Sound: Quick off the mark, Earache are dealing with Insect Warfare's coming and going by picking up another fresh new grind act and giving them the re-release treatment, distribution perks and all. The lucky winners are Singaporean outfit Wormrot, whose 2009 debut Abuse' will shortly be hitting the world's various nooks and crannies. They've been wedged into a comfortable (...depending on how you look at it) mould indeed, but it doesn't pay to be too original in a genre like this, and Abuse' is an effort to reach the front of the pack, rather than an effort to stray off and form a new one.
For a straightforward 20 minute face-grating exercise, the performance is surprisingly tight, and the mix surprisingly accessible the absence of bass guitar is hardly noticeable and the mix is the sort that you rarely hear from anyone but the biggest names in grind. The fact that many of guitarist Syid's riffs are so easily recalled despite the fact that they are rarely repeated more than a few times is staggering, and there is an underlying substance to a lot of the groovier tracks, in particular Freedom To Act', which sounds like Pantera after snorting several kilograms of cocaine. // 8
Lyrics: I think it's fair to say that vocalist Arif and drummer/yelper Fit have not been gifted with the greatest diction known to man, but lyrics are available for those of us without superhuman interpreting skills. They are, more or less, your standard rebellious grindcore fare fighting the system, fighting the mainstream (thanks to a classy cover of the Yeah Yeah Yeah's Rich') or...fighting just about anything else. The vitriol can be fairly convincing at times, although the dramatic opening sample - what sounds like a heroic freedom fighter pressing for equality against a suppressive police force - is just a melodramatic university student who was ejected from the library because he couldn't show ID. Still, it's the musical fury that does the job, and the vocals do their bit with style. // 7
Overall Impression: There is a distinct possibility that Wormrot will actually turn out to be the major players in grind that their label are declaring that they will be the riffs are buzzing, the chemistry is natural and there's a handful of truly devastating tracks which, encouragingly, don't rely on just one strength, instead proving that each aspect of this band has the potential to deliver more blasts, more savage guitar sounds and, if there's any justice in the world, more Yeah Yeah Yeahs covers. // 8
- Duncan Geddes aka duncang (c) 2010