The press materials for this debut EP from Cali trio Socioclast namechecks grindcore masters Discordance Axis and Assück. Them’s big shoes to fill, big names to swing around.
But hey, if you can hang with the big kids, then you do that, right? And it just so happens that Socioclast can hang.
As strong as all three members’ of Socioclast pedigrees are, it’s the performance of drummer Cris Rodriguez that I find myself most often enraptured by — he blasts, skanks, grooves, and all with a nearly palpable furious energy, keeping Socioclast’s bullet-train drive firmly on track. Witness the positively relentless “Eden’s Tongue,” one of the album’s pre-release teaser tracks, which cycles through one minute of ripping grind with a brief flirtation with crusty doom, and is handily one of the album’s strongest offerings. While Rodriguez stokes the fires, guitarist Matt Gomes tosses off riffs that are equally skronky and bent and relatively straightforward, the balance a beautiful thing to behold (errr… to be heard, I guess). Bassist Colin Tarvin (also of Mortuous) holds down the low end with some great gnarly distorted tone, all the while grunting like an unhinged madman, his guttural growl formidable and offset with some higher screeches from Gomes.
Grindcore is all about the visceral attack, that adrenaline surge of sheer aggression. Good grindcore tempers that with a compositional skill that fuses strong riffs and memorable musical moments together into those short sharp shocks of sheer brutality. Socioclast ticks all those right boxes, from the brutal to the musical — these three have clearly learned well at the altars of the grinding gods whose name they invoke.
Fifteen songs, seventeen minutes, one hell of an asskicking…