The Metal Minute Awarded 2009 Best Personal Blog By Metal Hammer Magazine

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

CD Review: Harpoon - Double Gnarly/Triple Suicide

Harpoon - Double Gnarly/Triple Suicide
2009 Interloper Records
Ray Van Horn, Jr.



Is it just me or is grind metal getting faster by the nanosecond? On a day when a President Obama is sworn in with winds of change gusting slowly yet confidently from his back, American basements, garages and downhome studios bear the din of metal bands stepping up their residual tempos quicker than ever.

Granted, Chicago's (hometown of our country's enigmatic new leader) Harpoon has the advantage of digital assistance to jack their already noisome fuzz blender to velocities nearly undreamt from standard human beat processors. The more you spin their full-length debut (which is really the finished product of their self-titled demo released in May of last year with a few extra songs), only then will you begin to keep up with Dean Costello's manic drum programming.

Of course, upon initial greeting, Double Gnarly/Triple Suicide is going to feel like catapaulting down a flight of stairs courtesy of a vicious shove from your blind side. Literally, this album plummets at ludicrous speed as Dean Costello (also fielding bass and guitar duties) works his squelchy and buzzbombing riffs into the album's rambunctious rapidity while his shotgun partner, vocalist Toney Vast wails and rasps at will. For the record, the duo recently added a new bass player to their fold, D.J. Barraca.

With just enough engineering discipline and killer shred lines to avoid being a hackneyed shadow of Herman Rarebell (the grind group, not the Scorpions associate) and Pig Destroyer, Harpoon absolutely slays on minute-efficient cuts like "Throngs," "Buddy System" and "Walter Reuther" (aka "Walter Fucking Reuther") while flinging out bruising beats and swarming riffs on the 1:57 "Sloth-Ass."

Double Gnarly/Triple Suicide will sock you in the mush, make no bones about it. Still just a hair on the raw side with echoey beat replicants, Harpoon nevertheless benefits from slicker than grease note shrills plus the capacity to play in tandem to outrageous rhythm patterns that would give even Dave Lombardo the fits at times. Wielding blazing fast thrash and punk melodies in less time than an episode of Jeopardy doesn't hurt the cause, either. Both cause immediate information overload.

The digital era is making bands move faster than its hypothetical matrix can withstand. God help humanity if it has to keep up with Harpoon's incredulous speed.

Rating: ***1/2

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