Who says heavy music can’t have a sense of humour? Calling this Japanese outfit Friendship is a little on the nose, but the title of this none-more-black record is much more appropriate. These caustic Care Less Bears blast through 12 tracks of blackened, sludgy crust in a little over 25 minutes on this don’t-call-it-an-EP, with many cuts lasting less than two minutes.
“Rejected” opens the album on a rather unfriendly note with blast-beat drumming and dentist drill distortion, throwing in a big, heavy breakdown halfway through it’s 1:14 runtime before going back to blasting, then ending on a single slow, sludgy note. “Regicide” features more frantic blasting out of the gate, before slowing things down to a monolithic crawl around the 45-second mark. The sludge verse that follows channels Eyehategod at its finest, before the blasts come back as they pick up the pace, only to slow things down again with some more grief-stricken sludge, throwing in some electronic beeps and boops for bad measure.
The first half of three-and-a-half-minute cut “Corrupt” reminds me of Corrupted, with it’s super-slow-mo sludge approach…vuntil it picks up the pace halfway through, with a vicious, pounding attack more akin to Discharge, before a Jimmy Bower-style riff brings things back to a sludgy stew. “Tortures” is pretty much Napalm Death worship, a bludgeoning grindcore number barely a minute long, but they still throw in a couple slower parts in such a short timeframe. Speaking of worship, “Grief” does sludge the way it’s supposed to be—lonesome, orn’ry and mean. I’d love to see ‘em come to these shores!
Anyways, I’m not sure what a band from Japan is doing with songs like “Compton” and “El Chapo” (besides blasting and grinding and sludging away), but even if I wanted to know their views on such subjects, the vocals are completely unintelligible anyways. Not that I’m complaining…