There are some bands that, for the musicians involved, cast a very long shadow. Any new project after the band’s demise comes with a huge weight of expectation on the members for what comes next. For the guys in No One Knows What The Dead Think the reputation of Discordance Axis hangs heavily over them. Since they disbanded in 2001 the New Jersey grindcore outfit’s reputation grew to legendary status. So when vocalist Jon Chang and guitarist Rob Morton came forward with a new three piece, expectations were set incredibly high.
A basic look at No One Knows What The Dead Think is that it is another grindcore album with everything which that entails. Just looking at the running time (ten songs in eighteen minutes) seems to confirm this. However this could not be further from the truth. No One Knows What The Dead Think have taken the bare bones of grindcore, purified it and made it much more refined. They have taken their work in Discordance Axis as a starting point and pushed it further forward. This is music at its most visceral and vital – not merely pure savage noise. It’s brutal, pin point accurate strikes of sound, surgically proficient and razor sharp. This is the sniper rifle to grindcore’s blunderbuss. Each blastbeat, guitar chord and vicious scream are targeted for maximum effect. What you get is a crystal clear demonstration of what high quality modern extreme music is capable of.
Whether you are familiar with their previous efforts or not should not affect your own take on the album. Weight of expectation or not, No One Knows What The Dead think have easily surpassed expectations and have made one of the best grindcore releases of the year.
No One Knows What The Dead Think is out 20th September via Willowtip Records and can be purchased here.
Words: Nathan Tyler