So that time that the Butthole Surfers made a grindcore album — well, something closer to a “pure” grindcore album, anyway — that really happened, right? When Shit And Shine went back through a lysergic wormhole to an alternate 1989, cribbed the murky production (lack of) values and gibbering vocals, then shunted everything through as many effects as possible? That’s what this is, isn’t it? Because Teardrops sort of sounds like that. Only maybe a bit more fried.Of course, there’s probably always been a grindcore element to Shit And Shine‘s music… or if there hasn’t, there’s been a bit of pretty much everything else, so now seems like as good a time as any for some fucked-up lurching to throttle-stump and skree its way from the ever-so pure white vinyl and ooze out of the speakers. Festival-friendly Napalm Death this isn’t, nor is it Extreme Noise Terror nor even Electro Hippies. Teardrops is way more distended and disturbing than any of those bands (except perhaps in their prime, twenty-five years ago), making most major-label grind sound like over-produced technical metal by comparison, offering up to discerningly dubious heads still more devious and perverted ways to get their minds blown, butchered or flensed (preferably all at the same time).
Teardrops is not simply harsh, brutal or aggressive — it feels like the very risen sludge walking, as if all the grit and grime in the world got into a PA and festered there for decades. Craig Clouse has successfully cultured slime-mould as music; and everything about it is grotesque, sordid and wonderful. “Jackson RR3 Randy Rhoads” might easily be mistaken for the Buttholes’ “The O-Men”, while “Ibanez Destroyer” could be a mashup of King Coffey‘s Drain with, say, Scratch Acid (just to keep the comparisons to Texas bands only) — both on a dark night in a grotty squat toilet party with ears stuffed with random gunk and under the influence of some mystery pills scarfed down from the grubby mitts of a random stranger. And all the track titles are named after the sort of axes that classic guitar magazine-reading metallers might cream themselves over. Quality.
Mucky and mordant, Teardrops sticks faithfully to the grindcore rule(ish) of no song over four minutes and as many as possible wavering drunkenly from 30-90 seconds before snorting up the next slab of timestretched chaos’n’roll like nihilism never went out of fashion (did it?). This is the LP for when — as the Right Reverend Gibby Haynes himself might suggest, here or in another world — only a mud-jack will do.