Polish grinders Squash Bowels came on strong with their last few efforts – both 2005’s Love Songs and 2009’s Willowtip-released Grindvirus were stout records that saw the band moving away from the goregrind that characterized their earlier releases and into more refined grinding waters. And this reissue of their first full-length shows just how far they’ve come.
Tnyribal was originally released by Obscene Productions in 2000, brought back to you now by Selfmadegod, and while it’s good in its best moments, it’s unfocused and nowhere near as tight and pummeling as the past two records have been. The industrial / electronic segments that crop up repeatedly throughout the disc don’t add to the power of the grinding – instead, it’s quite the opposite, derailing whatever forward momentum is built during the blasting. (It’s a further testament to the pointlessness of the industrial elements that they’ve been excised from the band’s sound in the decade since this first dropped.) When Squash Bowels does kick in with the grind, it’s of a less advanced nature than what they currently purvey – the performances are tight, but the overall effect is evident as exactly what it is: a band starting out, trying to find themselves, but they’re not quite there yet. There is no bonus material on hand – not to second-guess the label, but given Squash Bowels’ predisposition to the grind-standard flood of splits and EPs, with quite a few released before this debut full-length, perhaps adding some extra content to the running time would’ve sweetened the deal beyond just re-releasing a rare but unsatisfying early record.
Although the disc is separated into six tracks, ranging from 1:48 to an epic 8:50, the track listing is misleading – each track is actually comprised of multiple songs, anywhere from three in “Stranger Mind” to five in “Zema Inpa.” Divided up properly, Tnyribal actually contains twenty-three songs in twenty-six minutes. The art-rock-esque “song suite” approach is interesting, but the end result is that it makes it more difficult to skip the unnecessary industrial flourishes to get to the blasting goodness between them.
All in, Tnyribal is a for-fans-only release at best. Grinders looking to explore this band’s catalog are advised to approach Squash Bowels‘ work in reverse chronology. Dedicated goregrinders who don’t already have this may enjoy the two-thirds of it that fits that descriptor, though even that is nothing outside the ordinary for the style — just short and sharp bursts of chaotic blasts, grind riffs and alternating gurgled and growled vocals, like early Regurgitate or any number of gore-obsessed acts. In the long run, between its lack of cohesion and a generally average quality, Tnyribal falls short of being necessary; it’s a C-grade start for a band that has improved exponentially.