Thursday, August 5, 2010

Yes it's me... the Z-O-D

It all started back in 1989 or so, white suburban teens from New Jersey thinking they were going to upstage the West Coast rap world. The result was W.B.T.S., White Boyz Talkin' Shit (hell, with a cheesy name like that they probably didn't need the "White" at the beginning) and the music was lo-fi cassette-deck-sampled hip hop borrowing beats from Public Enemy interspersed with cuts from various thrash bands. A planned full-length album degenerated into a muddy two-song cassette single and before the decade was out the band was defunct. Fast forward to the year 2000 and the rebirth of W.B.T.S. as a two-man quasi-hardcore outfit shitting out a few E.P.s of absolutely offensive (yet "I'm-going-to-hell-for-laughing-at-this" hilarious) drivel that would make G.G. Allin and today's let's-offend-everybody pornogrind bands proud. Realizing after over a decade their moniker was somewhat lame, the band renamed itself Cunt Sludge and released a compilation album appropriately titled ...Greatest Shits in 2001. Featuring all of W.B.T.S.'s remastered cuts, the sonic slab o' sludge also showcased some new tracks and remixes for the diehards. Enter 2002. With the realization a handle like Cunt Sludge wasn't going to get them very far (at least booking-wise), the boys brainstormed band names and eventually settled on Grout (for the curious, the other top runners were 5th Degree Burn and Deathcamp 7 - shitcanned for sounding too "death metal-y"). Along with the name change came a growth in style towards a more metalcore-ish sound (Satisfaction-era Hatebreed being a big influence) as well as more digestible lyrics and much tighter production.

Within a year came the debut, simply titled Grout. Still solid almost a decade later, the songs range from forays back into the hip hop days ("Loser") to screaming nonsense about ex-girlfriends ("Revenge", "Broke Up"). All over the place stylistically, the band rarely plays something long enough to get boring, bonus tracks of abandoned second takes and humorous fuck-ups finish the CD. Grout released a few more inconsistent singles over the next few years but nothing held up tight enough to warrant a full-length release, rendering this debut their absolute flagship. Band members went on to form Shoot The Messenger and Knife Behind The Smile as well as play pick-up in a few other outfits. Rumor has it they've recently reformed to cut new material - along with re-recording the first album as an acoustic (!) - but we'll see, don't count on a Second Cumming just yet...

UPDATE 8.31.13: The band recently upped a Bandcamp website... check it here.

Currently watching: Doctor Who "The Masque Of Mandragora"
Currently listening to: Funkdoobiest Which Doobie U B?

No comments: