Hydra Head’s GridLink does not hold back any punches, kicks, body slams, or suplexes on Amber Gray, the band’s latest. If you have listened to grindcore before, though, you were no doubt expecting all of that. Should this be your first foray into the genre, then be prepared for just over 11 minutes—yes it’s that quick—of ass-kicking blast-beats and screaming. The New Jersey-based trio rushes through the album’s 11 tracks that beg for repeated listens and increased volume. Although it might feel like you are having a heart attack as “3 Miles Below Sea Level” and “Asuka” rip through year eardrums, there is something truly enticing about frontman Chang’s throaty roars over Fajardo’s double-bass kicks and Matsubara’s absolutely insane guitar licks and riffs. It makes for damn good work-out music, too, like if you’re going for a quick series of sprints. As you can probably surmise, GridLink’s explosive music isn’t for everyone. And it’s also not the most diverse listen in the world. For what it is, however, Amber Gray is a painfully fun good time.
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