Tuesday 10 July 2012

Dreadful s/t demo tape 1988

What name could be more appropriate for a extremely noisy grindcore band than Dreadful? To be honest, the band deserve to be called dreadful, but inb the Terminal Sound Nuisance context, that's definitely a compliment.

Dreadful were from Glasgow, Scotland, and this is their first demo. They also appeared on a 7" compilation called "They ain't see nothing yet" which was a benefit compilation put out by Nabate in 91 for the people who had been nicked during the Poll Tax protests and riots (and what an amazing compilation this is: Hiatus, Private Jesus Detector, Mushroom Attack, Psycho Flowers and Dreadful). Here, we have eleven songs that were recorded at two different times, march (B side of the tape) and september (A side) of 1988. As I mentioned, this is some seriously noisy, chaotic and rough proto-grindcore we're dealing with here. In fact, I would argue that Dreadful were not technically a grindcore band, as the riffs, the guitar sound and the song structure have more similarities with hardcore than Napalm Death. You can hear that the band had been listening to Siege, Lärm and Heresy an awful lot. This said, while not a proper grindcore band, Dreadful were certainly as fast and the vocals as gruffy and harsh.

At times, the sound quality being so poor, the band playing so fast and the singer screaming so loud, you don't really know what's going on and you're left with the impression of a wall of noise, of a blurred outburst of fury... and I really like it! I sometimes have this same feeling when I listen to early Napalm Death, Atavistic or vintage Sore Throat. If Electro Hippies had had a grizzli bear behind the mike and had lived (and recorded) in a cave with neanderthal men into hardcore, I think something like Dreadful might have come out of it. Lyrically though, this is serious as hell and definitely in the anarchopunk tradition. Songs about animal abuse, a class war anthem about the Poll Tax ("Poll tax is a milestone, we gave them an inch, THEY TOOK A YARD", anti-nuclear and anti-war stuff as well and a threatening song about poverty and class divides in Glasgow.

This is probably the noisiest band featured on this blog and if you are into early pissed off, political grindcore, Dreadful might be your next favourite band. "A crusty sock production". Noise not music indeed.

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