I’m the kind of person who takes much pleasure in supporting, as well as, learning about local music and the environment in which it seeps from, however, when I mutter the words Rash Of Beatings to mention them as an insanely essential listen in what we call grindcore, it’s not just your typical ” support the local scene ” influence. In fact, when I listen to this record, I completely forget that they’re from Fort Smith, Arkansas, I forget that there are no boundaries as to the amount of energy can be conducted from a group of musicians and then harnessed into the individual intellect, and I forget what is grind, punk, metal, or whatever word one can fraction the searing force of this electrifying sound into some indurated bias.
This EP is fierce, bold, and ominously anti-schismatic. I would describe the sound of this album as a blunt object in motion to gash the socio-corrupted psyche, in order for it to bleed out its impurities for the sake of a cleansed intelligence. Basically, I would say it’s philanthropically vengeful.
This 1996 album to me is extremely original whilst simultaneously staying true to the antiquity of its roots. I hear Assuck meets ” And Justice For All … ” era Metallica and still yet keep the spirit of early nineteen-eighties hardcore punk. Particularly lenient towards Black Flag styled grooves and riffs grinded to shreds with open-ended fills at the end of each song section that seems to be a bit of what makes the progressive structure paramount, as each tap of the drum (there being many with all the blast-beats and D-beats) pounds your brain though every orifice in your head as if the sound neurotically turned your skull into a cranial meat-grinder.
One thing that particularly strikes and startles me about this record outside of every fraction of time that lashes out in this recording, is the diversity and the vast amount of variation of song structures in such short-lengthed songs. Especially in the vocals and drums, which are what typically makes crust and grind music fit into a mold so to speak. The vocals are highly variant. In the song “Glutton,” the vocals seem to be as guttural as possible. Whereas songs such as “Pig Raped Citizen” (a song where the lyrics wish genocide amongst police, giving them the form of death that they have unjustly given to citizens) and “Pressure Bomb” for example, the vocals seem to be more mid-toned and occasionally growl or scream a bit which seems to be dictated by syllables of the words that are carnally mechanized. They quite often are similar to the vocals of hardcore punk in the sense that they are loud and brutal, yet still the poetically anarchic lyrics are understood so that the listener wholly receives the message they convey.
Along with and probably more so than the vocals, the drums on the previous tracks I named really seem to show an extraordinary amount of talent and variation. As opposed to throwing in a not only typical but boring amount of break, skank, blast and D-beat,s they only seem to be uniquely placed where needed with insane amounts of indescribable beats that bridge and flow into each structure that truly invoke the energy of what both the album and the riffs express. To me, without the vocals and more so the drums, this album would not be what it is. In the genre of grindcore and crust, it is rare to find vocalists and drummers who can fit the mold of the music their playing while simultaneously destroying it. That is exactly what this group recorded on this record and that is an essential mark of talent in any form of music.
This is one of the only albums where the guitars are not tuned super low yet still bestows more brutality than almost any of the bands that do. I personally dare you to listen to this album and sit still the entire time! Most unfortunately, this album is out of print as far as I know. You can either snipe for a vinyl pressing on e-Bay (good luck finding an original), or it can be down-loaded from various blogs as well as torrent sites. Here is a link to a zip file at Mediafire. This is a pretty underground album, I would provide more links for download, but you sort of have to browse around through various blogs and websites finding what you can about it. Regardless of how underrated and obscure this album may be, this album will always appeal to me as a favorite in the crusty grind collection and be a major stand-out in my impression of heavy music in general.