Back in 2013, Calgary, AB’s Wake released a true gem in False. With grindcore being as restrictive as it is, standing out from the gaggle of sub-par releases is nothing short of a Herculean feat, and the band managed just that, creating a dour piece of hook-laced minimalist grind that managed to pay tribute to its fore bearers without being a Napalm Death/Nasum clone. That alone should put the band on any blast aficionado’s watch list, yet they remain just below the radar in terms of being “must-hear” grind.
That might not be such a bad thing, as Sowing the Seeds of a Worthless Tomorrow sees these fine lads taking a bit of artistic license with the whole ‘grind’ thing. Sowing the Seeds… straddles an interesting line between traditional grind and sludge/doom, and succeeds in being an album for people who hate both genres. Songs are given room to develop beyond a single riff, but don’t push beyond what can feasibly be considered genre fodder (though some grind fans would consider nearly or more than three minutes ungodly lengthy).
To that end, boundaries aren’t necessarily pushed at all here. Without digging too far into tired “reinventing the wheel” tropes (which, under most circumstances, I’d lazily do in a heartbeat to keep that content train a’rollin’), Sowing the Seeds… isn’t exactly Nicolas Cage in National Treasure when it comes to finding new angles to rip off Tom Hanks in The Da Vinci Code. Now, if the band were to explore in the manner Nic Cage does in fucking up his personal life, we may have the best album ever recorded. Bands: get on that shit immediately.
Another gripe, minor as it may be considering we’re talking about a tree growing from the roots of grind here, would be the lackluster vocal mix. Vocalist Kyle Ball sounds like his pleasantly decipherable performance is sitting next to the bass. Again, it’s a minor note, but it’s weird.
At around twenty minutes, Sowing the Seeds… scratches some itches effectively, even if it isn’t as overtly aggressive as its predecessor. While certainly intentional, this changed approach to both structure and dynamics has created a different beast entirely, and as such, nearly a different band in the process (the leap from debut effort Leeches to False yielded similar results). There’s no reason a broader audience shouldn’t get into this, though grind purists might scoff at the notion of less speed and more maturity. But, let’s face it- the band has gotten older. You’re getting older. Slow down. Let Wake show you how.