Blast Rites: Ape Unit – Filth Review

Giving Ona Snop a run for their money* in the competition for 2022’s most colorful cartoon grindcore cover, here we have Ape Unit’s newest, Filth. And furthermore, these Italian goofballs are going round for round with those Loiners in terms of irreverent, rifftastic, turn-on-a-dime (or -10c or -10p) grind / powerviolence / hardcore / noise / silliness.

Which is a lot of words for me to use when I could’ve just said that Filth – and Ape Unit, overall, as near as I can tell from as much of their work as I’ve heard – is a goddamned good time.

Release date: July 9, 2022 Label: Here And Now.
Taking cues from the noisy and the spastic, Filth twists, turns, shifts, shuffles, blasts, thrashes, crashes, scatters, smothers, and covers a lot ground in these thirteen songs, all crammed into a compact and yet wonderfully satisfying fifteen minutes. Dissonant riffs collide with a swinging, swaggering gorilla groove in “Please Don’t Spell St. Tropez,” while “Annihilation Of The Weekend” rips through more of that stomp with a whole new set of skronks. “Credible Hulk” blasts through more squalling chords and oddball guitar voicings; “Gulash Iscariot” knocks holes in walls with massive fists. “Blues: The Cool” sports both a killer thrash riff and a sampled outro from… The Animals? Booker T? One of those classic 60s Hammond-laden R&B outfits of yore…

Throughout Filth, riffs and bits come and go, used and discarded, blasting in one ear and out the other, always sharp and always ugly in the best ways; Marius’ vocals are frantic and manic; Steve and Umbi’s rhythms shift and slide, the starts stop and the stops start, a parade of twists at lightning speed, moving in and out. And yet, none of Filth is sloppy or disjointed in the slightest; somehow it all works exactly as it should, even as it seems senseless, silly, and damned near random; none of it anything more than a tightly strung pile of ideas rammed one into the next, and all of it possessed with a seriously unserious sensibility. It’s monkeying with the basic tenets of grindcore, kids — aping greats as far ranging as The Locust and The Afternoon Gentlemen and whomever else, and it’s bananas, I tell you. Purely bananas, and it’s damned good, all of it.

Also, if you can’t tell, both Ape Unit and I love the puns – so there’s another reason I’m on board.

Cassettes are available from Here And Now; the digital lives in the jungles of Bandcamp; however you do it, if slightly spastic grind piques your fancy, fill your ears with Filth, and get your hands on these damned dirty Apes.

Posted by Andrew Edmunds

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

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