Columns – “Please Explode” (Relapse Records)
Still numbed by Brutal Truth calling it a day, North Carolina’s Columns are something of a consolation – and a pretty good one at that! Featuring former members of cult Relapse grinders Hemdale plus current and former members of renowned death metal bands Wretched, Vehemence and Glass Casket, Columns bring it right to the grindcore fore on songs like ‘Mudfucker’, ‘Drifter Aftermath’ and ‘No One’s Fucking Waiting’. With minimal soloing the 16 snake biting tracks concentrate on Michael Lehmann’s sliding rhythms awash with blast beats and slow death heavy passages whose effect is nothing short of aural and emotional brutality. However the collective experience of the members shines through in their arrangements and subtlest of melodies such that their material stops just short of plunging into the abyss of total insanity. With a matching raw production bringing out Lehmann’s finger sliding in the mix, Jake Wade’s twanging bass reverberating in your eardrums and Jason Skipper’s frenetic snare drumming threatening to make your teeth fillings fall out, it’s left to Adam Cody’s bear growl meets screaming prey vocals to make the end complete on this volatile debut.