Ass To Mouth - Degenerate
20 songs (30' 54")
Release year: 2014
Reviewed by Andy

I must confess, I only picked up Ass To Mouth's latest record because of the band's name, but Degenerate is a pretty good record. It's certainly heavy enough for one's taste, and the mound of groove riffs almost every track is buried in is its most enjoyable aspect, though it's unlikely to become one's steady diet.

The album is filled with grindcore trademarks -- short songs beginning with samples a la the punk world, harsh, angry vocals that have a lot in common with traditional death metal at times, and lightning fast drumming. There's a lot of humor and some pop-culture references in the song titles -- pieces like You have 0 Friends or Mama, I'm Not Coming Home come to mind, and shouted thrash-style choruses where the title usually is the last few words yelled in chorus at the end of the song. One Shot Too Far, one of my favorites, starts with cowbell and has a more organized riff at the beginning (right before controlled chaos takes over), and Drunk & Stoned and One Mackerel Drama are both fairly disciplined, but overall as soon as the furious groove riffs start (courtesy of guitarist Maciek) the wild, raging sound of the band overflows into the listeners ears with a melange of heaviness -- the refuse of punk, thrash, and death all mixed up and poured out in a straight shot, such as in Under the Razor's Edge or Alcowhore.

I wouldn't go so far as to say Degenerate has a theme, but its numerous songs, most of which are under two minutes, have many references to alcohol and alcoholism (a few of the samples are from the movie "Leaving Las Vegas"), and tracks like Suffer the Hangover combine savage grooving with a surprisingly clean chugging riff at high speed. The advantage of putting 20 short little songs on this album is that the band has a lot of freedom to try things, and though it often feels like the genre limits them, it certainly doesn't limit their ability to combine the heaviness they can produce with the humor of Idiot's Crusade (which starts with random clips of right-wing talking heads), or that of the schoolyard "Nah nah nah nah nah" in You Have 0 Friends.

This is by no means a groundbreaking grindcore album, but it is a fun one to listen to, reminding me a little of how Gama Bomb would have been if they had gone into grindcore instead of thrash. For those who are into what grindcore has to offer, this will likely be a very enjoyable album.

Killing Songs :
One Shot Too Far, One Mackerel Drama, Suffer the Hangover
Andy quoted 78 / 100
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