It’s Monday and Mondays suck, so let’s grind it out with Stimulant’s self-titled release.
If you remember the grinding powerviolence beatdown that was Water Torture, well subtract one (bassist Matthew Goodrich) and you’re left with Stimulant (drummer, Thomas Leyh and guitarist Ian Wiedrick). And what’s changed? Using a guitar instead of two basses gives the band some sharper teeth that still dabbles in familiar territory that recalls Iron Lung powerviolence, but with a grindier approach.
The release begins with as little bullshit as can be mustered with “Bending Form.” A few taps of the drumsticks and the record gets rolling. The call-and-response vocals pile up the aggression as the records blazes forward with “Bending Form”, a track that doesn’t even clock in at a minute, yet still crams some tasty riffs and thundering drumming.
And don’t think the noise is out the window. Water Torture was no slouch when it came to getting noisy, and Stimulant still bring it; often incorporated, sometimes completely separated. Tracks like “Encouraged Violence” blend noise along with phase-shifted riffs. Others like “No Fat” are more ambient, brooding beasts waiting to unleash.
The songwriting with Stimulant is simply more aggressive. Water Torture brought the pain, but Stimulant bring a flaying knife. When record label Nerve Alter call the record emotionally instable, that’s exactly what it is. It’s not that things are abrupt, they still have that powerviolence outburst at times, but the band sounds genuinely unhinged. Like some demons are getting some serious exorcising while the mind unravels. Tracks like “Punishment” give this impression. Not just in title, but in approach. It comes down like a hammer but feels like a wrecking ball.
At other times the album is simply dark, evoking feeling of a hanging moon and a heavy head. Stimulant is a lot of things and every one of them is savage, crushing and merciless. It’s the kind of record that, if your Monday is really sucking, should turn you inside out as it shatters your wits.