Pink Mass – Slvt Kvlt

We went on a bit of a tirade against grindcore on Facebook the other day, and it was justified.  Grindcore over the past decade has sunk into a swamp of humor in order to hide terrible musicianship.  You're probably laughing we used the word "musicianship" within this discussion, but seriously, we can't take it anymore.  The jokes have to end.  When did a genre known for making people vomit from both imagery and sound turn into a total joke?  Is dropping a fart in the middle of a song funny?  Why would you waste song time, or recording time, on that?  Do you think porn samples are still funny and brutal?  How many songs can you title with misogynist fantasy phrases even though you're still living at home and paying rent in groceries?  Is that funny? The second part is, for sure, but not the first.  How many times can you rape a corpse figuratively?  How many times can you use effects on your vocals to conceal your lack of skill?  How many times do we have to keep talking about this?  If grindcore's going to survive, it needs to get serious again, with humor only a footnote.  There can be no more excuses for idiocy, no more one-man drum machine bands, let us remember the old days of Carcass, the days of Repulsion, when things were sick instead of suck.  We need more bands like Pink Mass.

  

Against All Odds Productions is living the life.  With years of underground experience, starting from a fanzine in 1995, and now featuring bands under their DIY bullet belt like Fistula and Meth Drinker, it's a life of sin.  Sin can be good in grind, in fact its part of its roots.  But, as mentioned above, it's sinking slowly, and the laughter needs to stop so we can get back to original sin.  We'll say it one more time, grindcore isn't supposed to be funny. If you're relying on outdated shock humor, you've already revealed your deficiencies.  When we first heard about Pink Mass, before we checked out some of their live performances, it was either going to go one of two ways since their aesthetic was visibly focused on BDSM, possibly tongue-in-cheek, and the name itself an interesting reference.  They were either going to be grind like usual, where gimmicky, crude behavior takes precedence, or grind like unusual, which repulses at the same time it captivates.  It was hard to tell, seeing artwork and live shots with various sex toys run through with nails, nails sticking out of zipper masks, hairy chests, and an obese man being led around on a chain. Are they the typical? Thankfully, no, Pink Mass is a return to the original sin of grind, and they're here with pansexual pride.

 

Don't let their accursed usage of the V spelling fool you.  Pink Mass are doing it for the lvlz, involving nails.  There are sex toys, nails through sex toys, leather masks, nails coming out of those, blasphemy, also with nails, but it's the right kind, not the wrong kind, it balances the fine line grind needs between humor and dread. But that's just the visuals, which is easy, in spite of the fact grindcore usually fvcks it vp.  Slvt Kvlt, to be honest, was a typical listen at first.  A good listen, but nothing we hadn't heard, until we remembered what grind usually is. In fact we were poisoned by some of that stink a week after we listened to Pink Mass.  This put everything into perspective, so let's get it straight.  Slvt Kvlt is grind the old way, with better production.  The chord work's still messy as hell, but sexually messy, and sticky.  The guitar/bass violates, the blast beats copulate, and the low/high vocal layering satiates, bringing all those thematic ideas together as musical flesh.  Pink Mass has no difficulty laying out their manifesto, which is centered on sexually exploiting one's own self at the expense of someone else who is also seeking exploitation.  Focus on that sentence a bit until it makes sense, trvst vs.  They toss about basically everything that made grind what it once was, all the blasphemy, the grotesqueries, the shame, the loathing, it's all here, but never redundant, because they know when to get serious.  It hearkens back to when grind was about blaspheming, not padding worthless music with humor.  If you remember Pungent Stench and you wish the legal battle over the name would just end already, Pink Mass is here to fill all your voids in any way you desire.  Take it as what it is, because it's not often you get to hear underground grind with both a purpose and an actual sound.  Nothing necessarily new in terms of that, of course, just done the hell right.

 

Pink Mass Official Facebook

Written by Stanley Stepanic

Pink Mass: Slvt Kvlt
Against All Odds Productions
4.2 / 5