Sunday, June 23, 2013


Take a breath before you listen to Setting Fire to the Western Hemisphere, because it’s the last time you’ll taste air for almost eight minutes. Depending on where you live, that could be a good thing. Here in Brooklyn the air tastes like old deli meat, diesel fumes, and sun-baked dog shit.

Written and recorded in a span of four days (that probably saw black clouds raining rusty nails and suicidal stock market traders onto the roof of their UK recording compound), Confine assault listeners with a relentless blast of grinding powerviolence that strips extreme music down to the bare essentials: Loud and heavy. I’ve never seen a picture of drummer Rich Speakman, but with his gatling gun fills I’m guessing his arms and legs have bionic components. The riffs may share DNA with the dirtiest strands of punk, but Confine are to punk what salamanders are to Komodo Dragons. If this music bit you the bacteria would kill you within the hour.

While most of the album feels like the blur of a hollow-tipped bullet racing towards its target, there’s also the drum’n’vox breakdown transitioning into murky hardcore of “Perception,” the filthy sludge intro of “Abstraction,” and the queasy roar of “Formation and Transformation,” my personal favorite track that feels like it’s high on white phosphorus. But the band excels at grind, and cuts the oxygen supply while Chris Reese siphons just enough air to peel the skin from inside his throat with possessed shrieks that bring to mind Todd Jones of Nails. The only song that didn’t work for me was “Legacy,” with its jarring stop-and-start rhythm. This is still a vicious release from Witch Hunter Records, and would be perfect for a grindcore picnic with a portable stereo, accompanied by Napalm Death and Full of Hell LPs in the picnic basket. It’s officially summer here in the states now, so I hope I’m not the only one having grindcore picnics.

Listen to Setting Fire to the Western Hemisphere over on Bandcamp here:

And follow Confine on Facebook for news and merch:

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