Off late, I’ve been going through this spell of lethargy where I don’t feel compelled to write about anything that I listen to. Lucky for me, I came across Tanned Christ and it is just what the doctor prescribed. The non stop barrage of eclectic grindcore featured on the band’s second full length ‘Antipodean Sickness’ is the perfect cure to my laziness. The music is challenging, weird and is totally out of left field. And being a grindcore album, lack of attention results in the album zipping by in an instant, without the listener realising what happened. In fact, in the first few spins of the record, I found myself barely hanging on. Repeated attempts helps in appreciating the nuances and it is a rewarding experience.
Right off the bat, the craziness begins in the opener ‘Insolvent Self’. The riffs are highly dissonant and the odd time signatures do little to make the experience any easier. However, all the chaotic rhythms and eclectic riffs come together to form a strange order. This order further reveals itself as tracks like ‘Global Priest’ and ‘Street Change’ whiz by. These tracks are rapid in execution and absolutely savage in intensity. The screamed and occasionally growled vocals intensifies the impact of the music significantly. The musical structures and riffs bring to mind bands like Antigama.
The title track takes a relatively measured approach, with a punk rhythm overlaid with wailing guitars letting loose riffs that are quite hard to swallow. The track smoothly transitions into ‘No Love Ever’ which expands on it’s predecessor. The track slows things down considerably, giving the listener a good insight into the riff structures and the nuances that make up the music in this album. Final third of the track goes into sludgy doom territory, giving the listener just enough time to catch his / her breath.
The madness resumes once again with the short, sharp riffs of ‘The Call of Meat’ which signals the start of the second half of the record. Perhaps not as chaotic as the first half (or maybe the first half does a good job in preparing the listener in what’s to come) the music has a little bit more clarity. The bass lines are much more noticeable and their contribution to the brutality can be appreciated much better. Getting past the initial shock, repeated listens to Tanned Christ makes one realise the enjoyability of the music. The punk rhythms overlaid with razor like riffs should entice any grindhead worth his salt.
The final track of the record ‘Prowler 2’ finishes things off in style. Starting with a mid tempo rhythm, the track builds up on groove with sections that would fit perfectly in a slam death record. The listener is offered one last glimpse into the crazy minds behind Tanned Christ as the manic vocals once again introduces chaos into the mix.
Needless to say, ‘Antipodean Sickness’ is not a record meant for casual listeners. Tanned Christ wrestle with your mind and it is quite easy to get overwhelmed. However, once you get used to all the eclectic riffs, the band’s approach to music becomes clear and this understanding enables you to appreciate this record more. This is something you can’t miss, if challenging music is what you crave.