Houkago Grind Time – Houkago Grind Time 2: The Second Raid Review

I’m now on my third Houkago Grind Time review, and in each of the previous two, I declared that I would brush up on anime so that I would better understand the inside jokes and cultural references.

And it turns out that… well, I still haven’t done that. I’m going to stop saying it.

So I still don’t know what Houkago Grind Time’s lyrics really mean, but at this point, that’s on me. At least, what I do know about (still) are blastbeats, and gnarly distorted guitar riffs, and short bursts of glorious glorious noisy grindcore. And that, my friends, is what Houkago Grind time is truly about. That and, of course, cartoons and… [checks notes] cabbage?

Release date: November 4, 2022. Label: Acid Redux / Obliteration.
Back for a second Raid, or at least a second full-length one, Andrew Lee’s solo grindmachine continues the slaughter started on Bakyunsified (Moe To The Gore), albeit now a slightly refined take on that slaughter, not fundamentally different and yet noticeably improved. Houkago Grind Time still rips through razor-edged riffs with wanton glee, Lee tempering those carving bloody guitars with the occasional squeal for color, all beneath gurgles and screams in the time-honored goregrind tradition. Recorded and almost entirely performed by Lee himself (and mastered by the omnipresent Colin Marston), the record sounds perfect for the style, with the guitars given a thick, icky sound. Guest vocals abound, from Tapo of fellow one-man grinders First Days Of Humanity, from R Mason of Enemy Soil, Larry Wang of the wonderfully monikered Fatuous Rump, Dan Ryckman of Archagathus, and Pharmacist of… well, you know. There’s even a guest guitar solo from Rotten Sound vocalist Keijo Niinamaa on a track titled “Let’s Keijo!!!!!!!!,” * and surprisingly, it holds its own compared to Lee’s own well-documented shredtastic tendencies.

From the opening stuttered sample of “It’s Time To M-M-M-Mince,” The Second Raid com(-m-m-)mences to kick some serious ass, that one a fine-tuned one-minute pummeling with a quick pair of Slayer-esque squalling solos rising up from the midst of riffs both cutting and chunking. From there, it’s a ripping ride through 20-ish minutes of tightly coiled thrashing and thumping. The bouncy opening drive of “Moe: Again?” is damned near “jaunty,” before resolving into a punky main section, offset by blastbeats and layered inhuman growls and grunts, a brief respite of almost catchiness that’s immediately laid waste by the relentless “Stench Of Unwashed Con-goers.” Individual bits and pieces poke forth – like the swagger-and-blast of “People Die When They Are Killed,” or the choked vocals and chunky heft of “Mincing Cabbages” – but like so many records of this ilk, The Second Raid is best approached as a whole unit, with ebbs and flows, brief stutters, and long stretches of savagery, rather than pulled apart into components.

So far, at least, it seems Andrew Lee can do no wrong, and like the other Houkago Grind Times before it, Houkago Grind Time 2: The Second Raid reflects that. If you’re remotely interested in riffs, blastbeats, guitar solos, silliness, cartoons, and cabbage, then boy, do I have a treat for you!!!!!!!!**


*Please note: All 8 exclamation points are Lee’s, although I, too, am excited about the track.

**Please note: All 8 exclamation points are mine. Houkago Grind Time is worth them all.

Posted by Andrew Edmunds

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

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