Australian metal fans seem to really love their grindcore and the bands playing the style more often than not get it right. CAPTAIN CLEANOFF is one of those bands. On the lightheartedly titled "Symphonies of Slackness", the boys do so with the pointed truculence of the forebears and a lyrical approach that is fun for the whole dysfunctional family.
The influences are the obvious ones (NAPALM DEATH, etc) and it is a good bet that the members of CAPTAIN CLEANOFF would be the first to admit it. It is after all grindcore and few would be looking for anything but a tribute to giants and when it is done as proficiently as CAPTAIN CLEANOFF does it, the results are miles from disappointing. The 28 minutes across 21 tracks — including epic length (2:33) closing track "Wizard's Sleeve" which features more whammy bar action than you can shake a stick at — is chock full of teeth-extracting riffs and a rhythm section that is tighter than a gnat's anus. The instrumental punch is of the Mike Tyson variety and the patented growl-n-shriek vocal style spot on. The lyrical jab at the karate-kicking trendies found in "Hardcore Fashion Parade" is a hoot.
It is the recording though that helps "Symphonies of Slackness" to stand apart, at least a little, from similar albums. The work of engineer Anj with Scott Hull's mixing/mastering is taut and tough, offering big slabs of meat hanging off bone and a fat drum sound. As such, "Symphonies of Slackness" is as musically barbarous as it is sonically impacting. No big surprises here, "Symphonies of Slackness" is just a smartly written grindcore album that will turn your bones into vanilla pudding. Make sure to check out the other right hook to the kisser from Obscene, BIRDFLESH's "The Farmers' Wrath" too. Watch out!