Andrew Lee released one of the most talked about death metal albums of 2022 with Ripped to Shreds, and now he presents us with his second record in the space of a month. This time he unleashes the barbarous grindcore of his Houkago Grind Time project for another exploration of what it means to be a weeb (a sanctimonious anime fan) and how capitalism continues to debase the animation industry. Er… okay. You can ignore these concepts if you know nothing about anime and manga and want only a savage blast of inhumane extreme metal. The chances are you might enjoy this more than the recent Ripped to Shreds effort.
Beginning with an amusing mission statement in his 2019 demo to ‘save the world by overloading it with mincegore’, Houkago Grind Time allows Lee to mix mincecore and goregrind with a variety of friends from the underground scenes, including Rotten Sound vocalist, Keijo Niinimaa (who provides a guitar solo on track fifteen). Opener, ‘It’s Time to M-M-M-Mince’ is not an explicit celebration of unashamed homosexuality as it might read on paper to a British audience who know the verb ‘to mince’ as slang to describe an effeminate man. One assumes this word has no currency in the US or with those that created the groove-orientated offshoot of grindcore known as mincecore. Think of the legendary Napalm Death Peel Sessions but with a maze of varying drum tempos and the beastly predations of Canadian black metal duo, Revenge. The fifty-four seconds of bloodlust on ‘Isayama is a Fascist Pig’ might be the nearest audio expression we have to describe the concupiscent sexual delight Ted Bundy experienced when murdering the residents of the Chi Omega sorority house at Florida State University in 1978.
As a leading light in the new wave of old school death metal, Andrew Lee will not succumb to the advanced features of ProTools. He shows on ‘Rum Raisin Daisuki’ how to take the legendary Carcass debut and give it a respectful makeover with better mixing equipment. ‘Stench of Unwashed Con-goers’ and ‘You Are My Nakama (Bonds Stronger than Friendship)’ are like decommissioned fracking machines that will make the earth shake if used again. The few songs that go beyond one minute and thirty seconds in length are just as ferocious as their shorter cousins. One dreads to think of the facial contortions your music teacher would experience if you submitted ‘Pathetic?’ and ‘Mincing Cabbages’ as the final material for your university recital. The latter is probably how a woman feels in the morning after being roofied by the strange man in her bed. Have you heard anything as despicable as the mangled throat noises on ‘Hey Astolfo (“Trap” Is A Slur)’?
This is not an album you listen to for its individual tracks. Instead, you should experience it through headphones, in one sitting, with a demented smile on your face and the will to abandon all classifications of refined tastes. It’s strange how liberating it can be when you engage with it.
Release Date: 04/11/2022
Record Label: Outrageous Weeb Power Productions
Standout tracks: It’s Time to M-M-M-Mince; Rum Raisin Daisuki; Houkago Grind Time Cares
Suggested Further Listening: Gronibard – Regarde Les Hommes Sucer (2022), VHS – The New Batch (2018), Holocausto Canibal – Crueza Ferina (2022)