Houkago Grind Time – Bakyunsified (Moe to the Gore)
Reviewed: October 2020
Released: 2020, Outrageous Weeb Power Productions
Reviewer: Aaron Yurkiewicz
I’m admittedly a sucker for bands that are musically left of center or just generally odd, but Houkago Grind Time takes it to another level. The brainchild of one man grindmeister Andrew Lee (of Ripped to Shreds and Skullsmasher fame), it’s a collection of anime and manga inspired grindcore tunes. Musically, it rips- Lee’s musical pedigree is top notch and his projects are reliably quality stuff. But there’s something unsettling about raging nuggets of blast beats pouring from my speakers while I’m greeted by images of adorable Japanese animated characters across the band’s Facebook and Bandcamp pages. Decomposing bodies? No problem. Devils and demons tearing apart unsuspecting victims with general blaspheme? Any time of day. Anime school girls and wizardly youths? That’s way too unsettling…
Pulling out the old man card – I know jack squat about anime other than that it’s a thing that a lot of people are into. So why not then create a grindcore project using that as its source material? And when the tunes rip as furiously as they do across BAKYUNSIFIED (MOE TO THE GORE), who gives a rats ass whether the subject matter is politics, fermenting bodies or Houkago Tea Time? Beasts like “A Manual of Ways to Occupy Oneself While Waiting in Line for Limited Edition Merch”, “P is for Keikaku” and “Makato Shinkai Has a Goatee” could easily pass for early Regurgitate or Pig Destroyer if you didn’t know any better. And I suppose when you think about it, at a time when every possible death and/or dismemberment scenario has graced an album cover somewhere, maybe swinging the pendulum entirely in the other f@#king direction is the only true way to get a rise out of people these days.
Bringing it back to reality – Andrew Lee is a grindcore savant, and it shows in the quality of Houkago Grind Time. Beyond the novelty of it all, BAKYUNSIFIED (MOE TO THE GORE) delivers a pretty sweet platter of grinding goodness that fans of the genre will appreciate. And who knows, if we all survive 2020, maybe we’ll get a truly bizzaro package tour with Houkago Grind Time, Party Cannon, and Rompeprop? One can hope, right?