaming at the mouth even more than they usually do on a daily basis.

8.0/10

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JAMES CONWAY

Columns – Please Explode

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Bursting onto the scene with their sophomore album Please Explode (Relapse) Carolina four-piece Columns have produced an album that manages to do exactly what it says on the tin. Right from the first note the album hurtles the listener through 16 tracks and 34 minutes of ceaseless brutality in an explosion of frantic beats and riffs.

With the prevalence of computer editing, the band seems keen to project to their DIY ethic stating that there are ‘no triggers or sound replacement on the drums, no pitch shifting on the vocals.’ Although this should create a more organic sound splattered with inviting inaccuracies, there is a tendency for the tracks to meld into indistinctive noise.

There are a few moments that stand out from the mass on the album, particularly ‘Punching Nancy Grace’ and its frenzied middle section, and in the dissonant guitar work in ‘No One’s Fucking Waiting’. It’s the chaos of ‘Drifter Aftermath’, however, that really captures the spirit of the album though, encapsulating the dark undertones that run throughout the lyrics.

While the chaos may be hard to follow at first with the majority of tracks coming in at just 2 minutes long, each listen reveals new sonic territories. Throwing in a hefty mix of grindcore, d-beat, thrash and death, Please Explode careers its way between the different genres, ripping through an all out frenzy of instrumentation one second before suddenly pulling back into some solid chugging the next. Although it may not be the most cohesive album, it is everything it promises to be right from the start: short, sharp and unyieldingly brutal.

 

7.0/10.0

 

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CAITLIN SMITH