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Rating:
8.3
Beaten To Death - Xes And Strokes
1 November 2011


01. Pointless Testament
02. Winston Churchill
03. On Running
04. A Soulless Alarm
05. 3-2-1, It's On
06. Cat Olympics
07. A Word To The Wise
08. Groundhog Day
09. Xes And Strokes


Would you look at this? More break-neck grindcore. What's in a name? Well, there's something quite ironic about this bands name. Beaten To Death. It doesn't get more straight to the point than that, does it? Well, this band is anything but. Oh, the sheer ass-stomping brutality is there, it's just not nearly as cut-and-dry as the name would suggest.

It's not an easy one to get your head around, that's for sure. It seems like they take the sounds of some hipster indie rock, as well as some post-metal type bits, but shove them in between frantic drumming and grind vocals. It's actually surprising how well they sneak in these out-of-place riffs in there. You'll be gripping onto your arm rest, going through the usual grind-induced seizures, when you stop, squint at your computer screen as if it's going to give you the answers, and ask no one in particular; "When did that riff get there?" It's such a smooth transition (well, as smooth as you can get in this genre), you hardly realize they're there right away.

And that's it. In one aspect, they are sort of a one trick pony. Once you move past the neat post- riffs crammed in there, the novelty is kind of gone. It's just another grind act. Luckily, these nifty additions are constant, yet varied enough within Xes And Strokes that it comes across as a genuine signature sound, rather than some gimmick to add flavour to otherwise flavourless music. In fact, if anything, Beaten To Death should keep these sounds as a constant, instead of dropping into the generic bits from time to time like they do.

A very clever little album. If Beaten To Death can expand on this type of creativity with future releases, we might be looking at another quirky grind monster akin to the likes of Fuck The Facts.


 



Written on 14.01.2012 by
Doc Godin
Former EIC. Now just a reviewer guy.
More reviews by Doc Godin ››



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Mr. Doctor - 14.01.2012 at 13:21  
This seems like something I might enjoy a lot, thanks for the review!
Susan - 15.01.2012 at 05:16  
I love stuff that goes, "When did that riff get there?" like you say.

I tried this, well the songs they had online, and I guess I'm just not a grindcore person. I mean, duh, but still, I thought I might have a chance with this one. (Grindcore.. I think you and I should just be friends.)

Nonetheless, I could hear bits of the "clever" you're talking about. Nice review.

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