Strange, Beautiful, and Fast – Takafumi Matsubara (Gurkha Commando Blast Team)

Only five short years ago, Takafumi Matsubara was told by a doctor that he would never play guitar again because of a brain infection. Matsubara looked him dead in the eye and said, “fuck that”. I might have made that last part up, but that MUST have happened because he just released one of the best grindcore records in recent memory. Had he stopped after the last Grindlink record, he would still be considered a legend, but this record solidifies it.

Driven by the death of his friend Hee Chung from Unholy Grave, he’s produced 17 tracks of furious and frantic grindcore with possibly the best lineup of musicians the genre has ever seen. He’s got 30 something people from the best of the genre – from bands like P.L.F., Organ Dealer, Chepang, Wormrot, and Maruta; just to name a few. Often times, records with a compilation roster can sound all over the place, and every song will generally sound like the guest artist for that track. That’s not the case here; the whole thing is cohesive, and well put together, and while there is definitely some influence on each track purely by virtue of having different musicians, the whole thing is fucking tight.

This record is full of face melting riffs, and really amazing guitar work from Matsubara. He’s truly a master of his craft, his frantic, chaotic playing is truly an exhibition of that talent. The rest of the playing by everyone else is fantastic as well. The production matches the amount of talent on the record – it’s clean, and everything is well featured. Is that a quality that fits every grind record? No, not at all; but for this it’s perfect.

I do, however, have a little bit of bad news. The record sold out before it was released, and they aren’t repressing it. But, do yourself a favor – head to the bandcamp, and turn up your speakers.

Rating: 10/10      Takafumi Matsubara bc

review by Nick Vecellio

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