Born from the same anarcho-punk bloodline, crust and grind are natural bedfellows. But of course, when bedfellows come from the same bloodline, well… sometimes the results are… a bit stunted.
Belgium’s Marginal is a good example of that – they’ve got the sound down, the fuzz-gnarly guitars, the blastbeats-meets-punk drive, the whole nine crusty yards, but there’s still something a little lacking in the result. It’s all too simple, too straightforward, short on those certain subtleties that push the best of the style above the pack. Both punk and grindcore have a tendency to blur together into one giant chaotic wall of noise, and a large part of Total Destruction does just that. The riffs are simple, not total failures but only rarely memorable, and the vocal attack almost never deviates from a monotonous death-grunt, like Barney Greenway stuck on a low setting, missing the fire and furnace-bellow fury that makes him one of the all-time greats.
I couldn’t (or wouldn’t… and won’t) begin to count how many bands tread similar crust-grind waters, but many of them have proven that there’s potential in Marginal’s sound. Total Destruction isn’t unlistenable, but neither is it particularly compelling. Ideas are here, but not always utilized properly, and the end is this: Marginal hasn’t written a great record yet. If grind-leaning crust-punk gets your heart all a-flutter, then you could absolutely do worse, but know there are far better examples of the style to be found.
I mean, the band name literally means “of secondary or minor importance…”