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Complete Failure: The Art Gospel Of Aggravated Assault

Steel town grind heroes return with a wallop

Normally, grind albums aren’t ‘growers’. Grindcore either dropkicks you in the solar plexus from the off or has you running and screaming in the other direction. Then, there’s Complete Failure.

In subterranean grind circles, this Pittsburgh band is legendary despite this only being album number three. At first listen, The Art… isn’t very artistic at all. In fact, songs like Mind Compf and Errant Social Mile Marker generate uneasy and negative feelings of collapse. Things sound basted together; tone-wise, vocals wrestle with guitars and images of a worried and confused Mike Rosswog tipping off his drum stool are de rigeur.

But it soon becomes evident that this uncouth and elementary feel is part of CF’s charm. Their use of discord is lassoed towards cohesiveness by a solid, shuffling groove that makes their heads-down material more than just a race to Pig Destroyer and Nasum’s finish line. They still need to rethink their far-too-spacious approach to soundscape-y doom, but overall this album sneaks up on you… like a good sucker punch.