Released: 2009, Relapse Records
Reviewer: Aaron Yurkiewicz
Break out the bong and grab your ear plugs, because Brutal Truth is back with a new record. After a long self-imposed 12 year absence from the grindcore scene, the band has graced us with a new slab of noisy, caustic riffs that will turn your brain to mush. Not counting a spattering of splits and singles, EVOLUTION THROUGH REVOLUTION is the first collection of new music since 1997’s SOUNDS OF THE ANIMAL KINGDOM.
The most familiar Brutal Truth lineup is back for the album, with the exception of new guitarist Erik Burke (ex-Nuclear Assault). Often referenced as the American grindcore equivalent to early Napalm Death, EVOLUTION THROUGH REVOLUTION is full of the acerbic social commentary that the band built their reputation on. But without a lyric sheet, it doesn’t matter much, as lead throat Kevin Sharpe delivers his most spastic vocal performance yet. Kind of a grind version of Fantomas, Sharpe uses his vocals to ebb, flow, shriek, and garble dynamically along with each tune. The songs are fast, short, and to the point, just like grindcore should be. But as it’s easy for music in this genre to get lost in unrecognizable mush by track 3, each tune on EVOLUTION THROUGH REVOLUTION is distinct and calculated. “Sugardaddy,” “Get A Therapist and Save the World,” “Humpty Finance,” and the title track are all prime examples.
Also included is a cover of the Minutemen’s “Bob Dylan Wrote Propaganda Songs.” An interesting choice to cover a pop driven post-punk band, but given the revolution inspiring fodder on the rest of the album, it works in the overall sense. The band’s grinding approach to an otherwise upbeat jangly tune shows the breadth of their influences and likely their sense of humor as well. “Grind Fidelity” suitably closes things with a caustic implosion of noise at the end.
Closer in style and in substance to SOUNDS OF THE ANIMAL KINGDOM than NEED TO CONTROL, Brutal Truth have evolved into a focused and socially aware grindcore institution. Whether it’s marijuana laws, the hopelessness of war, or the state of the world economy, Brutal Truth have something to say and their own special eardrum piercing way of saying it. Does EVOLUTION THROUGH REVOLUTION top Napalm Death’s TIME WAITS FOR NO SLAVE as best grind album of 2009? Not quite, but it’s a close second.