‘When the famine came all hell broke lose in Endland (sic) – some blokes from the council went round writing HUNGER in the walls and Olde MacDonalds closed down and the place wer like a dump of olden times where people died of cholera, raisins, mumps, vertigo and Russian Mattress.’ The Shell Garages History Of Mud – Tim Etchells.
South-ish-West-ish grindcore outfit Atomçk are back with another response to these nightmarish days on the Northwest Fringes. Towering Failures comes a surprising six years after Every Room In Britain but picks up the same sense of hysterical despair and fuck-it-hands-up resistance. Now With Bassist!©
Boasting more megacity urban collapse art from the hands of Mr Luke Oram (also guitars) Towering Failures is a nineteen-part ode to the paradox of privilege and precarity we have the honour of living through, and perhaps also some attempt to solve the problem of becoming a ‘proper’ band when playing grindcore. Self-identifying as ‘veterans’ is probably fair enough at this point (years of no-frills touring and honest DIY ethic) but how to balance that equation of the grim, the daft and the pointy while encumbered with such gravitas?
They drag in elements from crust, black metal coldness, chugging death metal, and keep it all churning through short energetic blasts…
Fortunately, Atomçk have the tools for the job, a bright punk attack to start, tumbling headfirst into deranged vocals, lurching monster riffs and all the punchy grind and gallop required to get sweaty crowds running around in the properly approved circles. They drag in elements from crust, black metal coldness, chugging death metal, and keep it all churning through short energetic blasts.
In terms of the trifecta proposed earlier, they get grimmer than grim (Big Shot Showdown), pointier than many (Abyssal Confrontation) and always daft enough (Linus’ distinctive vocal style, the guitar solo on Butcher AC/DC). A dangerous proposition then – a grindcore band that actually writes songs… And of course, in such a rhythm-centred form of music, much hangs on the drummer – fortunately Atomçk have this more than adequately covered. Karl rattles and thunders unstoppably all over this album, popping off snare hits and rolls with a surprisingly deft touch.
Properly booted me out of my autumnal constipated-post-metal phase. Lots of fun!
Scribed by: Harry Holmes