It’s Monday and Mondays suck, so let’s grind it out with ESP Mayhem’s Bloodsportwear.
Look, I’ve been on a Nerve Altar kick lately. The label keeps putting out incredible grind and other extreme forms of bludgeoning, and I keep coming back for more. ESP Mayhem is a different kind of beast for the label though. Yeah, it’s a grindcore record alright, but not in the traditional sense. Get ready for some synthgrind.
Fuck off, don’t click off the article. Actually, that’s some really backward thinking, whatever. Stick with me on this. Electronics and digital drums have long since worked its way into the grindcore scene. Agoraphobic Nosebleed, Wadge, Kusari Gama Kill, The Locust, and others have done plenty of experimentation with the genre. ESP Mayhem is yet another visionary project. The Melbourne, Australian five-piece has hammered together a fine piece of grind. Three synths, a drummer and a vocalist is what the band comprises of. And what they create is some damn good grind.
Opening with “Wretched”, the album with a thick vibration over an ominous sound clip and drums. Soon the synths kick it up with rhythm as the heaviness in the background picks up. It sounds like something out of a giant monster or 80s anime film. Apocalyptic, pulpy and ready to destroy. And as the EP pushes further into “Desperate Pigs” the band only solidify this.
When one breaks it down, ESP Mayhem doesn’t play very different from any other grind band. The blasty goodness is all in the instruments one wields. And wield them well, they do. Bloodsportswear grinds like it’s got a bone to pick. “Do Worse” cranks out the blasts but also creates some insect sounding noise. The track sounds like it’s scurrying around when given the chance. And scurry it does. The sound is almost rubbery but like its pushing against a squeaky window until it breaks.
“Escape From Neo-Melbourne” is the most powerviolence sounding track. Punkier and meatier with more breakdowns that sound like they’re ready to open the damn pit up. And though it’s chunky, it never quite takes that powerviolence step into the, uh, powerviosynth territory. “Compulsion” comes close too but keeps the gears digitally grinding.
ESP Mayhem is a killer project, no doubt about that. It will turn people off, like a lot of grindcore does. But that’s the nature of the beast. Bloodsportswear is a step in a cool direction for grind. Electronic, fast as hell, heavy as hell, but always grind. Get grinding on this!