Twenty-seven tracks! Sounds like a double album, doesn’t it? But nope, it’s not. Not when the tracks range from 4 seconds to 3 minutes and 09 seconds. Most of those are in the one to two minute range, for a total playing time of 27:19.
Total Fucking Destruction (TFD) is the grindcore creation of Rich Hoak (drums), Paul Herzog (Guitars, Vocals), Joe Sweeney (Bass, Vocals), and Steve “Pingdum” Morasco (Guitars). Having had contact with Rich Hoak since meeting him when he was with Danny Lilker and Brutal Truth back in 1994 (or maybe 1995?), he’s kept me informed of his projects and move toward grindcore noise over the years. Even knowing what to expect, if one can say that about Hoak’s projects, it still took me several listens to wrap my head around this album.
The album opens with “Weaponization of the Mega-Self” and sucks you in from there, like a creature reaching through amps cranked up to 11, and dragging you by the ears ever closer to Hoak and friends’ concept of musical evisceration. We continue along with rolling and flowing harmonies that underpin the rapid beats and short songs.
“Murder Number” is too short – being over before it seems to even begin but it is not the shortest song. That title belongs to “Greenbleeder.” But after “Murder Number” comes a shift to a symphonic intro that is more at home to a doom metal song, “I Not Pose.” This song is the longest track, but even after the short bursts, this long track is worthy of the length. And after this mellow, breath deeply in on the toke, we pick up the pace with the double pedal to the skins.
By the time we reach “NekroPunk” I was able to close my eyes and see the swirling sweaty pit and atomic bodies peening off each other.
We have a style shift in “The sunrise is a lie” that reminds me of Consolidated with the vocal samples snipped from various sources.
In “Tony Hung Himself” I was left to wonder if this was written to make sense of the sudden, confusing loss of a friend. One thing it is not is an encouragement to suicide. It is a plea against it.
“Lovegrinder” is certainly the closest thing that TFD will ever come to a ballad, but it does have a sexual, pumping, and well, grinding, feel to it. However, “Farewell Kiss” is not the love song. It is a fuck off and die song after someone felt the pain of the scars on the heart that a former lover can leave behind.
Hater winds down with “Human is the Bastard” and comes to a close with a rolling, feedback laden ending that is more befitting of a live set than on a studio album.
In honor of this quote:
“Woke up. Smoked hash. Got drunk. Played grind. Drank more.” – Rich Hoak, drummer. Tour diary entry, 8/31/2001. Metal Maniacs
Listening notes: Listened at various times in Mp3 format: Laptop to Altec Lansing speakers, in the Chevy HHR with the 2006 factory spec system, and via noise cancellation in ear headphones through the Samsung Galaxy Android phone.