REVIEW: VENOMOUS CONCEPT – “Kick Me Silly VC III”
Venomous Concept, formed by the union of several prominent musicians from bands like Napalm Death and Brutal Truth, have released a new album ‘Kick Me Silly VC III’, and it reeks of grind and hardcore punk riffs and drums mashed together in one big chunk of metal. Ironically, the album works pretty well as a whole despite being divided into TWENTY ONE different songs in the space of 49 minutes.
Napalm Death members Shane Embury (guitar), Danny Herrera (drums) and Johnny Cooke (guitar) form the backbone of the band, and they are joined by Danny Lilker (bass), of Nuclear Assault fame, and Kevin Sharp of Brutal Truth and Primate on vocals. The coming together of these biggies from the grind/hardcore punk scene has resulted in ‘Kick Me Silly VC III’ sounding like a barrage of upbeat tempos and well-moulded song-writing. However, the sheer number of songs causes it to lose intensity somewhere in the middle, and this is compounded by the fact that the extremely loud production makes it difficult to listen to for long periods of time.
Herrera’s drumming, laden with variation and not sounding robot-like, pushes the album forward while Embury and Cooke play some fresh-sounding riffs that complement Sharp’s precise and powerful vocal delivery; Lilker is hard to hear amongst these other instruments. Nevertheless, the technical prowess of these metal veterans is put on display here as Venomous Concept start and end the album on a high.
The album starts strongly with “Rise” and “Busy with Your Death”, and these are tracks that embody the cacophonous nature of the genre and stick to extremely short song lengths. The tracks blaze past the listener, with some memorable tracks like “Frontal Lobe Disorder” and “Pretty on the Inside” containing vicious grooves that’d make several heads bob. After about ten songs in, the blistering approach and loud production start to lose steam as the album becomes repetitive in its form despite having short songs. The closing songs “Burning Fatigue” and “Rocket Science” succeed in salvaging something for the band as the album ends.
Overall, Venomous Concept delivers a solid hardcore punk/grind performance on ‘Kick Me Silly VC III’ by virtue of some of the grind veterans in the line-up, but it falls prey to the notorious mid-album monotony that seems to be plaguing several artists nowadays. Despite the loud production, which is a challenge to bear for very long, the band succeeds in putting out a good range of grindcore elements while maintaining a degree of familiarity with the genre as a whole.