May 20, 2011

Worst Case Scenario

Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, before the churches were burning or growls were autotuned, there existed a brutal cross-genre metal scene. Reeking of smack and sweat, it mostly festered away in grotty Sydney pubs. Band members would play a hardcore show one weekend and grinding death metal the week after. It didn't really matter to most of the crowd what genre it was, as long as the beer was cold and the sound was filthy fucking heavy. There just wasn't enough good heavy gigs to make you fussy about all that pussy metal-nerd shit. No-one used the internet.

Recording was an overpriced hassle and even then it was almost impossible to get them sounding as thick and aggressive as the shows. Which makes this 1995 compilation a bit of a landmark. It doesn't sound half as shit as most of the EP's and albums these bands released subsequently, despite some pretty comical song titles like Bus Driver From Hell or Psycho Cunt. As far as I can tell, Jody and Dave of Sydney death/grind act Persecution got fed up chasing overseas record deals and decided to form their own label, Underclass, painstakingly putting together this release as a harbinger of the festering holocaust they planned to infect society with.

Said infection didn't really catch on because I picked up this CD second hand at Utopia for $5 in '97, recognising only Sadistik Exekution and Toe To Toe from the older skaters' logo-riddled cutoff army pants and jackets. Today, a lot of these songs sound clearly derivative of the US scene - Beergut could be a Slayer cover band and Misery sound a lot like Disembowel - but I'll be damned if there isn't a totally unique thread to the dirty, under-produced sludge on this compilation, really honest and raw. Unclean, Persecution and Misery saved me from the dismal popular skate metal of the day (Pantera, Korn and Pennywise) and for that I'm forever grateful. Aftermath are suitably foul too, once you realise Organic Spare Parts refers to internal organs, not macrobiotic dipsticks. Crack open a cold VB and enjoy, mate.



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