Say what you will about grindcore, but despite the simple and easily discernible style elements, it’s a very difficult blend to get right. It’s like being a chef – you can mix ingredients with triple-beam precision, but the end result won’t taste right if you can’t gauge everything by ear. Similarly, you don’t get to just throw in three-chord hardcore punk riffs, blast beats, indecipherable lyrics, raw production and call it a day. This is where all your lofty ambitions are put to the test. Especially recently, with bands like Cripple Bastards, Wormrot and Whoresnation are pulling out all the stops, you need your A game to stand out in the grind game.
Now, let’s spoil the ending: Psychoneurosis doesn’t quite fail with The Fall of Humanity. They just don’t succeed.
Allow me to elaborate: Psychoneurosis is a Polish grindcore band who have, true to grind tradition, appeared in way too many splits and have never released a full-length album before The Fall of Humanity. The band is a three-piece, true to grind tradition, and bring guitars, vocals and drums. The music that they play is grindcore, true to grind tradition: songs that rarely find the 2 minute mark, hardcore and hardcore punk riffs, blast beats and somewhat decipherable lyrics delivered, true to grind tradition, with what sounds like a sort of gurgling growl (when it doesn’t sound like higher pitched screams that remind you of Wormrot.)
You might have noticed that Psychoneurosis is doing things according to tried and true grind traditions. This is even apparent in the way the album is produced: dat firecracker grind snare, guitar-heavy sound, somewhat buried vocals… it’s all standard fanfare. Don’t get me wrong, Psychoneurosis avoids the grind trap of having too raw production or a god-awful bassy overcompressed sound and the album is mixed quite admirably. There is something to be said about a sound that lets you hear everything, even when it’s on and the songs are cranking up the full blast.
If only that cranking resulted in something other than your run-of-the-mill grindcore.
Look, I’ll level with you: the standout moments of The Fall of Humanity are the intro (A New Chapter), the song I Want to Be Cool, the last stretch of I am the Truth, the song Pseudo Patriots. That is literally it. Nothing else makes any impact or has any semblance of staying power. Songs come, songs go. This means that if you are into grind at all, you will have heard everything in this album somewhere, somehow.
This means that if grindcore is your thing, get it, ’cause Psychoneurosis has your medicine. If you are new to this and trying to get a feel for grind, The Fall of Humanity can serve as a primer on the very basic stylistic influences of the genre, albeit not a terribly exciting or engaging one. Otherwise, I’m sorry but this is a very forgettable album.
Artur Jasiński – drums
Rafał Pasoń – vocals
Laski – guitars