When it comes to bandcamp death- and/or goregrind, more often than not, the majority of releases by more obscure bands and projects tend to materialize themselves as nothing more than blasting noise walls and an attempt at gallows humor paying tribute to later day Last Days of Humanity. The worst offenders tend to be bands that release digital content exclusively for free and slap a generic, appalling photograph of a misfortunate, medical or plain meat themed gory incident. At a first glance, anyone familiar and disgruntled with the low effort goregrind bandcamp scene (if such a one exists), would take a glance at the debut EP Primal Cuts of Phoenix, Arizona’s Delicatessen, and immediately disregard it as a waste of time. However, with this debut, one may be quite pleasantly surprised with what they find inside.
To begin with, the lyrical content in relation to the band’s name is quite strong. I found it peculiar that a death/goregrind band such as this one, instead of singing about the boring and habitual lyrics of insipid ideas such as, “People being killed and/or dying”, “gross, icky, diseases, eww”, and “organs everywhere”, Delicatessen writes about prepared, meaty food. Intentional or not, it’s a breath of fresh air, and could be interpreted either as a joke, a Meta take on the ridiculousness of goregrind lyrics in a way that is satirical, or both. With tracks like ‘Country-Style Ribs’ or ‘Mechanically Separated Meat’, it’s not laugh-out-loud parody, but it’s subtly charming in a way. The band develops this semi-satire further by incorporating several samples of ‘How It’s Made’-esque clips describing the butchery process. Not even in a graphic matter, just matter-of-fact, and it fits exceptionally well, whilst not overbearing on the tracks themselves. The music itself however, is less than stellar compared to the band’s apparent wit on the topic of death/goregrind.
At the very core of this EP, is similar to early era Carcass tribute, but not worship mind you. In terms of production, the inspiration is very much glaringly apparent, rather than the music itself. This EP is of course, in lower quality that is popular with other Carcass worship bands. The guitars, have the down tuned, fuzziness, imitating the low budget sound found in Reek of Putrefaction, but not so much so to the point where it becomes obnoxious. The vocals, have no variation, and resort to the pitch-shifted vomits so common within the genre, but aren’t glaringly mechanical, nor bursting with personality. The drumming is seemingly programmed at other times, and other times timidly genuine with human instrumentation, but with their poorer, echoe-y quality of sound, it’s difficult for me to tell. If it is the case of the former, in that they were programmed, then I applaud it for not being glaringly obvious or annoying, as though they are lower in sound quality, they fit the other instruments harmony well. The bass’ timbre mixes in surprisingly well for the old-school, b-tier quality the band was imitating, and is present in most of the EP. The music may be the weakest aspect of this debut, as though it doesn’t try to imitate Carcass to a tee, it’s nothing to ride home about. Delicatessen is much more slower and groovier than the average early Carcass track, playing more mid-paced death metal, rather than resorting to blast beats and mindless riffing. Though that being said, there’s not a song too catchy or dynamic enough to make me distinctly recall and enjoy it. The songs aren’t all that too similar, it’s the fact that they have a hard time gaining interest.
Overall, Primal Cuts is real cut above the rest of many death/goregrind bands in the digital-only realm today. The effort is ever-present, and I wouldn’t mind owning a CD release of this EP, even though it’s only about 7 minutes long with 6 songs (I’ve bought shorter for much more). It’s surprising there’s little to no info about this band, the only info known as a location on their bandcamp and that’s it. Not even lineup detail! But, hopefully in the future with more music, comes more detail, and maybe an increase in quality as well. A definite recommendation for death/goregrind fans searching for more new and obscure bands.