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King Parrot: Dead Set Review

When one finds a band that sells a t-shirt bearing the words “I’m not here to fuck spiders,” it’s safe to say they have no idea what they’re in for.

That band is King Parrot; a destructive grindcore act from the hardcore pubs of southern Australia who is bestowing their sophomore album entitled “Dead Set” on Pantera and Down’s legendary front man Phil Anselmo’s (who also produced the release) Housecore Records.

The album kicks off with “Anthem of the Advanced Sinner.” If you’re familiar with King Parrot’s music the difference in production is night and day compared to their first album “Bite Your Head Off.” The clarity of each individual member is striking and it goes to show what a difference a larger budget and ample amounts of time can make.

“Dead Set” progresses deeper into darkness with “Need No Saviour,” “Hell Comes Your Way” and “Like a Rat,” boasting speed and relentless grind with true precision and technicality. The plunge then goes further with “Tomorrow Turns to Blood” and “Home is Where the Gutter is” when the grind becomes blackened and sludgy. The songs slowly start to accumulate grooves in all the right places, twisting King Parrot into form.

“Sick in the Head” and “Punisher” shake things up a bit by starting with thrash laden riffs before taking some groove oriented turns at Albuquerque. One of the best things about King Parrot is that their music is all over the place, never sticking to the same formula twice. We could be looking at the first “progressive grindcore” band – if ever there could be such a thing.

Although every musician has bolstered their repertoire on Dead Set, no one has improved more than vocalist Matt “Youngy” Young. Youngy’s voice has gotten significantly higher (which he attributes to quitting cigarettes) and more ferocious at that. Whereas Youngy sonically was a bit more like Steve “Zetro” Souza (Exodus) on “Bite Your Head Off,” he’s much more in the vein of Tomas Lindberg (At the Gates, Lock Up) on “Dead Set.”

The final two songs “Reject” and the title track combine everything that King Parrot have done so far on “Dead Set” and then crank it up a few notches for good measure. The title track not only revolves around a blackened breakdown, but it also clocks in at six minutes and 49 seconds; the longest song King Parrot has ever recorded to date.

King Parrot continues to be unpredictable with “Dead Set” and have clearly gone a long way from playing locally to tens of people. With the added experience from the success of “Bite Your Head Off,” the band has musically matured for the better and it shows on every crevice of “Dead Set”.

After all, they’re not here to fuck spiders.

Band of the Week: Exhumed

Exhumed is a death metal band from San Jose, CA that will sonically tear you to shreds.

Boasting a total of six albums, Exhumed is fronted by vocalist/guitarist Matt Harvey, bassist turned guitarist Bud Burke, Mike Hamilton on drums, and rounding out the bass is a guy named Slime who also fronts the Philadelphia death thrashers known as Coffin Dust.

America’s answer to Carcass, Exhumed was started by Harvey in 1990 and signed to Relapse Records in 1998. Their early work consisted of short, technical grindcore that focused on ridiculously gory lyrics. If you need a visual, check out the cover of their first two albums “Gore Metal” and “Slaughtercult”.

Around the release of their third album, “Anatomy is Destiny;” Exhumed began to shift towards longer groove oriented songs, transitioning further into the realm of death metal – not unlike Carcass had done in their own career.

In 2005, Exhumed released a covers album a la Metallica with “Gabage Daze Re-Regurgitated”.

2011 was a turning point in Exhumed as the band had finally begun to gather some mainstream attention with the release of “All Guts, No Glory,” embarking on tours with Napalm Death, Cannibal Corpse and others. Exhumed then released their sixth and most recent album “Necrocracy” in 2013.

2014 has been an interesting year for Exhumed as they have just wrapped up a tour with Carcass and Florida death metal legends Obituary. They are currently playing select dates with Aborted, Origin and Miasmal on the “Hell Over Europe” tour from November 20-December 20.

In February 2015 Exhumed will be going into the void  on the “Through Space and Grind” tour. Iron Reagan, Black Crown Initiate, Napalm Death and Voivod. Dayglo Abortions, Phobia and Ringworm will be joining them on select dates as special guests.