Grudge Match ‘Self Titled’ Speaks for Itself
The ultimate auditory middle finger, Grudge Match’s ‘Self Titled’ defies societal systemics (*cough cough* organized religion), forsakes traditional song structure and tangles genre lines beyond recognition.
Sign me up! Seven songs long and 22 minutes in total, Grudge Match’s debut release is packed full of surprises and is equal parts polished and tarnished. Both pre and post production boast immense ingenuity and not a second of listener’s time is wasted in this entrancing compilation. If this is only Grudge Match dipping their toes in the water, I’m seriously looking forward to the band’s future discography.
My only suggestions are that Grudge Match post their lyrics on the net and give the record’s two singles some room to breathe in the track list, although it’s entirely possible that their sibling positioning may be intentional and I could be missing the point.
Self Titled is introduced by an iconic Whiplash sample in the EP’s first song, ‘Trope,’ “Do I look like a double fucking rainbow to you?” What follows is an explosive 1 minute and 42 seconds of wrathful uncleans, incensed technical guitar fills and hefty deadpan basslines, tied neatly together with booming cymbals and kicks. Off to a great start!
First single, ‘Heavy Hitter’ is next in line and if this absolute bop doesn’t have you hooked then you may as well beat it. The track’s signature melody serves as a perfect backdrop for experimental bass patterns, slicing and clipping licks and fills as well as a crescendo characterized beat. “Be Satanic” is the ultimate beatdown hook and it’s gang-vocal transformation on the song’s bridge is the freshest usage I’ve heard of an otherwise tired technique.The cherry on top, though? The switch up at 2:26! Grudge Match isn’t trying to squeeze two songs into one (which is one of my favorite growing trends in hip hop and a long-standing one in the punk/rock world) but rather they immaculately interpolated a name-dropping epilogue, much alike street artists who sneakily incorporate their tags in their artwork.
The rotation keeps up the heat in the EP’s second single, ‘Poor Gonzo’: a visceral rager, practically foaming at the mouth and as daring as it’s namesake. What elements make it so killer? Skillful tempo jumps, a breakdown featuring the band’s own tag, back and forth screams and undiluted lyrical sacrilege, to name a few. Precise percussion, boundary-pushing vocal technique and innovative shredding are present on the entire collection but take center stage on ‘Poor Gonzo’. If anyone’s up for a road trip I want to blast this song at my childhood religious establishment and we can hit up yours on the way. (too much? Idk, idc.)
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