October 06, 2020

Squash Bowels - Love Songs (2005)

Country: Poland
Language: English
Genre: Goregrind
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© 2005 Lifestage Productions
Review by Jeremy Garner for Your Last Rites.com
After releasing their last two full-lengths on Obscene Productions (No Mercy in 2004 and The Mass Rotting The Mass Sickening in 2002) Squash Bowels made a somewhat surprising move to release their new album on vocalist/bassist Arthur’s own fledgling Polish label Life Stage Productions which aspires to promote all forms of independent music that are worth listening to. With an opening statement like Squash Bowels – Love Songs I’m intrigued to see if Life Stage Productions will be able to keep the same par-excellence that they have preempted with. Squash Bowels plays a blend of grind between the wall of sound style of older Leng Tch’e (minus the stoner elements) and the violent speed of Rotten Sound. Then everything is blended over a heavy reverence for classic grind ala Napalm Death with equal helpings of gore and destruction thrown in for good measure.

The music is an absolutely flawless combination of the visceral brutality and pure abrasive chaos all played with jaw dropping precision and maturity. Thanks to Hertz Studio, Love Songs proudly touts an extremely thick sound that not only allows for the individual tone and style of each member’s performance to cut through clearly, but is also a well-balanced, aggressive wall of sound (except for bonus tracks “Neuron” and “Sick Control”). The vocals swap between guttural roars somewhat like Last Days of Humanity to thick low growls and high screams ala older Leng Tch’e to standard straight up classic grind. The guitars are thicker than usual and have more low end than most grindcore but they still retain the same over saturated quality that all grind seems to have. The drums are tight and thick, but not so resonant they loose the tight machine gun quality grind is so known for.  All in all, Squash Bowels have their differences, but they never really wander too far off into unfamiliar waters.

The songs are kept succinct and commanding, mostly under the two minute mark, but fit enough variation and contrast in to assure any listener that this isn’t just another run of the mill blast fest of noise but a refined delivery that doesn’t pull any punches whatsoever. Squash Bowels moves through styles with a frightening fluidity most bands can only dream of mastering. From the utter hostile blasting chaos of songs “Ungovernable” and album opener “Dead Field”, Squash Bowels perfect the high standard of pure lunatic grind for the entire album. The catchy, groove laden, “Searching for the Kill” the gritty, sludge ridden Gut cover “Wound Fuck”, and the expert balance of tracks “Stinker Spoiling for a Fight”, “Grind Standart”, and “More our Colours” shows Squash Bowels delivering a highly varied, yet unrelentingly intense style. The other and most memorable aspect of Squash Bowels is the gore infused brutality of “Naïve” with its demented vocalizations, razor sharp riffing, and franticly tight, intense drumming paired with the equally minded “Fuck Instructor” top off the album as pinnacles of violence and the sheer goregrind ferocity and standout quality of Love Songs.

I think it’s important to state that I’m by no means a grind aficionado, but as far as I’m concerned any style of grind really doesn’t get much better than this and I haven’t been this impressed by a grind release in a long time. While Love Songs isn’t going to convince a power metal fan to drop the swords and falsetto to rush screaming erratically to buy the album as soon as possible, hardcore worshippers of grind to the occasional listener will be able to find equal levels of enjoyment with Squash Bowels and their absolutely infectious goregrind style. Love Songs has the high potential of becoming my favorite grind release of 2006.

tags: squash bowels, love songs, 2005, flac,

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