Scum review by Napalm Death

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  • Released: Jan 1, 1987
  • Sound: 7
  • Lyrics: 6
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 7 Good
  • Users' score: 8.4 (9 votes)
Napalm Death: Scum

Sound — 7
When this CD is placed in whatever you are using to listen to it with, you will instantly think the CD is cracking apart and being scratched around in your drive, but no, that is not the CD, that is the actual sound of the music. Around 1987, in came Napalm Death for their first full studio album (besides Hatred Surge), realeased by Earache Records (true it's name). The spawn of grindcore was supposed to be from this CD, but from what I hear, other bands such as Repulsion started it first, but on to the review. Napalm Death's first classic A side, line-up of songs goes as follows (song by song review, gets more out of it): 01. Multinational Corporations - mystic feedback from the guitars echo as cymbols are lightly sprinkled with violence, and a repeated 7 words "Multination Corporations, Genocide of the starving nations". I guess this slow track gives 1:06 to take a full breath before you are hit with some intense grindcore. 02. Instinct Of Survival - a well brought in intro, then comes the classic balistic thunder of drums, and distorted guitars sending nuclear explosions around your speakers. This song has beat to it, I enjoyed it. 03. The Kill - probably the most well known song off this album, (lots of covers on You Tube for this song), running in at 20 seconds, as soon as this song hits the 6 second point, all hell breaks loose. Psychotic snare drumming, along side with "The kill, after death, the kill!" Classic. 04. Scum - I love the drumming to this song, right from the beginning it's so catch. Teaming up with the droney guitars (pretty much how the guitars sound like on the album), this has to be the second best song on the album. Thank god Napalm Death play this song live a lot, it's damn good. 05. Caught... In A Dream - the intro of this song has everyone who I've showed bobbin' their heads along with. It sounds a lot like Instinct Of Survivial, once again peppered with hellacious 2 minutes of blastbeated drums, but also delivered with some rhythm. 06. Polluted Minds - seems to be the song directed towards society, "Polluted Minds Kill Mankind", plus there is a lil solo in this song, though you'll probably think it sounded like a rat being drowned. His last breathe to scream "Polluted minds kill man kindddd..." was a good way to end the song. 07. Sacrificed - once again letting you have a little breather before you are knocked on your ass by blistering drum beats and offtuned chords, this song has the ability to slow things down, but unleashes it's hell all around you at the end. 08. Siege Of Power - probably the only actual tarck people will consider a full "Song" on the album, running in at 4:03. This track is filled with different tempo's and finally understandable lyrics to sing along with. Sounds like the solo on this was dubbed with another guitar. Some of it is offbeat, and sounds odd. 09. Control - the thrash/punk track. I love it. You literally have to hold your head not to head bang in this fast paced, down with government type of song. "Facist controlll." The ending 20 seconds are absolutely f--king brutal, yes that is a human on the drums going insane. 10. Born On Your Knees - hell, this song brings you on your knees, begging for more. This is ties with my favorite song on the album, "Born on your knees you f--kin' asshole". An incredibly catchy riff with random drumming keeps you awake for the ride. 11. Human Garbage - the start of this song throws you off, when you say, "WOW, actual drumming that is on beat?" Wait a few seconds, then you realize, "oh yes, of course". Huuman Garbage tosses this album around in circles and piledrives it into a bag of nails, a brutal track on the album, slowing down, and speeding up again, the classic grindcore experience. 12. You Suffer - yes, they actually just said "You Suffer but why?" It sounds ike "Blahblew eey!" Not much to review on 1 second of a song. Pretty sad, but I guess getting in the Guniess Book Of Records for such a thing like this should feel nice. Part A of Scum ends (band had some problems and switched the line up). Part B kicks in (new line-up, and a much more brutal, intense, rotting sound). 13. Life? - the new side of Napalm Death's line up now brings hell a few miles closer to the earth, as the start of this sounds like blood being boiled in a mega phone. "Drugged up, f--ked up, as that all your worth?" Nice to listen to when mad. 14. Prison Without Walls - a burst of quick 2 seconds of snare drum assault, then the flames are ignited again, as more grunting lunatics and pulsating guitars rampage through the soundwaves, colliding into you. 15. Point Of No Return - not sure if they got tired of making songs, but this one doesn't have much of a kick to it like others. Instruments are being beaten to a pulp, they sound like the are ready to collapse. 16. Negative Approach - sounds a lot like track 15 and 17, it was almost if they were lined up perfectly to sound the same. Not much happening here, just more spawning demon sounds. 17. Success? - half way through the song, there is slow down with a catchy beat that pumps out cymbol hits and quick shots of grunting that brings the pace of the songs back up to destruction. 18. Deceiver - one of the best grindcore songs EVER to be made, this track does it all, with the same chord being played through out the whole song, the drums kick in, then everything is f--king torn to shit. Satantic growls here that reach the depth of the oceans, thee best song on the album. 19. CS (Conservative Shithead) - holy shit, as soon as this song begins the drumming makes you want to get up and start throwin off some wicked jazz moves, it's absolute classic. But don't get too round up, because the gasoline is lit with flames as the trash can impersonating drums clash with the chords that sound like a fruit exploding on the ground (yes, it's possible). 20. Parasites - the most brutal song on the album. From the start you'll think "wtf, is this an earthquake?" No that's the bass that begins and gets cut off with absolutey hell-creatured like vocals, screaming his organs out. Cool little solo at the end though. 21. Pseudo Youth - a fast 1234 is counted by the drummer, then the high pitched, ear-bleeding screams increase out of nowhere, uttering what you think is about slaughtering (but Napalm Death lyrics actually aren't about killing and gore). 22. Divine Death - a medium paced riff happening from the start makes you want to get into the groove, yet is is hacked away with a jagged axe and the lyrics about being in the vietnamese war kick in. That last seconds of the song are echoed with "Divine Death!" 23. As The Machine Rolls On - another fast count in with the down tune guitars to un-roll the curtains for Cookie Monster to come strolling in growling his problems out. Yes, this track is probably the one where he sounds like Cookie Monster the most. Then out of nowhere in the middle, it all stops with a sudden sound like a flashbang was rammed through your ears, the feedback from the guitar is absolute brutality. Rest of the song is orginal sounding grind from these guys. 24. Common Enemy - a fast drum count brings us into this intense track, as Lee Dorrian pukes out "Bitching, back stabbing, senseless in fighting!" Them meaning, what soldiers think about their enemies in war. It's a quick, but enjoyable song. 25. Moral Crusade - pounding the living f--k out of the drums, and breaking all the guitar strings, is what this sounds like, as the vocalist utters random sounds into the mic for about 30 seconds. 30 seconds of an absolute annihilation of your speakers. It then kicks in to offbeat drumming, and not much of an enjoyable song. 26. Stigmatized - the fast paced drumming and pathetic guitars carry you into this wave of destruction, then the chains are then broken loose again. More slow down in the middle, and a classic lyric sounded like morbid vomit coming out of his mouth "It's you that's retarded." 27. M.A.D. - finally a catchy riff besides The Kill, and Deceiever. The first 5 seconds are alright, but then the drumming goes way to fast, leaving the guitar to trail off a few seconds sounding very sad. The last few seconds takes you in a black hole of feedback and high pitched frequencies. 28. Dragnet - it's a moshy kinda song, but it just sounds like the same track from the middle of this album. Nothing special about it, but it's good enough to end the album.

Lyrics — 6
Lyrics? That is a hard question to answer when all you can really hear out of this CD is "ajsiofhiwhe uhh!h! ugguh!" Yep, that's it. If you think you will be able to transfer any type of lyrics out of the singers mouth, you are out of luck, it is impossible. This is grindcore, the lyrics are very hard to figure out (without reading). Overall, I think Lee Dorrian (Side B of Scum) , has the better grindcore voice. It's much more powerful, and more demon like, adding that extra tone of death-grunts to the maximum.

Overall Impression — 8
Tracks I think are worth listening to: The Kill, Scum, Born On Your Knees, Deceiver, CS (Conservative Shithead), Divine Death and Common Enemy. The rest of these tracks on this hellacious album, you will find sound all too the same. But really, if you are listening to this album, are you expecting something good? No. The guys from Napalm Death have grown out of the grindcore roots they were born with, and they have planted the new seed of fast-paced death metal, using it to their advantage to much better albums such as "Harmony Corruption," "Fear, Emptiness, Despair..." and "Order Of The Leech," and other classics. Scum is not easy on the ears, and obviously I enjoy grindcore, and I am a huge Napalm Death fan, so I am giving it a respectable score. If I didn't like grindcore, then I would obviously give this a 1, because the quality is horrid, and the talent these guys actually have (sure the line up has changed, but they got better), could be much better produced.

4 comments sorted by best / new / date

    A friend of mine that I was in a band with during high school just outright gave me this album in 1997. He was a big Megadeth and Metallica fan, and I think he purchased Scum under the pretext that it would be similar to those bands. I attempted to listen to it a few times and I found myself really bored by how interchangeable the songs sounded and how I unintelligible the vocals were, not to mention disgusted with the bargain-basement production. I filed the CD away for a while and basically only brought it out to play a track or two for a visiting friend so that we could both laugh at this pathetic excuse for a band. A number of years passed and, after reading a few articles about Napalm Death both online and in my guitar magazines I decided to give the CD another shot. I still found it ridiculous at times, but all of a sudden the flaws that kept me from enjoying it previously morphed into advantages: the cheap production and filthy-sounding instruments suddenly became interesting for the raw, chaotic atmosphere they helped to create; the vocals became hilarious instead of annoying, and I reveled in their intensity (and, as I found from reading the lyrics, their unexpected intelligence); and the short, unconventional song structures became refreshing after being constantly exposed to the same verse-chorus-verse bullshit that I had heard countless time before. This was clearly one hell of a band. The only other albums that I've heard from them other than this are Diatribes (which isn't as bad as most fans say it is, but is definitely not as intense or as unique as their best work) and The Code Is Red...Long Live The Code (which is just awesome). I'm looking forward to hearing the rest of this band's output.
    Maybe if you read the whole thing, you dumbass, you'd realize, I LOVE GRINDCORE!
    you know, you could make a better sounding album by brushing your teeth with aluminum foil and recording it. FETUS MASHER. that name is beyond ridiculous. im seriously laughing my ass off at how ridiculous that is. WOW WOW WOW WOW WOW