Magrudergrind: II

Washington DC noisemakers refuse to go by the numbers

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Let’s get the most confusing aspect of this band out of the way: Magruder is the name of the neighbourhood in which this DC/Virginia-area trio live and rehearse.

Not nearly as confusing, but still worthy of clarification, is the fact that this 13-year-old outfit don’t just play grind. Theirs is a combination of power violence, hardcore punk, West Coast thrash and, yes, grindcore: a web which they’ve competently weaved over the course of umpteen releases. II is the band’s third full-length – did we mention their cheeky side? Witness 2010’s Scion-released Crusher EP, done up to mimic Earache’s classic Grindcrusher comp – and continues to span broad strokes of incendiary auditory calamity.

But the focus here is the balancing act between blastbeating tempos and the sort of half-time, two-stepping mosh riffs old fogies will remember from vintage NYHC.

Tracks like Sacrificial Hire and Relentless Hatred clock in under two minutes, but masterfully juggle sounding like an out-of-control steamroller and the musical accompaniment for the messy scenario on the cover of Agnostic Front’s Cause For Alarm.