About all we can determine from the information relating to the resolutely un-metal sounding The Afternoon Gentlemen is that Still Pissed is a lengthy denouement made of their collected splits, singles and full length albums. Now, this is Grindcore – arguably the most difficult sub-genre of Metal to do well – and before we’ve even pressed play we are wearily looking at a massive, meandering list of tongue-in-cheek song titles (41 in total!) and a band who describe themselves not only as ‘Grindcore’ but also as ‘Power Violence’.
Now, we have no idea what ‘Power Violence’ is (Grindcore’s 80’s crossover cousin – Ed), but are quite happy to go on record as guaranteeing we will mete plenty of it onto anyone who brings shame upon our beloved heavy metal! Happily, from the very first track, we are a long way from endless dreary blast-beats, incomprehensible lyrics and one fingered-guitar riffs. Instead, The Afternoon Gentlemen channel an old-skool feel. Sure, it’s fast and brutal but not as much as it’s catchy, riff-driven, cleverly dynamic and very cleanly and precisely recorded.
Genre limitations aside, fans of early Nuclear Assault, MOD, DRI and Suicidal Tendencies will find much to love here. That’s right, we’re in crossover territory, spearheaded by some very groovy guitar riffs and a malevolently bouncy bass that bounds through the breakdowns and rhythmic changes like a rabid dog with an erection. Vocally, we are talking standard-issue grindcore squawking for the most part, but we are saved from that particular tedium by frequently deployed gang vocals, death growls, more traditionally ‘metal’ sounding yells and everything in between. It fits the shifting schizophrenic nature of the music well and what The Afternoon Gentlemen lack in songwriting subtlety they more than make up for in sheer adrenaline-fuelled, break neck insanity.
Their irreverent and often alcohol-referencing song titles may come over as an attempt to convey a sense of grittiness, of nihilism and rebellion but the fact is this band just sound too damn good to pass themselves of as a bunch of chronically drunk fucktards.
Power violence? Yes, but delivered with some undeniably precise weaponry. 7/10.