It's been nearly a year since False Light's self-titled EP was released digitally by the always intriguing Grindcore Karaoke, but only recently has this album been released on vinyl thanks to Headfirst Records and Dead Chemists Records. The album itself is grayish-green with spots of brown, like a murky bog shrouded in mist, a description that likewise applies to their punishing brand of grindcore/powerviolence.
False Light initiate their sonic assault with "Rotting Teeth," and what an opener it is! Recorded and mixed by Cory Fallows and mastered by Brad Boatright, the overall production of this record truly complements the bleak and abhorrent nature of False Light’s music; admittedly, however, I know next to nothing regarding producing music but this opening track feels and sounds lo-fi albeit well-balanced. At times the guitar and bass meld into this monstrous tone anchored by blast- and d-beats, the kind of sound to which I can’t help but bust out my Grim Face. Yea, shit just got real, and gets even more so during the last twenty-or-so seconds when the band slows down the tempo and just levels the listener. What I especially enjoy about this song is how it sets the stage for the looming onslaught that follows. “Almighty Thief” is 0:37 seconds of grindy goodness and is likely better reviewed with a simple picture of someone being punched in the face. “Feed, feed. Blacken the air you breathe” is repeated like an anti-mantra in "The Great Unwashed," meant not to comfort but to instill hostility. A feedback-drenched beginning gives way to an unremitting blast-beat assault that yields only to the aforementioned lyric being repeated over menacing, sludgy riffs, just before closing the song with the initial ferocity of the first sixty seconds. Yes, that sentence is quite the mouthful.
Kicking off “That Side” of the record is “Lung”, a song that conveys vulnerability amidst the disillusion and resentment yet retains the viciousness of the previous tracks. It’s more manic than its predecessors, in my opinion, as it careens between mid-tempo crunch to an all-out powerviolence attack before closing with a grim dirge. I particularly like how the last lines of the song—“diseased, directionless”—mirror the way in which they are sung by the band’s vocalist, Patrick. There is a genuine feeling of despair and exhausted anger in his voice that resonated with me as I read the lyrics along with the song.The final track on the record, “Praxis”, is another shining example of the fast-slow fury of False Light. It goes for the throat until your eyes glaze over. Needless to say, I’m very much excited to hear what comes next from this South Carolina quintet and hope to catch them live so that I may experience their ugliness (in a good way) first-hand.
-Review contributed by Julio Espin.