Brutal Truth

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Extreme Conditions Demand Extreme Responses

Brutal Truth - Extreme Conditions Demand Extreme Responses ©1992 Earache
1. P.S.P.I.
2. Birth Of Ignorance
3. Stench Of Profit
4. Ill-Neglect
5. Denial Of Existence
6. Regression-Progression
7. Collateral Damage
8. Time
9. Walking Corpse
10. Monetary Gain
11. Wilt
12. H.O.P.E.
13. Blockhead
14. Anti Homophobe
15. Unjust Compromise
16. Perpetual Conversion
17. Lord Of This World
18. Bed Sheet

One of the sloppy grind records everyone should own, Extreme Conditions Demand Extreme Responses marked the entry of Brutal Truth into the world of caustic crust anger and rollicking hardcore punk grooves. Noisy and sometimes quite experimental, the record averages at least one sticky hook per song, ensuring the listener that they are listing to songs and not just blast beats and distortion. Kevin Sharpe (memorably slighted in an A.C. song title) provides the insane screeches and low death grunts that are now trademarks of the Brutal Truth experience. Songs are generally short, founded on angry (but somewhat uneventful) lyrics, insane snare blasts, power drill breaks (!) and yes, even somewhat musical doom metal riffing. The overall tone is on the hopeless and apocalyptic side of things, and not particularly focused on idealism or utopian fantasy. Unlike most political grind though, the songs are really quite catchy and on rare occasions almost melodic. Crusties, grinders, and noise connoisseurs would all find something to enjoy here, but then again, they probably already own the album. As for everyone else, the album is definitely sorta recommended, if for no other reason than the lyrics of "Blockhead", the requisite Black Sabbath cover, and opening sample of “Walking Corpse”.

Review by James Slone

Review date: 08/2002

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Kill Trend Suicide

Brutal Truth - Kill Trend Suicide ©1995 Relapse
1. Blind Leading The Blind
2. Pass Some Down
3. Let's Go To War
4. Hypocrite Invasion
5. Everflow
6. Zombie
7. Homesick
8. Humanity's Folly
9. I Killed My Family
10. Kill Trend Suicide

With about as much subtlety as knee to the groin, New York grindcore knuckle-draggers Brutal Truth cut another slew of "songs" containing "music" amid Kevin Sharp's petulant microphone molestation. But let's face it, subtlety never has been Brutal Truth's forte. Kill Trend Suicide renders me akin to the state I'm in several hours after putting my Germs records from the early 80's on 70 RPM, dropping some drexelyne, sweating like a maniac, and whipping my immediate environment into a violent frenzy. Neither of which can be terribly healthy. Before I perused the album's credits I had just assumed it was live; recorded in a single take, in someone's basement, with a single microphone, which probably fell over when the furniture started moving. Not so. Billy "Eyehategod" Anderson was indeed turning knobs at the helm, but the recording is so atrocious, one could not discern the fact anyway. Thematically DIYish, and presumably a back-handed homage to said punk influence, but all things considered, I have enough chaos in my life. Now, where'd I put those Tom Waits records...

Review by Lee Steadham

Review date: 11/1998

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Sounds Of The Animal Kingdom

Brutal Truth - Sounds Of The Animal Kingdom ©1997 Relapse
1. Dementia
2. K.A.P.
3. Vision
4. Fucktoy
5. Jemenez Cricket
6. Soft Mind
7. Average People
8. Blue World
9. Callous
10. Fisting
11. Die Laughing
12. Dead Smart
13. Sympathy Kiss
14. Pork Farm
15. Promise
16. Foolish Bastard
17. Postulate Then Liberate
18. It's After The End Of The World
19. Machine Parts
20. 4:20
21. Unbaptized
22. Prey

Hailing from the school of extreme grindcore (with roots in early Napalm Death and Discharge, along with a 90's sensability of noise influenced by Merzbow, among others), Brutal Truth probably leads to the forefront of bands with little subtle touch. Using dizzying time changes from blast beats to frantic rolls to occasional punkish beats, drummer Rich Hoak sets the pace. Some of the songs are so busy and blurred that they tend to blend together. The listener gets the impression of clustered riffing and feels like they're punching their way out of a paper bag. But occasionally (like on "Jemenez cricket"), Brutal Truth eases up and lets a little breathing space in (but not much).

Brutal Truth's lead grunter/screamer Kevin Sharp's vocals are another defining point to the band. From guttaral death grunts to shrill animalistic screams of agony, you know he ain't singing about falling in love and cruising Sunset Strip. Lyrically, his stream of consciousness mirrors bands like the Minutemen in spirit (especially in "Callous", where the entire lyrical mantra is "you are just callous/you will, will, will never see"...now that is to the point). The final track, "Prey", is twenty minutes of Sharp screaming "Prey" over a looped grind track, gradually building in distortion and noise. This will clear the arena of your choice. Heck, you might even follow.

Overall, this is a impenetrable barrage that is a difficult listen. There is enough undercurrent and raw savage aggression to appeal to the hardcore, death, and noise communities, but be prepared to spend several listens before the grind settles in.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 10/1997


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Goodbye Cruel World

Brutal Truth - Goodbye Cruel World ©1999 Relapse
CD one:
1. Intro
2. Dementia
3. Kill All Politicians
4. Choice Of A New Generation
5. Birth Of Ignorance
6. Stench Of Profit
7. Walking Corpse
8. Sympathy Kiss
9. Pork Farm
10. Jemenez Cricket
11. Repeat At Length
12. Media Blitz
13. Fucktoy
14. Ill-Neglect
15. Kill Trend Suicide
16. Cornucopia
17. Godplayer
18. I Killed My Family
19. Time
20. Denial Of Existence
21. Hippie Cult
22. Callous
23. Zodiac
CD two:
1. No Sleep
2. Hippie Cult
3. Cybergod
4. Cornucopia
5. Born To Die
6. Spare Change
7. Machine Parts
8. Collateral Damage
9. Fucktoy
10. Kill Trend Suicide
11. Bordem's #1
12. Bordem's #2
13. Telly
14. Bucky
15. Blind Leading The Blind
16. Pass Some Down
17. Vision
18. Fisting
19. Die Laughing
20. Let's Go To War
21. Zombie
22. Homesick
23. Everflow
24. Dead Smart
25. Soft Mind
26. Dethroned Emperor
27. It's After The End Of The World
28. Callous
29. Average People
30. Black Door Mine
31. Promise
32. Foolish Bastard
33. Bite The Hand
34. Collateral Damage

Necessarily, Goodbye Cruel World is a marked occasion. This sprawling 57 track homage to the one of the earliest and longest-standing torchbearers of American grindcore finds the band operating in the hideous, blinding sort of energy that was their live show. It is worth noting that nowhere on this CD does the band appear to be coming apart at the seams, imploding, or hacking the songs up like many a noise-grind bands tended to. Sure, Kevin Sharp is frothing at the mouth, Lilker and Gurn offer a naked, primitive tandemic rhythm (in the strictest sense of the word) and Rich Hoak's near god-like drumming are no-lose musical constructs. But the temptation to descend into a colorless din is duly resisted. In fact, the oddball creativity and studio excesses of Need To Control and Animal Kingdom rub well; these renditions are loose, comfortable interpretations of the originals...with the exception of the butchered "Ill-Neglect", but hey - 1 of 44 is a ratio I can live with. In that sense, it's an absolute appropriate summation of their musical trajectory: This is Brutal Truth: this is how they sounded then, this is how they feel about it now. Elsewhere, the band took their covers seriously. The Germs, Celtic Frost, Black Sabbath, the Boredoms, Agathocles, Melvins are dutifully sent through the band's bludgeoning tumbler, furbished with a unique understanding of Japanese grindcore, which glazed over much of their later material. Darby Crash would have been proud.

Among the studio tracks, I must nominate "No Sleep" as the superlative. They are, in general, strange little ditties with limited belonging (and not without good reason). Of course, if it's Brutal Truth, it's worth your attention anyway. For a band whose singer performed with Coke-bottle sized side-burns and a cowboy hat - you just knew they guys were functioning outside parameters. But alas, as the sun sets and the epitaphs are raised, what one must remember, and all one needs to know, can be summed up as thus: Brutal Truth wrecked the place.

Review by Lee Steadham

Review date: 11/1999

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