Beer Corpse: Keg Nuts

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Beer Corpse: Keg Nuts
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Beer Corpse: Keg Nuts
Death Metal, Grindcore
Give Praise Records
July 12th, 2011
Release length: 11:45
Myspace
Beer Corpse is a band that hails from Australia, and has one of the more interesting gimmicky names one could ever hope for. This Death Metal/Grindcore act promotes themselves as being a “Very Alcohol Grind!” band, and with the band name and the EP title of Keg Nuts that anyone who has been in a bar would say is a play on the “beer nuts” that most bars happen to carry, make it pretty clear that this group is if fueled by intoxication themes and alcohol in general. Up to this point, the band has issued two demo recordings, and recently signed to Give Praise Records to release the EP Keg Nuts. So, with a band name and album title such as this, what can we all really expect from this release?

The band’s combination of Death Metal and Grindcore comes out very well. There are some obvious ques taken from plenty of the pioneers of the style, but one thing that sticks out is that this is not a copy and paste Napalm Death worship album. Sure there are some moments that it does come into play, but for the most part the band does a good job at providing some great groove based Death Metal in the vein of Cannibal Corpse and even early Torture Killer, mixed with strong Grindcore moments that bands like the aforementioned Napalm Death and even Phobia would be proud of, though never breaking out of the Death Metal mold and just hammering away with blast beat after blast beat. The rawer quality of the recording does work well for the music, giving it a slightly more brutal feeling thanks to the louder bass, though not necessarily making it heavier, though not necessarily making the music sound too deep. It also manages to make the overall heavy songs sound a little heavier, even during the Grindcore moments. The only complaint is the volume of the vocals. These are essentially in the background, and while they are audible, you can’t understand a thing due to being drowned out by the instruments, and they come off more as if you’re listening to frogs croaking in rhythm to the song.

But aside that let down, the material here is still pretty strong. Once in a while the production quality of the EP can make the guitars kind of sound similar in one track compared to another at times in the Grindcore moments, but there’s enough solid groovey Death Metal that remains unique to keep these songs from sounding like each other no matter how short or long a track length they have. Of course, the band also uses some random audio samples from films, typically related drinking such as the belching on “Chunder Cops”, the question basically why someone is talking to a woman instead of drinking, and “Scruff” kicking off with the decleration that things (whatever they may be since that part is not hinted at) could be worse but the beer hasn’t run out so all is still as good as it could be, and a sample of a stand up comic discussing having a glass of his favorite beer on “Any Old How”. All of these are actually pretty short and don’t cut away from the overall experience of the recording, nor do they feel tacked on. The band doesn’t abuse this in any way, and since they generally keep with the alcohol theme, they work out in the long run and help the concept of the band come off as more then just a gimick. The only one that feels a little out of place is the one on “Any Old How”, and it’s mostly due to the clarity and it being from a stand up comedian set with a crowd laughing in the background making it feel out of place from the rest of the movie-based samples, and the general production quality of the music. Surely the lyrics of the recording are somewhat alcohol related but due to a lack of lyrics provided with this review copy, and the inability to hear them, it’s impossible to tell.

You can’t really sit down and say one song is better then the other, as all the tracks on here are pretty strong. “Hanging Brain” sets up the EP perfectly, and it closes with the same vibe, sound, and intensity that it had at the start and carried with it through each track. There are plenty of moments the music would want you to get up and start a mosh though, such as with “Blood Brew” and “Malt Shovel” with it’s catchier two-step bass kicks. But, overall, the muffled production quality and the vocals being buried in the mix do have their disadvantages, though the low vocal level in no way genuinely hinders the album other then making you want the vocals to just be a bit louder to hear what’s being said, and make the impact from Keg Nuts a strong one, but not one that feels strong enough to get the listener’s blood pumping from the heaviness of the album, which is the main part that feels held back from the quality, not the overall intensity which still exists from start to end. It also doesn’t really seem to show off the band’s full potential due to the heavily muddied quality leaving you to wonder if there’s more to the songs that the lo-fi production quality simply didn’t capture.

But, all in all, Keg Nuts is a pretty strong EP. The band manages to take the concept of alcohol fueled Death Metal and Grindcore from a gimmick to a pretty strong theme for the band and the material. It’s nothing too unique, but the way the band handles the style and shows obvious care to not directly rip off pioneering bands and stand out works well for them. Each song is as strong as the next and the last, and they all offer up enough unique experiences and foundations to show that they have what it takes to cut a pretty sick album when the time comes if ever. Beer Corpse come at you with what sounds like some of their best material they have with Keg Nuts, and it’d be a shame to honestly let experiencing this underground EP slip by you.

Side A:
01. Hanging Brain – 1:16
02. Chunder Chops – 1:16
03. Blood Brew – 1:04
04. King Brown – 1:36
05. Piss Head – 0:52

Side B:
01. Rot Gut – 1:30
02. Scruff – 0:33
03. Maggot – 0:43
04. Malt Shovel – 1:19
05. Any Old How – 1:37

Overall Score: 8.5/10


Digital review copy of this release provided by Give Praise Records via Earsplit PR.