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Hivesmasher: Gutter Choir

US grindsters uncover the slapstick side of Hell

It must’ve taken a pretty sick mind to come up with those Tom And Jerry cartoons, and yet undeniably there’s immense humour to be taken from someone’s skin being cut to ribbons by a rusty lawnmower, having their teeth knocked in by pool balls or regularly being set on fire; comedy is a great way to disguise violence. Equally so, as aptly demonstrated by Massachusetts sextet Hivesmasher on this, their sophomore effort, violence – ultra-violence in this case – is a great way to disguise comedy.

Lying somewhere in between the viscous death/grind of the likes of Nasum and the brittle anarchy of Nails or Brutal Truth, Gutter Choir contains samples lifted from Ghostbusters and Jack Nicholson’s beer-y laments in The Shining.

It also features wilfully daft track titles like Ugly Cat, but these are mere window dressings for a one-hour grind-ride straight to Hell with a lunatic – although half of the duration is taken up by the nauseating, part-dirge, part-ambient, part pig-fucking horror of final track Send Me To Satan.