Monday, May 27, 2013

REVIEW: GRASSROLL - GORILLA SIZED SOCIAL PROBLEMS


When searching to confirm the definition for “grassroll” I encountered a few different possibilities: 1) A scroll-like piece of turf that unrolls like a carpet, usually to replace grass in stadiums. 2) The unsportsmanlike act of faking an injury on the soccer/football field to waste time late in a game. 3) A doobie. With the strung-out NOLA sound prevalent on this album I figured it would be the latter, but a quick trip to Grassroll’s Facebook page shows “football” as one of their three listed interests. Maybe it’s a combination, like a catastrophically stoned footballer writhing on the unrolled turf. Just so you all know, I don’t put this much effort into considering a band’s name if I don’t dig their music, and Grassroll fucking rip.

Formed in Greece in 2009, they would fit perfectly in the New Orleans scene with their bluesy groove and sludgy undercurrent of thick bass. Their EP, Gorilla Sized Social Problems, is supercharged with addicting enthusiasm and rages with a unique sense of fun, despite the brutal influences that show up in their songs. The band that mostly comes to mind is Soilent Green, whose dusty, down-tuned grinding death has been criminally under-appreciated by most metal fans. But not Grassroll. They have likely listened to Sewn Mouth Secrets & A String Of Lies a thousand times and built upon that foundation of death metal and classic rock boogie with hooks that result in supremely catchy calls for revolution. “Aileen” stampedes through Carcass’ Swansong territory with concise, hook-driven death’n’roll before including elements of djent-leaning metalcore and stoner metal. I also want to mention that Annie’s vocals are as menacing as hell is hot. I couldn’t find a last name for her, but she spends a lot of this album sounding like a Candarian demon unleashed by the Necronomicon.

Grassroll cave skulls on “Fuck Your Best,” pulling off devastating tempo shifts that halt crusty grind mid-gallop with towering riffs that compare favorably with Acid Bath’s best work. “Under Destruction” starts with a V For Vendetta quote and feels like a call-to-arms totally prepared to hand out the baseball bats and pitchforks. The only bummer is that this EP is already short at 13 minutes, and 3 of that is music-box ambience lingering after the final guitar fizzle. Still, the old adage “leave ‘em wanting more” is definitely effective here, ‘cause I am absolutely craving more tunes from these maniacs.

Check out Gorilla Sized Social Problems over at Bandcamp: http://grassroll.bandcamp.com/album/gorilla-sized-social-problems

And follow them on Facebook, where I learned they recorded 5 songs for this EP. Note to Grassroll: YOU MUST RELEASE THE OTHER TWO. MY EARS NEED IT: https://www.facebook.com/grassroll

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