Headless Death, Social Capitalist Grindcore/Radiation Vomit, Flesh & Fats (2019)
Headless Death cranks out beefy grindcore from Melbourne, Australia. Seven songs in 10 minutes, including an early Fear Factory cover from the Cry Now, Cry Later series. The material is generally fast 'n' blasting, but with oomph, and a jittery dissonance that keeps things from sounding generic. I'll be honest, the visual aesthetic for their half of the split had me in doubt, but this shit rips. The lyrics aren't totally stupid either. I'm not saying you're in for academic treatises on socio-political matters, by any means, but when it comes to sarcastic humor, you could find far worse.
Radiation Vomit is from somewhere in California and dishes out six songs in just eight minutes, following more of the "Carcass worship" type of death-tinged grind vibe. Which means they also bring to mind early-ish Exhumed, though the vocals are a more of a harsh low-end shout as opposed to ultra burly "cookie monster" "urps" or whatever. This feels a little more "standard" than Headless Death, but still, not too shabby. There's a reason this formula is effective, you know? I'll take it.
This split was first released in 2019, and then hit vinyl last year. The CD is a cooperative effort between Terrible Mutilation Records (Australia), Coplike Silence (Australia), and No Bread! (Russia); and it's also on cassette from Headsplit Records (U.S.). Psychocontrol Records (Czech Republic) handled the 12". So, yeah, the international network of underground grind is alive and well. Use Google to track down a few other possible sources for physical goods. You can stream Headless Death's portion on Spotify, too.
Derailment, Come Clean in Death (2021)
Released last year, Come Clean in Death is the debut full-length from Melbourne, Australia's Derailment. But while the cover art could create the illusion that the band puts forth Municipal Waste-esque party thrash or perhaps good times grind, in fact their delivery is more akin to powerviolence gone death-sludge. Expect gutturally barked vocals over meaty riffs that occasionally surprise with Godflesh- or Fear Factory-like dirges (check tracks like "Moronic Dreams," "Iron Dice," and "Sour Milk" especially). Even the grindy, fast-paced breaks have this lumbering aesthetic that feels dingy and detuned. Great production and solid compositions, overall.
Dare I say, had this been released by a label like Slap a Ham in 1992, it would likely be reflected upon as a bit of a classic. That is to say: very fuckin' good. That being said, Derailment's Bandcamp and Facebook haven't been updated since 2020, and their webstore is gone, so... I'm not even sure if they're still active? I'd love to believe they're still churning away in a basement somewhere out there in Melbourne, in which case: dear Pessimiser Records, please come back with Cry Now, Cry Later Volume 5 and hit up Derailment pronto!
Pick up blue vinyl from Polish label Behind the Mountain. The CD is a split release between Behind the Mountain and Australia's Terrible Mutilation Records (who also offers the digital). Stream over at Spotify.