The Metal Examiner: Total Fucking Destruction’s Hater

By Andrew Reilly
March 11, 2011

Every Friday, The Metal Examiner delves metal’s endless depths to present the genre’s most important and exciting albums.

Total Fucking Destruction: HaterTotal Fucking Destruction: Hater (Translation Loss, 2/15/11)

Total Fucking Destruction: “Thrashadelphia”

[audio:http://alarm-magazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/12-Thrashadelphia.mp3|titles=Total Fucking Destruction: “Thrashadelphia”]

Given the relatively straightforward demands of grindcore, any band willing to name itself Total Fucking Destruction should know what’s expected of it. Conversely, even the most casual grindcore enthusiast probably knows what to expect from a band named Total Fucking Destruction. With Hater, the Philadelphia quartet holds up its end of the bargain, but in such spastic fashion that even the most dedicated are likely to be left in a perpetual double-take.

Hater’s 27 tracks come instilled with a musical hostility equaled only by the comically abrasive song titles (“Murdernumber,” “Hate Mongering Pig Pandemonium”), all taken to absurd heights through a near-constant everything-at-once approach. Built primarily on a foundation of furious drumming, speed-metal riffing, and stream-of-consciousness anti-authoritarianism, Hater at times flexes a kind of accidental atonality not quite Zappa-esque, but more like Slayer if Slayer abandoned the concept of riffs and played at quintuple-time.

Yet Total Fucking Destruction actually can write a great riff and, for a brief stretch in the middle of Hater, goes a step beyond its noise assault, building full songs (or at least mini-songs) out of them: the staccato bedrock of “Thrashadelphia,” the pull-off metal of “Green Fire,” and the sucker-punch thrash of “Time Theft.” But no sooner has the group asserted its songwriting chops than it heads back the way it came, into the riffs-and-rants method that opens and closes the album. The disc’s fleeting moments of throwback punk melodicism (“Meat Without Feet,” “The Sunrise Is A Lie”) become jarring in this light, although this may just be a function of its songwriting being primarily informed by its drummer (the quite adept Rich Hoak [also of Brutal Truth], who also handles vocals).

As the disc unfolds, these bursts of song and relentless attack give an informal nod (or perhaps challenge) to Napalm Death where micro-songs are concerned, although tracks like “Lovegrinder” or “A Cold And Lonely Place” show that Total Fucking Destruction knows how to build a groove when the situation calls for it. Though those tracks’ cohesiveness contrasts quite sharply with the 30-second warning shots, Hater gives itself resting points in a handful of longer tracks — not that those tracks are especially sprawling in and of themselves, but when surrounded by 15 others clocking in under 60 seconds apiece, even the scant two minutes of “Human Is The Bastard” or the “Attack Of The Supervirus” quasi-trilogy can seem epic by comparison.

These 27 songs in 27 minutes effectively create an album that oddly requires more listens to assert itself; for better or for worse, Hater’s brevity causes it to end before it ever really begins. Never giving a moment’s rest for the band or the listener, Hater is not music to be heard casually.

By Andrew Reilly March 11, 2011
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