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Review: Bathtub Shitter, Wall of World is Words (Power it Up, 2005)

This EP was originally released over five years ago as a limited edition 10", and here it is for the first time on CD - plus two unreleased bonus tracks. These Japanese cats are a hard band to pin down. I tend to enjoy most of what they do, though they never quite win me over. Sans the unnecessary and rather boring intro track, the bulk of this material is hard-hitting grindcore that offers a wide range of tempos from blasting speeds to churning midpaced breaks, while the vocals jump from burly growling to insane high-end squawks. The title track has some killer fast paced riffing that kind of has a 90's metallic hardcore vibe to it, while "Wrinkly Wall" opens slower with some lightly melodic basslines and such, etc. And believe it or not there are actually three covers on this thing, too! A back-to-back attack of "We the Helpless" by Extreme Noise Terror and "Imitation of Life" by Scum, before topping it all off with an awesome rendition of "Fuck You" by Holy Moses, which jumps from completely dissonant sludge to raging crossover hardcore and back over the course of five minutes and is actually the best song herein!? The sound is raw, but for the most part it does work. In typical form the vocals can feel a little dominant once the irritating cackles kick in, but the lower growls work well against the dissonantly grimy distortion, and the rhythm section actually comes across very effectively throughout. It's nice and thick, and that definitely provides a heavy undercurrent for their diverse brand of grind. The first bonus track is an "Ass Plugged Version" of the title track, where "Ass Plugged Version" must translate to "A Rawer Take of the Original Version Plus a Fingerpicked Acoustic Guitar Intro That Makes Very Little Sense", but that's cool. "My Last Word" is just another sort of random outro kind of thing that doesn't really do much for me. The layout's all in black and white with artwork that's fairly in keeping with the punk aesthetic of many of the band's earlier 7" releases, and of course plenty of hilariously shit-filled lyrics are included: "Need a gap in the pants, Say hello from it, Speak with wind or shit, One word on the world, No need the wait here…" I actually think that sometimes these guys are trying to communicate serious messages in their lyrics, they just always humorously try to apply some sort of shitting related twist, so the end result is almost always more amusing than it is coherent!? Oh well, it works for me! I personally think they should do away with the high-pitched vocals and just stick with the growls, because this is a pretty damn good EP otherwise. I actually dig some of these songs more than anything else I've heard from these guys!

[Power it Up]
Running time - 20:42, Tracks: 12
[Notable tracks: Wall of World is Words, Fuck You, New Clear War]
Bathtub Shitter - http://www.bathtubshitter.com