We here at Last Rites are eternal musical explorers. We are constantly looking for our next fix, whether they be warm embraces from established bands like Opeth and Insomnium, the excitement of being on the leading edge of hype for a fun new band like ShadowStrike, or veterans with a new project like Dold Vorde Ens Navn.
As the end of the year approaches, list season is in full swing, and by necessity new bands are compared with this calendar’s crop. Grind has had a great year, with Birdflesh, Phobia, No One Knows What the Dead Think, and Cloud Rat all dropping excellent albums. And now grindcore’s fertile loins have birthed forth another champion to compete in the year-end thunderdome.
“Grind Splatter” starts off with a helpful statement from the studio, “less talking, more rocking!” The dense guitars and jackhammer recall Agoraphobic Nosebleed at their fiercest, and one certainly hopes that Xeno Ooze sharpen their skills to create another Agorapocalypse. Xenogeddon? Oozapocalypse? There’s plenty of time to figure that out, and least a thousand songs to write first, if they want to keep pace.
The lead guitar in “Slime Against Humanity” bends across demonic steps and the song features some rabid high pitched vocals, incredibly fast and dense blastbeats, and some carve-your-face-off grooves. These desert weirdos treat tempo like a junkyard cat treats its prey: with malicious disrespect. Songs will unwind into a breakdown, and launch back into full speed with abandon. Half the time, Xeno Ooze stagger like a gamma-radiated toddler, grown to ten stories tall and stomping through downtown. Then they punch forward like a thousand nano-bot ninjas, swarming and devouring. It’s all delightfully weird and intense, and not nearly as awkward as this paragraph might insinuate.
If we are being honest, and I think we should be, it’s the little “wooo!” in the middle of “Wizard of Ooze” that puts a smile on my face and inspires the most hope for a prolific future. Xeno Ooze are clearly having fun and know how to write some grind-your-entire-head-off jams. We witness a ripping solo before that joyous “woo,” and the song downshifts unto a hugely heavy stomp to end the track. Oozimus, Sludgehammer, and Father Fungus are serious craftsmen who almost assuredly appreciate a good fart joke.
Last Rites HQ is rife with puns, and we publicly decree that the tiny town of Extreme Metal is absolutely big enough for Xeno Ooze and Slugdge to “Destroy the Slopposition” in this “Slave Goo World.” We denizens continue to put up with endless, punless references to Satan, so some slimy wordplay is a welcome reprieve.
“Buried by Slime and Dust” (which is an odd combination of burial substrates) is a bonus track that suffers just slightly with weaker production and piercing treble, but it also brings some absolutely bangin’ riffage to the table, and a fun elasticity of tempo reminiscent of Insect Warfare. The band oozes out some harmonic squeals for a green, gooey icing on the cake that is Parasligm Shift.
We get it. There are a thousand bands demanding your attention. It’s the end of the year, and your work and family obligations stack higher each day. But even with a bonus track, you only need to set aside 17 minutes and 40 seconds of your time to experience one of grindcore’s most promising new players. Have some fun, and throw Parasligm Shift into the pit. They will hold their own against the crowded field of 2019’s grindy goodness and put a smile on your face.