Blast Rites #12: Deterioration – Retaliatory Measures Review

Lyrics? Who needs ‘em. Drums other than a kick and snare? Who needs ‘em. Subtlety or melody? Who needs ‘em.

This is Deterioration, baby. And this is how to grind.

Release date: April 29, 2022 Label: Shattered Dreams Productions.
After three EPs, two splits, and a single in 2021, Minnesota’s favorite sibling grindcore duo* waited a full quarter into 2022 for this, their 10th full-length in a nearly two-decade run. So what’s different on Retaliatory Measures compared to, say, Does That Hurt You? or to the excellent Transcending Human Confines, you may ask? Well, for the most part, very little: Retaliatory Measures is pretty much just business as usual for these fellas, filled with filthy raw riffs and relentless blastbeats, alternating high screams and low grunts that are somehow hooky and catchy even without any specific syllables, and a generally grime-coated tone that’s both sharp and crusty. That’s a good thing, by the way – all of that.

Compared to Human Confines and some other entries in Deterioration’s extensive catalog, Retaliatory is just slightly sharper, a little better mixed, and in that clarity, its filth shines a bit more, but certainly don’t take that to say that it’s any less belligerent or brutal, merely that this mix is less muddy, more sonically focused. Joe Kahmann certainly makes the most of his utilitarian drum setup, working those two drums and few cymbals through an impressive variety of savage rhythms, while his brother Jim lays down some filth-caked guitar and bass riffs on top, all of it punctuated with the band’s usual array of film samples and soundbites. From the opening salvo of George C. Scott’s take on Patton’s speech to the 3rd Army through a digitally-altered Heaven’s Gate recruiting spiel to a news report about a gun-nut’s formidable armory, the samples serve to break up the battering around them, adding some verbal context to the titles in lieu of lyrics.


Still, what matters most is Deterioration’s hellacious bashing grindcore, and here, as they always do, they bring the goods. From the blasting pummel of “Recruiting To Recalibrate,” where one well-placed ride cymbal ping serves as an odd but immediate musical hook, through to the stuttering interlocked intro and slugging mid-song shift of “Black Powder” to the absolutely crushing trudge of “Brute Force Life,” Retaliatory Measures is a blistering bunch of good old-fashioned grindcore, and another feather in the Kahmann brothers’ proverbial cap. These guys are one of America’s most dependable grindcore units, and this is exactly why.

“We don’t care,” the random closing sample declares, and maybe they don’t. But you absolutely should.

*I mean, I’m guessing that they’re Minnesota’s favorite sibling grindcore duo. I didn’t take a poll of Minnesotans or anything. Feel free to correct me if you’re Minnesotan and have a different favorite sibling grindcore duo.

Posted by Andrew Edmunds

Last Rites Co-Owner; Senior Editor; born in the cemetery, under the sign of the MOOOOOOON...

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