If ever there was a grind super-group then Venomous Concept are it!
Kevin Sharp, Dan Lilker, Shane Embury, Danny Herrera. These fella’s musical pedigrees are immense and, joining these heavy hitters on this, their third LP is John Cooke (Corrupt Moral Altar / The Atrocity Exhibit). In fact John has played live with Anaal Nathrakh as well as filling in for Mitch Harris live for Napalm Death since 2014. So the lad knows exactly what he’s doing too. And what Venomous Concept do is belt out some of the catchiest full on grind-punk tunes you’ll ever hear.
If you liked ‘Poisoned Apple’ …..and why the fuck wouldn’t you, then you will lap this gem right up. Kicking off with the raging ‘Rise’ with it’s awesome punky riffing it’s clear that the band mean business and their business is pinning your lug holes back and hitting you with a combination of bouncy hardcore punk anthems like…er…. ‘Anthem’ and some shorter grinding blasters like ‘Busy With Your Debt’.
This album is 21 tracks of fun and one you’ll be playing again and again.
Oh and yeah….. 21 tracks? You heard right but don’t worry…. this isn’t a lengthy ‘Tales From Topographic Oceans’ type slog, no sir. This will have blown you to bits inside half an hour, and have you sweatily hitting ‘play’ again.
Shane and John’s riffing and brief squealing solos are the highlight here ‘Leper Dog’ & ‘Good Times’ being great examples, proper and no nonsense. Dan Lilker’s dirty bass is satisfyingly high in the mix too. It’s not all speed speed speed though….well, mostly it is…. but there’s a fair bit of variety on offer too. ‘Forever War’ reminds me of early Killing Joke as does ‘Farm Boy’….at least for the first half. There’s the odd SOD esque ‘mini blast’ like ‘Johnny Wants A Cheeseburger’ too, in fact the album takes quite a tour through several punk genres but the whole thing is so well constructed it jells together as one big ball of grindrock with a totally in your face production job from knob wizard (sorry mate) Russ Russell.
The first essential purchase of 2016! Buy it.
(8.5/10 Mark Eve)