Blast Rites: Jack – Lobotomia Review

Hungarian grind-punkers Jack recently crossed the quarter-century mark as a band, but if Lobotómia is any indication, they’re still very much in their prime. Sometimes age is just a number…

Release date: May 30, 2022 Label: Wise Grinds / Give Praise / Loner Cult / SFA / Grindhead / SVAB / Drinking Beer In Bandanna.
Maybe it’s the fact that this lineup has only been together for a few years, so it’s sort of a new take on an old name. With the assembly of this new Jack hustle came a stronger shift towards grindier sounds, farther from the punkier sounds of the band’s earlier days. Maybe it’s that the last few years have been filled with inspiration for aggressive music as catharsis, and give a frustrated grind-leaning band an outlet these days, and you should expect an angrier result. Maybe it’s this; maybe it’s that; maybe it’s Maybelline. The end result is the same: Lobotómia is a fantastically pissed-off slab of old-school grinding from a band that has been around awhile, and of the Jack records I’ve heard, it’s the strongest of the lot.

The first fifteen tracks of Lobotómia are the record proper, seventeen minutes of punk-tinged but very grinding grindcore. The savagery begins with the death-y intro to “Vérbe fojtott jövö,” a deception quickly abandoned in favor of hardcore-tinted pummeling, through the swinging chug of “Járulékos veszteség” and the call-and-response screams of “Felszin alatt,” the whole of it culminating in the bouncy drive of “Újjászületés.” Vocalist Levi has a throaty growl, a dash of Barney with a lot of Cavalera snarl; the guitars are taut and stout, carving through riffs like power tools through pine. Mixed and mastered by Rotten Sound vocalist Keijo Niinimaa, Lobotómia sounds punchy and tight without being slick, raw but still professional, with a live drum sound that doesn’t feel cheap or small. Sequenced tightly, there’s little room to blink between songs; only subtle deviations in the madness, and yet Lobotómia doesn’t wear thin, doesn’t break the listener down or blend entirely together into a blur, although it can certainly be taken as a whole (minus that last track that we haven’t yet talked about) as much as it can be approached as individual parts of the chaos. In the end, Lobotómia isn’t subtle, nor is it techy, nor is it anything but a vicious old-school grindcore bashing, but hey, that’s what you paid for.

So then what of that last track? Well, think of it like a bonus, an addition to the kick-ass grinding that precedes it. It’s one singular 8-minute recording of the band’s performance at Riff Klub, six songs compressed into those minutes. It’s fun, for sure, though not as sonically strong as what came before, of course. If nothing else, it makes me hope for some future date when I can witness the band onstage myself, though it’s doubtful they’ll make it to suburban middle Tennessee anytime soon…

But a fella can hope, right?

I’ve kept an ear on these fellows for awhile yet, picking up what releases I could on CD. Lobotómia is hands-down the best Jack record I’ve heard so far, and one that has seen many many repeat spins since its release a few months back. Pick it up on Bandcamp if you’re a high-tech grindhead, or if you’re old-school — and in the US — then the fine folks at Wise Grinds Records have it on wax here or you can get it at Give Praise here.

Posted by Andrew Edmunds

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

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