OSK special!

OSK is a power trio hailing from British Columbia, Canada. They’ve been around for five years now, releasing four split EPs with War Hero, Scumbelly, Roskopp (the American ones) and The Afternoon Gentlemen. They’ve just been featured in To Live A Lie roster, which released a discography CD called Wreteched Existence//Bleak Future. With these three review I will focus on the first three releases, so let’s just kick in!

SCUMBELLY / OSK

 

Scumbelly is an other power trio from BC and features one guy from Mudlark. They burst out nine songs of fast and pissed off power violence infused grindcore. They usually stick to the fast/chaotic parts mixed with something more sludgy formula, even if sometimes they switch to moshing autopilot and kick in with some very good groovy sections. They reminded me a less syncopated version of Spazz, mostly because of the vocals alternation. Talking about vocals, they are very, very good and feature a lot of different styles, from deep low Kam Lee growls to high pitched sleazy screams. There aren’t so much infos about this band on the net or in the record, but they are quite good. This is their only release, but there should be a split with Hallucinosis in the works. A bit generic, but enjoyable.

OSK side starts in full grindcore mode. Their music has some powerviolence influences here and there, but the structure of the songs, the choice of sounds, the feral approach and the focus on speed are all there to scream GRINDCORE. Their style is more linear than the Scumbelly one, but the five songs they recorded for this split are a terrific whirwind of speed and power. Blastbeat is the most used drumming pattern and vocals stick to a classic throat bursting acid growl that emphatizes the sense of speed. Sometimes a deeper growl is used but, well, nothing that can shift anything. On the last song they slow down, showing a sludgy side that will come up more in the following recordings. The slower sections are dominated by the dissonance and guitar distortion, adding the classic discomfortable feeling of this kind of playing extreme music. Nice one!

ROSKOPP / OSK

 

I’ve already talked about Roskopp. This band is from Denver, Colorado, and features a member of Catheter. They play a full throttle old school grindcore, with double vocals (scream & growl, the way it should be). The songs aren’t very distinguishable, but are still a quite good example of classic grindcore. I think this is their weakest release, as the splits with Doubled Over and Superbad displayed a way more memorable band. I mean, this is not bad, just a little bit too impersonal and without the right amount of songwriting skills put in the song. If you started with Roskopp with this one, don’t forget to listen to the other records by the Colorado band before making an idea about it!

On the flipside Osk starts with a terrible kick in the mouth and delivers their usual formula of no compromise full speed grindcore. The slower parts are more prominent in this one. The first song a very short but ultra effective breakdown near the end, while the second one is a great thrashy & groovy grindcore song, with a mid paced tempo and a bunch of very cool stop-and-go-s. The last two tunes are classic full throttle grindcore songs, making this record a very good example of the balance that should be between fast and slow parts. This is an improvement from the first split EP and, probably my favorite OSK recordings.

OSK / WAR HERO

 

This is an apocalyptic one. Half Osk side is occupied by a long, breath talking, sludgy song, which is absolutely great at setting the right mood for the record. This Eyehategod (Take As Needed For Pain-era) infected tune is very nice and features a good dialogue between vocals and instruments. And then, when you’re just moving your head slowly, following the slow paced rhytmn of the song, BANG, the second one kicks in and your heads blow out. The other three tracks are fast, powerful and with a nice change soudnwise, with dissonant guitars in the vein of 90’s Napalm Death and with a very clean production. The bass work is very good and creates a very thick wall of sound in the third song. They’ve lost a bit of their chaotic fury in favour of a more structurated assault, but these songs are still very good to me.

War Hero is a four piece from Canada and delivers six songs of bass driven power violence. This is in avery classic way, so if you love bands like Crossed Out, Spazz and (mostly, I think) Despise You, you will also like these guys. The riffing is quite simple, except for a few sections, while the other instruments and vocals are in the front spot. Drums are furious and chaotic, but they are often dragged in the noise. What really amazes me is the bass sound, so thick and powerful, with a lot of volume in the mixing and a good bunch of solo parts. Great one. Vocals are mostly screamed out, while some classic Lack Of Interest gorilla vocals are thrown here and there, adding variety and depth to the compositions. Classic, abused and already listened, but this is a very good pairing with the OSK side.

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~ by petetheripper on August 7, 2012.

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