Venomous Concept is a supergroup built upon the backs of some of grindcore’s forefathers, but aside from several blasting passages, as with the accelerated latter-half of “Neck Tie”, the band is much more in tune with eighties punk rock and hardcore, not unlike the band which their own namesake pays homage to with a play on words: Poison Idea. The lingering hiatus of (the) Melvins’ Buzz Osborne has seen Napalm Death’s Shane Embury move over from bass to guitar, even more recently joined by second guitarist, and his Napalm Death bandmate, John Cooke, also of Corrupt Moral Altar. Napalm Death’s plague rages on the drums as well with Danny Herrera. And if that isn’t enough, vocalist Kevin Sharp—reliably screaming like a madman who broke free from his straight jacket—and bassist Danny Lilker, both of Brutal Truth, round out the all-star grindcore lineup.

Kick Me Silly – VC III, the band’s third full-length, finds the band fine-tuning its catchy, snot-nosed punk rock without losing an ounce of its frantic belligerence. And yet there’s paradoxically an uplifting undercurrent driven throughout the album. The gang shouts and chorus of the aptly entitled “Anthem” is fist-pumping and triumphant, and the rhythmically punchy bursts of “Frontal Lobe Disorder” do nothing but augment the song’s addictive qualities.

Elsewhere, tracks like “Day Care” and opener “Rise” attack relentlessly, and true to what you’d expect from a band including members of Napalm Death and Brutal Truth, face-rippers like “Busy with your Debt” and the SOD-esque “Johnny Cheeseburger” storm forth with an apparent devotion to speed.

All the particular bells and whistles one might wish for from a grinding supergroup playing punk rock are more than evident. They’ve also branched out with interesting guitar textures akin to Napalm Death’s somewhat ambient and experimental period that truly began to surface around the time of Fear, Emptiness, Despair, shining bright through Kick Me Silly – VC III with “Farm Boy” and “Forever War”. Venomous Concept has hit a home run once again, offering more than enough fat to chew on for fans of grind and straight-up punk.

(Season of Mist)