|Vulgar Pigeons – The Burning Episode|
Release Date: October 25, 2005
Record Label: Deepsend Records
1. Violence Begets Violence
3. Baseskull Bat
4. Operation: Assassination
5. Mental Outsource
6. Coffin Honeymoon
7. Indiscriminating Pterodactyl Egg Splattering
As Willowtip is my favorite death/grindcore label, I’ve always been willing to give the records they put out a chance—they’ve introduced me to Ion Dissonance, Arsis, Rotten Sound, Capharnaum, Leng T’che, Necrophagist, all some of my absolute favorite heavy bands; I’ll take their word when it comes to heavy music. However, these bands that I’ve loved have all tended to be more accessible (relatively speaking) than some of the other bands on the label’s roster, the no-frills, raw, crusty grind of Crowpath, Commit Suicide, and—most importantly, for our purposes—Vulgar Pigeons coming to mind.
I bought Vulgar Pigeons’ 2004 release, Imperialism, on a whim, trusting Willowtip’s good ear, but unfortunately, I was pretty let down as there was a noticeable lack of groove and memorable riffs on the grainy, pulverizing release. Needless to say, I was pretty excited and eager to see what the band had done when I got Vulgar Pigeons’ new EP, The Burning Episode, in the mail, a little something the band put out on Deepsend to hold fans over before their upcoming full length (which will be released on Willowtip). The verdict?
Eh. While I’m definitely diggin’ this more that Imperialism, there’s still something that’s not clicking with me. It’s just not my style of grindcore, I guess (and no, I’m not only into scenester grind a la Daughters and The Number Twelve Looks Like You). It’s brutal, it’s crusty, it’s gritty, it’s straight-forward, it’s short (7 tracks, clocking in at just 13 minutes), it’s aggressive as fuck, it’s vulgar (as the band's name might suggest), and it’s as violent and intense as a chainsaw beheading—pretty much, this isn’t for the faint of heart. There are definitely some moments that I’m into, such as the groovy (damn, I feel lame saying that), tremolo-filled run near the end of “Compartmentalize,” the huge riff in the middle of “Baseskull Bat,” and the monstrous ending of “Coffin Honeymoon,” but for the most part, I’m just not that interested. Occasionally, the Pigeons will venture into new territory for a little while, for instance, with an extended bass solo in “Operation: Assassination,” but there’s just not enough of that. Oh yeah, and the :24 second long closing track “Indiscriminating Pterodactyl Egg Splattering” does absolutely nothing for me.
Vulgar Pigeons has definitely gotten a little better since Imperialism, so I’m interested in where they’ll progress to on their next full length, but I’m not getting my hopes up too high, as ultimately, this is a disappointing release. Check it out if you’re an absolute grind freak (meaning, if you're into Circle of Dead Children or could tolerate Pig Distroyer minus the awesome riffs), but for the rest of us, it’s probably worth passing on.