Venomous Concept - _Poisoned Apple_
(Century Media, 2008)
by: Jackie Smit (8.5 out of 10)
I'll save you all the usual pseudo-intellectual prosthelizing about supergroups, and the fact that the fruits of their labours more often than not amount to little more than nostalgic posturing. Needless to say however, when your band is made up out of equal parts of two of the most influential names ever to trudge up grindcore's pike, you enjoy a level of cache that's more than a few cuts above your typical garage outfit.

Whether or not Venomous Concept was able to completely shoulder the expectations with their 2004 debut, _Retroactive Abortion_, is a matter of opinion. Yet regardless of what you subscribe to on that front, what does seem to be a fairly consensus view is that the record succeeded in achieving exactly what it set out to: reminding a younger generation that there was once a time where the grindcore genre was made up of more than just a handful of talented players in a bubbling cesspool of mediocrity. Their sophomore outing not only follows this blueprint with a studious degree of accuracy, but it could argued that _Poisoned Apple_ represents an even more distilled and finely tuned take on the roughshod belligerence of Poison Idea, Amebix, DRI and vintage Napalm Death.

The grime-ingrained speeding of "Stupid" and "Life" are both unsophisticated and singularly focused on delivering a rapid-fire, politically conscious assault. Given the collective experience tucked under the belts of Shane Embury, Danny Lilker and Danny Herrera, anything less than a sterling performance would be literarily unthinkable, while Kevin Sharp plays up his role as the Stetson-sporting lunatic frontman with such gusto that your mind can't help but wonder to what could in store for us on the forthcoming Brutal Truth disc. Until that day comes however, _Poisoned Apple_ delivers a stunning reminder that simple is sometimes best, and for my money there aren't many names in this genre capable of topping "Half Full" for grindcore tune of the year.

Contact: http://www.myspace.com/venomousconcept

(article published 25/5/2008)


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