Monday, September 16, 2019

Needle- Needle

Needle is grindviolence three-piece from Washington, D.C. This self-titled second EP is a brief, expertly-realized slice of exactly what it sounds like.

Opener “Shattering Retinal Matter” wastes no time laying out exactly what you’re in for on the rest of the EP. Seventeen seconds of fretwork, blasts, mid-range screams and low growls, plus a King of the Hill sample, it offers the ideal tone-setting intro. “Sonic Terrorism” rides a loping intro straight into a wall of blastbeats and grunting lows for an adrenalizing minute of grinding punk. “Extinction Blast” is the one you’d put on a label compilation, if that was a thing you were doing, because it’s a ferocious, sub-one-minute, middle tempo blaster that sums up the band well and would slot in nicely alongside a range of styles.

While Needle certainly has its share of blastbeats, it doesn’t prioritize speed over all else. “Reaper Descends” and “Flagrant Display of False Hope” showcase meaty thrash riffs and pit-opening tempo changes, and “Inter-Dimensional Game of Suffering” features a hip-hop outro of the style you might find on a Spazz record. Rather than speed, Needles focuses on a sense of sheer propulsion, making it an ideal soundtrack for a skate session or a bike ride to work.

This is well-made, high energy grindcore with a healthy dose of riffy punk, and if there’s any shortcoming I can find, it’s that this description sums up most of what I have to say about this release. It gets in, blasts hard and gets out, and while it truthfully has more tricks up its sleeve than some records that I’ve reviewed on this site in the past, it isn’t trying to reinvent its chosen genres. However, if “grindviolence EP from To Live a Lie” is a phrase that gets you excited, this EP comes highly recommended.

Needle is available on cassette from To Live a Lie here or digitally from Needle's Bandcamp page.

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