Cuff – Transient Suffering Through the Ergosphere (Gore House Productions, 2014)

GHP024 - Cuff - Transient SufferingJust when I think I have Gore House Productions all figured out, they start throwing wicked curve balls late in the year.  First came the oddly progressive debut full length from Swine Overlord, then the “party slam” of Party Cannon; now we’ve got Canada’s Cuff, who’ve unleashed what might be the be-all-end-all of goregrind whatthefuckery in the form of Transient Suffering Through the Ergosphere.  I don’t typically expect a goregrind album to make me stop and ask myself what the hell I just listened to when its run-time is up, but that’s exactly what’s happened with my first exposure to Cuff.

Transient Suffering Through the Ergosphere is goregrind huffing on an intergalactic crack pipe, mixing the ultra-guttural vocals and canned drums common to the genre with all manner of spacey-sounding ambient bleeps and bloops while being hammered to bits by down-tuned guitars that seem to think this is a slam album.  It’s a bizarre blending of styles that somehow works, and makes for some surprisingly mind-bending listening; I’m not sure what vocalist Bob Shaw and multi-instrumentalist Zach Smith were smoking when they put this album together, but the deeper I get the more I find myself wondering where I can get some.

The production might be a sticking point for some listeners; quite frankly Transient Suffering Through the Ergosphere sounds like it was recorded inside one the garbage mashers on the Death Star’s detention level.  While it won’t be an issue for veterans of the slam and goregrind trenches who’re by now used to weird-as-fuck production schemes, newcomers might have a difficult time.  In the end it just adds another layer of strangeness to an already very strange album and is by no means a deal breaker.

If you’re looking for some goregrind that doesn’t conform to the genre’s rigid rule book, Transient Suffering Through the Ergosphere is definitely an album that’ll scratch that itch.  If Cuff can continue to make albums as “out there” as this one then their place as a standout band in the genre is secured, though I’d recommend they divert some attention to cleaning/beefing up their production values next time around, if only to help them attract a broader audience.  That said, fans of previous Gore House releases, as well as other comparably sick shit such as Prosthetic Cunt and Last Days of Humanity will no doubt eat this up.

http://www.gorehouseproductions.com

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