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Music Review: 7000 Dying Rats – Season in Hell

Grindcore is one of those genres which causes my wife to ask if I'm ever going to grow up. I tell her that just because I've ended up a middle-class suburbanite doesn't mean I have to act like one. I fully embrace Ian MacKaye's lyric from "Minor Threat": "I might be an adult, I'm a minor at heart."

7000 Dying Rats exists as a studio entity formed by Steve Rathbone and D.J. Baraca who went on to form Lair of the Minotaur after 7KDR (7000 Dying Rats) decided to cease live performances. This musical aggregation has had many members over time, The current lineup consists of D.J. Barraca – guitar; Josh Diebel – lead vocals, samples, shakers, fish, pipes; Steve Rathbone – guitar, keyboards, samples, bass, harmonica, vocals; Derek Swanson – bass; Toney Vast-Binder – lead vocals, bass, keyboards, trombone, air organ, drums; and Weasel Walter – drums, vocals.

7KDR is part of the Hewhocorrupts, Inc. family which is home to such sonic adventurers as Tower of Rome, Holy Roman Empire, and Hewhocorrupts. True to grindcore form, Season in Hell is 28 tracks of musical mayhem with tracks from 21 seconds to 3 minutes and 51 seconds in length.

This release reminds me a lot of one of my favorite albums: Todd Rundgren's A Wizard, A True Star. Both albums are careening musical collages of noise and melody, although in 7KDR's case the melody belongs to some charming atonal violins on "Argument at Your Local Indie Record Store." "Altar of Goat Skulls", "Hack to Bits", "Bigfoot Destroy", and the hilariously titled "We had 'Dying' in our Name Way Before all Those Metalcore Cocksuckers Came Along" are blasts of make-your-ears-bleed grind.

There is even a weirdly, techno/electronica cover of Black Sabbath's "Paranoid" which somehow works. Some may think the record is too scattered and not focused enough, but I was entertained by the shifts from Pig Destroyer influenced grindcore to moody, mysterious keyboards to a really wacky rap, "We Want Weez-E," and even the brooding, acoustic "Your Studied Indifference is Duly Noted" which segues into the glorious grindcore of "Satanium Bloodlust."

This CD is not for everyone but if you're willing to take a chance and give it a listen you won't be disappointed and you might even enjoy it. If you are already familiar with 7KDR, make yourself another pot of coffee, put the headphones on, crank this baby up and get ready to be eviscerated.

Track List:

1. Intro
2. Altar of Goat Skulls
3. Hack to Bits
4. Bigfoot Destroy
5. Annihilator the Devastator
6. Argument at Your Local Indie Record Store
7. Your Studied Indifference is Duly Noted
8. Satanium Bloodlust
9. We Want Weez-E
10. Eddie Money
11. Balls of Bigotry
12. Alzheimerz
13. Death Hammer of the Bearded Ones
14. Rock n Roll Weapon
15. Baby Crusher
16. Horrible
17. Blondies
18. Paranoid
19. The Wound (Gapeth Open)
20. A Real Kneeslapper
21. Jesus Farted
22. Forced Boat
23. We had "Dying" in our Name way Before all Those Metalcore Cocksuckers Came Along
24. Grind Fluffer
25. Funeral March
26. Balled of Chico
27. Hellcatcher
28. Outro

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