INSIDE RECESS / EXISTENTIAL DILEMMA: Split: CD

It is difficult to listen to grind-like metal with a straight face when it tries too hard. There’s a subtle line between fierce and farce, and this pair unintentionally zigzag back and forth across it. Inside Recess juxtapose a spasm of high-pitched screams with gruesomely deep growls, as their music apparently attempts to recreate how a person might react should he or she stumble upon a sleeping black bear, with the following vocals mimicking the now-woken and irritated animal’s “grrrrruuuuuhh.” Sometimes, IR sounds pretty all right, but then at others the shtick resembles sound effects for the TV adaptation of Goosebumps that were cut for being too ridiculous for kids to actually be scared of. Existential Dilemma is mostly the same, but then they decide to go all soft for a couple of admittedly intriguing instrumental tracks. But have no fear, because the action picks back up quickly enough with a very metal track that I affectionately refer to as “Opening Theme to a Count Duckula Marathon.” What’s the point to this kind of metal when it makes you think about how silly it is instead of forcing you to thrash your neck?

 –Reyan (Self-released)