Remember however many days ago, erstwhile readers (and I’m sure you do because you undoubtedly take each of these columns to heart), wherein I postulated that grindcore, or the grindcore-adjacent, doesn’t always have to be fast and blasting?
Well, if you didn’t believe me then (or even if you did), then this Ona Snop… well, this is the opposite of that. This is the fast return to furious form, the blast in Blast Rites, as much in the sense of “fun AF” as it is any particular (and lovely) drum beat..
But there’s another keyword that deserves mention – and if it didn’t deserve mention, then would it be key, really? but I digress. That word is control. For all the manic and all the frantic, there’s no panic here, no sloppiness, no off-the-rails untethered near-collapse looseness. Sure, Ona Snop feels like ADHD grinding for the Adderal set, but they’re deceptive like that. These songs are well-structured, and the band is an incredibly tight unit, shifting and stopping on a dime, accenting changes with a practiced precision that’s somewhat belied by the inherent rawness of their chosen sound. Fast, yes, and raging. But very much In Control.
From the blast-happy dissonant squonk of “Wake In Fright” through the rawk-ish guitar leads of “Lame Excuse” and beyond to the utterly frenetic “Essential Stain,” Ona Snop is a relentless and blistering affair, but one that’s confident in its own strengths. There are no typical grindcore tricks, as this is more punk than that: No film samples, no fx-ed vocals, no weird ambient deviations. The guitars are bright and crisp, not heavily downtuned or overly distorted; the drums are punchy as hell, but live; the vocals stick to a hardcore-esque midrange scream, with no guttural growls or pig grunts or even high-pitched chattering. No frills, no bullshit, just Ona Snop. Straight-up punk-fueled fastcore frenzy. Fun AF, right? Right.
An album cover should sum up its contents, and this one does so impeccably: Busy as hell, colorful, intense, ridiculous, a little bit of WTF meets a whole lot of OMG. Coming from the thriving Leeds scene (home to The Afternoon Gentlemen, Gets Worse, Famine, Sulk, Lugubrious Children, and others), Ona Snop is an irreverently goofball outfit, hellbent on having fun as much as they are upon their brand of fastcore destruction, and let’s be honest here: If you aren’t having fun, what’s the damned point?
So to sum it up: Fast. Furious. Intense. In Control. Fun. Ona Snop.
What more do you want?