Birdflesh and Organ Dealer- “Birdflesh/Organ Dealer”
Listen to and buy the split here.
Birdflesh is a very influential grindcore act from Sweden. Since their inception, they’ve released four LPs and a ton of EPs and splits. All of this material is what you would expect from a grindcore act: relentless aggression that doesn’t surpass the 20-minute mark, with songs that last as little as nine seconds. Their lyrical content tends to be much more humorous, depicting ridiculously violent scenarios. While it may seem like nothing original now, keep in mind that this band have been in the game since 1992, and have pretty much been the reason we have so many grindcore acts performing songs in this vein. Outside of a few LPs back when I was really investing time in grindcore, I will admit that I never really thought of Birdflesh as more than just a super fun, influential grindcore act.
Organ Dealer, on the other hand, is a band I hold in very high regard. They’re a relatively new grindcore act from New Jersey, formed in 2013, who are very active in the tri-state area’s grindcore scene (meaning New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania). Back in 2015, they released their debut LP Visceral Infection, which is an incredibly solid LP. They aren’t doing anything new, but they are angry, noisy grindcore, which is fine by me. These songs are pretty damn kickass in the studio, but take it to an entirely new level in a live setting. I’ve seen these guys twice and they’re a lot of fun. Now, in 2017, these two bands have come together and recorded a 19-track, 24-minute split, which in grindcore terms, is basically considered an LP.
Birdflesh start things off with a bang with “Born to Wait,” which explodes in your ears. The vocals on this track, along with the other tracks on Birdflesh’s side, really remind me of Behemoth’s Satanica. The instrumental is what you’d expect from Birdflesh: fast, angry, and punk as fuck. “Dead is Alive” is one of the best examples of this sound. Towards the end, you get a straight-up punk section with screams of “Death is alive!” and an instrumental that makes me think of early hardcore punk bands like Black Flag. The major complaint I have with this portion of the LP is that, like everything else by Birdflesh, it’s just solid. It’s not groundbreaking and it won’t blow your mind, but is it is ten minutes of really fun grindcore and nothing more. The vocals are great, the instrumental is super tight, and the songs are fun, but that’s all I can really say.
As soon as Organ Dealer’s side starts, the shift in quality is apparent. “Violence Ensues” is a fucking banger and the perfect way for Organ Dealer to introduce themselves. It’s far meatier than anything Birdflesh’s side has to offer. Alongside the band’s relentless energy,, they include these monstrous breakdowns to balance the pacing on tracks like “Cage Resentment.” Other than technical chops, Organ Dealer showcase how fun they can be with tracks like “Exasperated” in the mix. Their side ends on a high note with the incredible track “Consent to Hatred” pulling the curtain down with two minutes of aggression and a very nicely placed breakdown before finishing the track off with some more aggression. Maybe it’s nothing super original, but Organ Dealer takes this grindcore style and makes it extremely in-your-fucking-face and uniquely theirs. I am in love with their side. If this is the direction they’re heading, I am beyond stoked to see what they do next.
So, I think I’ve made it pretty obvious whose side of the LP I enjoyed more, although I think that people who want punkier grindcore along the lines of Napalm Death and Repulsion will dig the Birdflesh side much more than I. However, if you’re someone like me who digs the angrier, noisier grindcore of Pig Destroyer and Full of Hell, do not sleep on Organ Dealer. Regardless, if you are a fan of grindcore, check out this split LP. You’re guaranteed to find something to your liking.
- Alex Brown