Few bands can pull off having “fucking” in their name. Total Fucking Destruction is definitely fucking one of them. This Philadelphia trio were formed in 1999 by Brutal Truth drummer Richard Hoak following Truth’s breakup the previous year. True to grindcore’s punk origins, the band have released a bevy of splits over the years but been pretty sporadic about putting out full-lengths, with only three released in their near-twenty-year history. Nevertheless titles like Zen and the Art of Total Fucking Destruction and Our Love Is a Rainbow show TFD harbor a cheeky sense of humor alongside their frantic and eclectic riffing. Apparently they’re now also running for public office, as fourth full-length #USA4TFD possesses both a Twitter-ready title and an album cover I’ll definitely be sharing with my friends, if only to see if they can make any fucking sense of it.1
It’s been seven years since TFD’s last full-length, yet it’s immediately apparent Hoak and friends have lost none of their snotty energy. Rounded out by Rumpelstiltskin Grinder’s Ryan Moll on bass and fellow Brutal Truth alum Dan O’Hare on guitar, the trio continue to peddle a riotous, zany brand of grindcore that trades raging fury for rocking attitude. Fret not, you’ll still get your blast beats and grooves that evoke Pig Destroyer, not to mention your blunt riffing that recalls Napalm Death. Yet it’s all infused into a much crazier context than you’d expect.
#USA4TFD by TOTAL FUCKING DESTRUCTION
For one, O’Hare often abandons traditional grindcore riffs in favor of rapid and playful sequences of open notes that are both catchy as hell and possess more than a little Rumpelstiltskin Grinder influence. Likewise, TFD pull a page from the Agoraphobic Nosebleed playbook by having all members perform vocals. The main vocals are surprisingly clean shouts that sound like they’re being performed through a distant megaphone. These are often layered with more traditional screams or supplemented by garbled rasps. At times, the shouts even transform into demented yet melodic singing, a trick which amplifies the titular hook of early highlight “Sideways in Time.”
All this craziness would all be for naught if the songs didn’t hold up, and fortunately they often do. After some stampeding blast beats, “Jesus Christ Poseur” takes a bizarre yet fun turn into a swaggering Southern rock groove that makes me want to dance around like a nincompoop. Late highlight “A Note to My Future Self” features snappy rhythms and possibly the catchiest riff this year, while closer “USA4TFD” sounds appropriately like a political rally full of grindcore fans. The fast triumphant progressions and chants of “USA for TFD!” are a fitting way to end things, even if it somehow still feels a bit anticlimactic.
Unfortunately, not everything works. Songs like “Mother’s Meat” are serviceable but forgettable, while other tracks are entirely throwaway. There are a lot of legitimate ways to criticize the current U.S. president, writing a four-second song called “Anal Trump Is Gay” is not one of them. It’s doubly painful because there isn’t much material here. While #USA4TFD technically has twenty-three songs, ten of them are bonus tracks pulled from the Our Love Is a Rainbow and Monsters EPs. Thus, the proper album consists of only thirteen tracks that clock in at less than fifteen minutes (with not a single song exceeding two minutes). That’s short even for grindcore, and considering the quality of some of these riffs, I wouldn’t have minded a bit more new music. Likewise, the eclectic style hampers some of the cohesion. Fortunately, the potent production does a great job balancing everything, with a sharp and invigorating guitar tone to boot.
Despite its shortcomings, #USA4TFD is a fun record that’s energetic, catchy, and sounds like it was written by three dudes having the absolute time of their lives. Listening to this is like listening to your high school friend trying to tell you everything he did over the summer on your first day back to school. There’s a lot of ideas being packed into a short time, and though you don’t care for all of them, there’s enough good ones to keep things exciting. While I’m not sure I’d support Total Fucking Destruction in the next national election,2 that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be blasting their rallying cry on the way to your soul-sucking job tomorrow. USA for TFD!
DR: 7 | Format Reviewed: v0 mp3
Label: Give Praise Records
Releases Worldwide: October 26th, 2018
The post Total Fucking Destruction – #USA4TFD Review appeared first on Angry Metal Guy.
Fri Nov 02 19:49:46 CET 2018