REVIEW: Squash Bowels - Grindcoholism

Genre: Gore-Grind
Label: SelfMadeGod
Date of Release: June 18, 2013


Of all the sub-genres of death metal, gore-grind seems to be the most controversial, bringing out the most revolting and puke-inducing sounds and imagery of the scene. Sprouting out of this unsettling genre is Polish trio Squash Bowels. After forming in 1994 and putting forth a rather large discography (Including the numerous split albums), the group would release their sixth full-length album "Grindcoholism" in 2013. 

The musicianship behind this record is not necessarily bad, but it sadly isn't anything very noteworthy either. Everything from the vocals to the instruments are quite standard in terms of the death metal and grind genres, and not too much can be said about them. The vocals do sound decent, what with the low gutturals and decent range. The guitars perform your typical deathly riffs while the drums follow the simple fast-pace and blast-beat formula of death metal percussion. The instrumentation isn't anything too special, though it is solidly performed.

The production is actually one of the better aspects of this album. It was done by Wojtek and Slawek Wieslawski, who had also done similar work for bands such as Decapitated, Hate, and Devilish Impressions. Although it sounds a tad too muddy at times, especially when the drums perform blast beats, it does do a good job of giving the music a raw but explosive sound. 

Just like the musicianship, the sound of the album is rather horribly average when it comes to the death metal, gore-grind, and grindcore genres. Moments that grab you in the music's violent wake are woefully few and far between, and on top of that, it is quite repetitive. The record has practically no sense of dynamic, all of the tracks following the same blueprints of delivering sheer brutality. As a result, it does get quite boring and stale about halfway into the release. Even though there isn't anything that makes the album a pain to listen to, the cons here are far too heavy for the pros for it to be very enjoyable.

Once again, "Grindcoholism" isn't exactly an abhorrent record, but it is sad to say that it doesn't hold up very well. While the musicianship and production stand their ground rather decently, the songs themselves are too lackluster to leave much of an impact on the listener. If you are a fan of gore-grind or brutal death metal who is eager to listen to something new, you might find something to like. As it stands, however, "Grindcoholism" is just too generic, bland, and forgettable. It could have been worse, but it also could have been much better. 

Score: 4/10 (Poor)