This second installment in Pig Destroyer / Agoraphobic Nosebleed mastermind Scott Hull’s series of samplers of underground grindcore, power-violence and hardcore manages to transcend label-cash-in compilation-album status (be it through quality, sheer luck, or Hull’s involvement) — it acts more accurately as a nineteen-band split. As such, it sidesteps the inherent irrelevance of most various-artists releases in this instant-access internet age.
Many of the bands presented here contribute exclusive material (including punk stalwarts Lack Of Interest, Crom and Despise You), and while some contributions are noticeably and naturally better than others, overall, This Comp Kills Fascists Vol. 2: Electric Boogaloo succeeds in highlighting some lesser-known contenders in the grind and punk scenes. (Unfortunately, there’s no absolutely-gotta-have-it exclusive on par with the initial This Comp Kills Fascists’ debut of the first post-reformation Brutal Truth material. Also, the notoriety of these acts is well below many of the alums from the first fascist-killing comp, the likes of Magrudergrind, Insect Warfare, ASRA, Kill The Client, or Maruta — the line-up for this go ’round is definitely farther underground, if not always as powerful.)
I won’t go track-by-track or band-by-band for This Comp Kills Fascists Vol. 2: Die Harder—there’s simply too much. Here’s the list of participants:
Lack Of Interest (Southern California)
Hummingbird Of Death (Boise, ID)
Owen Hart (Tacoma, WA)
Noisear (Albuquerque, NM)
Despise You (Inglewood, CA)
Extortion (Perth, Australia)
Strong Intention (Columbia, MD)
Apartment 213 (Cleveland, OH)
Drugs Of Faith (Washington, DC)
Septic Surge (Australia)
Marion Barry (Lynwood, CA)
Population Reduction (San Francisco, CA)
Voetsek (San Francisco, CA)
Superbad (Portland, OR)
Idiots Parade (Zvolen, Slovenia)
Social Infestation (Atlanta, GA)
Crom (Los Angeles, CA)
Triac (Baltimore, MD)
Three Faces Of Eve (“Fort Awesomer, US”)
The strongest performances come from Lack Of Interest, whose frantic and yet somewhat groovy take on hardcore opens the set; from Crom, with their six-minute single track; from Population Reduction’s death-metal-inflected technical grindcore; from Idiot’s Parade and their crusty chattering; from Three Faces Of Eve with their quirky noise-grind; from the frenzied hardcore of Strong Intention; and from grinders Drugs Of Faith, whose four minutes of raw throwback grinding is another This Comp Kills Fascists First Blood Vol. 2 exclusive. Overall, with slightly less than seventy-five tracks in slightly fewer than seventy-five minutes, This Comp Kills Fascists Vol. 2: Secret Of The Ooze makes for an exhausting listening experience, nearly impossible to consume as a whole, especially considering the frenzied pace and purposeful abrasiveness of the components. (Marion Barry takes the cake for grating noisiness with the scratchy, shamelessly ear-wracking intro to “Where Would Jesus Bank,” although Septic Surge’s synth-abusing flirtations with cybergrind are a close second.) Nothing on hand is a complete strike-out, but towards the end, the disc’s entries begin to blur together, the whole piece becoming This Comp Kills Fascists Vol. 2: Attack Of The Clones, faltering under just a bit too much of a similar, head-pounding sound.
For definite grind aficionados and those interested in keeping an ear on the underground, This Comp Kills Fascists Vol. 2: The Wrath Of Khan is a near-mandatory investment, even if (and perhaps because) its acts are markedly more under-the-radar than those of its predecessor. Casual grind fans and those just testing the waters might wish to start with the first installment, although even they should at least find the best parts of this an enjoyable snapshot of some less-heralded groups, and regardless of grindcore predisposition, pretty much everyone will find This Comp Kills Fascists Vol. 2 to be overwhelming, exhaustive and exhausting.