Sep 23, 2016

North Carolina’s self-proclaimed “Southern fried dirt metal” mavens, Facedowninshit, aren’t ones to bury the lead: their name serves as a fine description of the sensation likely to creep up a listener’s spine while reveling in the band’s heavy-as-fuck offerings. The raw, grimy grooves on their best known album—2006 Relapse release, NPON (Nothing Positive Only Negative)—seduced diehard extreme metal fans who preferred their sludge a little swampy. Their new cassette, Early Years—a collection of not-demos, splits, and early, likely out-of-print material—is predictably less cohesive than NPON, but delivers similarly ugly joys. Crushing metallic chaos flirts with Southern rock riffs, fuck-yeah thrash licks, and even some moody donning-corpse-paint-and-brooding-in-a-forest interludes, though the songs don’t linger too long on any one idea. Unavailable in digital formats, the quality of one’s cassette player will dictate whether the more frenzied arrangements sound like visionary opuses of filth or your neighbors cutting down the tree in their front yard while you’re trying to sleep. Either way, the experimental, rough around the edges feeling of Early Years is also the source of its charm. The B-side is probably cool too, but my tape deck eviscerated the cassette before I could find out for sure—fucking brütal. –Kelley O’Death (PATAC, [email protected], patacrecords.com)