Jul 25

Dead In The Dirt – The Blind Hole (2013)

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Dead in the Dirt has created quite a bit of buzz over the past year. After they dropped Fear on Southern Lord Records and toured relentlessly behind it they’ve managed to create quite a cult following, touring behind bands such as Weekend Nachos and playing the amazing The Power of the Riff Festival this year. Needless to say, they’ve needed some new tunes to add to their fire. This is where The Blind Hole comes in. Coming in at 22 tracks, this will give them plenty of songs to play over the next couple of years. However – tracks aren’t everything – Nails, their compatriots in all things heavy and blisteringly fast, had only a few tracks and a short record that blew everyone’s face off. How do these 22 tracks stand out? Does quantity prevail? Well, some of it does.

The first thing that struck me about this record is the amount of tracks on there – 22, more than their past two releases combined. That instantly told me “Okay, expect a full on grindcore record.” However, it’s sort of deceptive, because this record attempts to strike a balance between the moshpit fodder that bands like this do and a bunch of newer ideas. They like to experiment using drone and noise in a way that would make Old Man Gloom blush – a lot of these parts sound like they came from the most recent OMG record (which isn’t a bad thing, considering how good that record is). I don’t wanna say songs like “Strength Through Restraint” give a break away from the chaos, but the dissonance and the OMG-esque vocals are definitely something different in this record. Parts of songs like the bookends of You Bury Me add a decidedly punk energy to the mix – which is welcome in a PLAY FASTER PLAY BRUTAL playground where bands lack energy and enthusiasm in their playing.

My biggest issue however is that there are so many ideas here that aren’t fully fleshed out. The record is immensely multipolar – when you wanna hear a specific facet of this record again, it changes into a different song. If the sound were more consistent – say, Discordance Axis/Nails/etc – then this wouldn’t be an issue, and I’d argue it’d be a strength. However when there’s just so much in the mix, there’s gonna be a dropoff of quality. For example, let’s take the aforementioned You Bury Me. I wanna hear more of the punk in that song, but they throw in drone. It’s great in some songs, but it doesn’t fit in this one.

That said, the good songs are really good (Will is the War, for example, is a huge standout). It’s just there’s way too much here – and that’s saying a lot considering the length of the record clocking in at just over 20 minutes. I think if they went in one specific direction or fused these ideas they have into a more cohesive product, we’ll have a standout band. But for now, their penchant for throwing everything into a melting pot in a way that makes little sense is stopping them from becoming an excellent band, and for now they’ll stay a great one. This is still gonna be a fun record to mosh to though.

Tracklist:

1. Suffer
2. The Blaring Eye
3. Swelling
4. Strength Through Restraint
5. Idiot Bliss
6. You Bury Me
7. Skullbinding
8. Mask
9. Cop
10. No Chain
11. Will Is the War
12. Baggar
13. One More Day
14. The Pit of Me
15. Caged
16. Starve
17. Vein
18. Pitch Black Tomb
19. The Last Nail
20. Two Flames
21. Knife in the Feathers
22. Halo Crown

Genre: Grindcore/Powerviolence

Label: Southern Lord Records

Playing Time: 23 Minutes

Lineup:

Blake Connally: guitar, vocals, lyrics
Hank Pratt: drums
Bo Orr: bass, vocals, artwork

Links:

https://www.facebook.com/deadinthedirt/
http://deadinthedirt.bandcamp.com/

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