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GRUMP - North End Generic 7"

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Strange but rewarding five-song punk EP from Halifax, Nova Scotia, interesting largely for what the band doesn’t do, which is stick to genre or convention. Songs speed up and slow down, wild out and get spooky (particularly “Antagonist”), only sticking to the windswept, treated, hoarse through-the-nose yelling of their vocalist. As this thing winds to an end, it comes off a bit like Die Kreuzen “All White” inside a circus tent, for all we know the product of four people who have listened to a bit of punk/HC and either didn’t care enough to emulate what they’d heard, or simply didn’t know how, and just did their own thing instead. Reminiscent of the genre-busting random singles that popped up through the ‘90s, picking up influence like lint on chewed gum. Silkscreened chipboard pocket sleeve. 

Our take: After a heap of cassettes, here's the debut vinyl from this Canadian hardcore band. On this release I think they really come into their own, not so much by being harder or faster or more intense than your average hardcore band, but instead by being weirder. Mostly that weirdness is concentrated in the guitar sound, which is bathed in an absurd level of chorus and kind of dances around the rhythms in a way that is very atypical and unexpected for a hardcore band. At first listen to you want to compare it to something like Urban Waste which is interesting mostly because of the weirdness of its sound / production, but after a couple of listens I realize that it's not just the way the knobs are turned on the guitarist's pedals, but rather the entire approach that is innovative. For my money the real gems are on the b-side, where Grump allow themselves to be a little slower and a little weirder, and I'm hoping that future Grump material continues to explore the bizarre and unique combination of post-punk, hardcore, prog, and hard rock that they put forth on those tracks. Highly recommended if you like your hardcore well off the beaten path, both geographically and aesthetically.