Escuela Grind – Indoctrination Review

When it comes to meltdowns / freak-outs / upheavals / hysterics / blowouts or any other common fit that leads to destruction, it’s best to look toward nature as the master designer, because despite the annihilative results of things such as tornados, avalanches, tsunamis and volcanic eruptions, the time it takes for that terrific force to dispense is generally (and thankfully) rather short. Quickness is key when it comes to destructive tantrums, and as a rule, humans learn this lesson early by not allowing things such as 3:30pm playground scuffles to go twelve rounds. In and out like a demon’s whisper, you scrappers.

By the same token, certain forms of extreme music should also model their destructive force after nature. Any of the more brutal branches apply, but topping that particular list is grindcore and all of its kin. Grindcore is the spark that elicits action; it’s the very moment the floodgates finally explode. As such: jump in, incite, detonate, get out. In a similar way, powerviolence is the prompt swelling of impenetrable courage in the heart of a 16-year-old Girl Scout standing up to a neo-Nazi, just as the hardcore punk of Negative Approach might represent the trigger for finally standing against any one of an endless amount of corrupt systems. Short songs on quick albums with an immense potential to spark insurgence—that’s the general idea.

Clocking in at a perfectly pithy 29 minutes, with approximately 11 of those reserved for a single slice of roiling noise / feedback via “Indoctrinated (Outro),” Escuela Grind’s Indoctrination hits the bloodstream with all the raw fury of the classics that first helped spark this particular offshoot, and it gets the demolition done with enough time left over to grab a cone with sprinkles.

Release date: March 20, 2020. Label: Armageddon (US) / RSR (Europe).
While the album emphasizes the (splendidly) raw approach to recording and delivery that might have landed the band on the Manic Ears Records North Atlantic Noise Attack comp in 1989, Escuela Grind’s brand of broiling ferocity is a mishmash of styles that bends from grind to powerviolence to hardcore punk to noise at a moment’s notice, and even seemingly at the very same time during more than a few occasions. This, when combined with the record’s timely themes, gives Indoctrination a modern sense without sacrificing the basement show aesthetic that’s always been the driving force behind the more potent end of the scene. So, if you’re interested in splitting hairs like a fucking psychopath, think of a formula less technical and meticulous compared to, say, No One Knows What The Dead Think or Antigama and more in line with the methods of acts such as Friendship, Insect Warfare, Internal Rot or 324.

Attempting to parse high points is a challenge because the songs mostly live for about one minute before jumping rather seamlessly into the next assault. Just know that drummer Jesse Fuentes (Kill the Client, Creator|Destroyer) attacks his kit like a kid attacking Christmas presents at 7am on December 25th: frenziedly, relentlessly and without concern for the destruction it generates around them. Even during moments where guitarist Jason Balthazar Eldridge (Hearse) and bassist Kris Morash (Your Brain On Drugs) are delivering slowed crunchdowns, Fuentes still hits as if he has drill presses where arms are supposed to be. And who the hell knows who did what to piss off vocalist Katerina Economou, but she’s had just precisely enough and utilizes a bark feral enough to scare a silverback up a tree.

Feel free to poke the rabid mongrel hiding inside by trying the first four songs on for size—guaranteed to supply 100% of your daily value of vitamin F(renzy) in just 4.5 minutes:

The rest of the fare is pretty much exactly in line with the above, but with perhaps a touch more emphasis on those crushing deceleration moments following the eighth track, “Indoctrinate (Interlude).” None of it outright copies anything you’ve heard before, nor does it charter brand new grounds—just 29 minutes of grinding tornado ferocity to spark the varmint deep inside that’s finally sick of getting shoved around. Let the beast out, be loud about it, be quick about it, and then get on with the day. Just as nature intended.

Posted by Captain

Last Rites Co-Owner; Senior Editor; Handsome & Interesting Man; Just get evil all the time.

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