Tuesday, May 06, 2008


Album: Hot Sumerian Nights
Label: Underdogma Records
Released: between 2 months and 2,000,000,000 years ago

Crom is the sexy beast you’ve never dared let out. A beast that craves the overdose and the whore, and doesn’t really care what you think. Hot Sumerian Nights is its soundtrack, a grinding smorgasbord of sample-filled decadence. By the time I heard the singer do an arrogant imitation of scat between songs, I was hooked. Unlike many bands, they do not use samples superfluously, but to create an atmosphere of chaos with the scatological humor of Blood Duster. For example, on track 22 an eerie horror sample begins playing on a cassette tape and then someone hits stop: the slap of the outdated tape coming to a halt stings like a slap from Jani Lane (vocalist of Warrant).

Crom supposedly originated in LA in 1992, but I don’t believe anything they say. They released The Cocaine Wars in 2001, on Theologian, as a nameless trio, then in 2005, added two more nameless members and began recording Hot Sumerian Nights. At least that’s what the press release says. As with all good grindcore, the album has a short attention span. Few of their heavy but lighthearted riffs actually materialize into songs. However, songs like Battle Axe Butchery/Banned In B.C. and Zamora are pure grindcore. The band’s ability to completely change its mind at any point is actually appealing: it’s close to impossible to be bored by this album.

I’m pretty sure that when Crom say “two-year recording process” at “Snow Cave Studios” it’s just code for a serious LA coke-binge (the guys obviously couldn’t keep up an interest in anything else [see: Hot Sumerian Nights]). Regardless of what they do in their spare time, this album does rock. At the end of the title track, a sample asks: Isn’t this overkill? And yes, yes it certainly is. Let that beast out baby.

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