The New York two piece Mother Brain return with a macerating cut of mince as just one of Mannequin Rein Recordings’ latest set releases for this year. Despite some familiarity with the label I haven’t even been aware of these guys prior to being offered this hefty EP.
Well I’m aware of them now. Rise And Grind is their fourth release, the other three all during 2012. As they’ve moved from then to this one their sound has become increasingly prickly. It is a thick and menacing snarl, chewing through the eight tracks in twelve minutes like a nuclear tunnel bore.
Emphasis adjusting to lessen the brainy discord in favor of absolute slab-cracking strikes — pushed further than Straight to Business’ intoxicated grind. You’ll want to indulge in their call to action if you haven’t already and watch Mannequin Rein like a hawk.
Their general approach may not immediately jump out at you as distinct compared to other acts (Discordance Axis, Cloud Rat or A Scanner Darkly for example) — this does not lessen the impact. You’ll be staggering, quickly recognizing the material Mother Brain have composed for this 7″ should not be shrugged off.
Refining the grind seizures of their quickly sold-out Straight to Business 7″ this new shit rips without remorse from the get go, but louder and more bluntly heaved than in that slice of wax. If you give it a listen there’s a peculiarity in between those friction filled threshings that while not completely transferred onto the new one (particularly “Down The Drain”).
While the trade off is for higher amounts of stupefying blows and slower, squeezing rhythm sections, that subtle cerebral approach phrased between hefty gnawing and fast blasts manages to stand out well even now on Rise And Grind.
Chainsaw guitar tone (really love it) has increased in its traction, caustic death roars, and demolishing drumming fuse into a blown-out grind firestorm that hits both scraping groove bouts and infuriated speed bursts. The production on Rise And Grind brings greater volume, almost a blown-out quality contrasted to their previous releases and can almost dull the drums in the more high intensity moments with the bleeding of bass and noise.
This might just be a consequence of how fucking loud this is at the core. It’s not a serious damper on things, might bug some. Overall I hear good elements of deathgrind like Exhumed and powerviolence like ACXDC or Magrudergrind mix well inside then bands trippy cocoon.
“Casual Transition” is the first piece you hear and it smothers first with feedback then with wild, crunchy riffs — the more bouncy of which amplifies the effect the chainsaw tone already had. Then a few moments where the death and Nordic grind traditions explode, ending on a thundering slowdown crusher.
Track two is the promotional one and it was a good choice too. “King Shitter” keeps throwing in amputated breaks between the opening thrashes and blasts, deep gravely roars. With this a sudden technical seizure is reached followed by a very tasty, Magrudergrind-like rhythm begins to unfold. From here Mother Brain throw down from hyper thrash into a slower, bulky series of blows.
Folding nicely into the next song too, which I’m gonna say the stand outs here are the meatier tracks actually. Specifically “I Didn’t Sign Up For This” opening flailing hammer-onsand a goregrind like pit opens for a moment. Snarling powerchords peaking through a clamoring feedback after the first forty seconds is a satisying climax while the vocals go real deep in the gut. The switch from manic savagery into charged lunging rhythms is smooth, extremely sating.
“Turbo Rot” brings a similar staggered lean to it, another song that can’t be missed here. Deadening blows for the crucial first third, followed immediately by a frothing drum blast upping the pace into grind again. The last third shows the emphasis on haphazard grooves over blind lashing.
However if you tire of the slower sections “Coffee Break” brings the thirty seconds of tenderizing you’ll revel in. A little dissonant at first but cut short for successive, multidimensional bludgeonings that change at a merciless pace.
“Fishhook” continues this slide back into a straight on series of rusted thrusts. Grinding voraciously until the final fifteen seconds which bring back the rippling slams. Sudden barbs of tremolos thrust upward and transform later
The continued slamming of “Hammered and Pissed” from its beginning are hard to ignore with that ripping guitar. The echoing percussion after the drop out for all but one rhythm, into further pummeling is awesome.
As mentioned before “Sweat It Out” is one of the jutting moments of this record, cauterizing the wax nicely. It grows into feedback and then slow, bulging rhythms and relatively restrained percussion eventually bringing in more textures as the gravity consumes all around it. Seriously a strong seal on an already eerily aggressive grind splinter.
At first I wasn’t sure I believed in it but Mother Brain bring tremendous energy to this material, Rise And Grind has great staying power in it’s short twelve minute duration, working with a hacking, peeling tone hard to dismiss. This is one of the early pieces of suffocating grind you should get into.