Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Grinding Fortune - "Itch Relief" (Album Review)

By: Charlie Butler

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 01/04/2016
Label: Negative Vibe Records



“Wasim” opens the album with a bang, relentless angular riffing giving way to breathless changes of pace, tempo and mood. “Flex” and “Undereater” further showcase this mode of operation, the latter in possession of a killer lumbering sludge riff. It also features liberal amounts of mangled, octave pedal-heavy guitar lines, something that Grinding Fortune utilise to powerful effect.  “Itch Relief” is a wild, untamed burst of furious creative energy. All the disparate elements on display here mark Grinding Fortune as a band with huge potential.


“Itch Relief” CD//DD track listing:


1. Wasim (02:11)
2. Flex (02:45)
3. Gorby (01:34)
4. D (00:33)
5. Judo (01:53)
6. Undereater (02:36)
7. U (00:36)
8. Sudoku (02:38)
9. Muds (02:30)
10. Flatula (01:40)
11. S (00:29)
12. Puzzlement (03:36)
13. T (01:21)



The Review:


Do you like noise rock? Hardcore? Sludge? Punk? Ambient? Opera? If the answer to most of these questions is yes then “Itch Relief” may be up your street. The new full length from Oslo trio Grinding Fortune covers a huge amount of musical ground over the course of an idea-packed 25 minutes. This makes for an experience that is equal parts exhilaration and frustration.  Grinding Fortune tackle a baffling number of styles over the course of “Itch Relief” but execute them all well. The drawback is that they don’t seem to gel to create a coherent album.


Wasim” opens the album with a bang, relentless angular riffing giving way to breathless changes of pace, tempo and mood. “Flex” and “Undereater” further showcase this mode of operation, the latter in possession of a killer lumbering sludge riff. It also features liberal amounts of mangled, octave pedal-heavy guitar lines, something that Grinding Fortune utilise to powerful effect. They are at their best when they sound like a computer game soundtrack, played at deafening volume, through a broken amp.


Judo” and “Sudoku” demonstrate the band’s ability to deliver furious, off-kilter, punk rock with a twisted hardcore edge. A hybrid of Gallows in their prime and the righteous noise of Refused, these tracks offer a stark contrast to some of the other material here. Proceedings take another unexpected turn with the downtempo metal of “Muds”. All of it is equally good, it just doesn’t sit together too comfortably. The one unifying factor throughout the album is Daniel Lynnebakke’s vocals. His wild howl and sardonic lyrics provide a strong anchor throughout and help to unite the chaos erupting all around.


T” closes the album with an eerie, 90 second, ambient soundscape. This shows the band competently execute yet another style but it feels like a strange way to end a record; more of an interlude than epilogue.  Itch Relief” is a wild, untamed burst of furious creative energy. All the disparate elements on display here mark Grinding Fortune as a band with huge potential. If they can channel their seemingly bottomless well of creativity and vitriol into a more focused album next time around, we could be in for a treat  


Itch Relief” is available here

Band info: bandcamp || facebook

No comments: