Napalm Death - Scum

Genre-defining assault celebrates 25th anniversary

Released in 1987 and championed by the likes of John Peel, the debut album from Birmingham agitators Napalm Death successfully brought together elements of UK crust punk, US hardcore/ thrashcore and the burgeoning American death metal scene, creating what’s now recognised by many as the first grindcore album. A world away from the ridiculously technical excesses of today’s grind scene, Scum is instead a loose and wholly organic listen, the vocals bellowed over an underbelly of fast and insistent riffs, blasting percussion and a gloriously fuzzy bass that recalls the work of pioneering US gore fans Repulsion.

As well as establishing the iconic Earache imprint, the album is also notable for its inclusion of You Suffer – a song that entered the Guinness Book Of Records due to a one-second running time – and the fact that the two “sides” of the album only have one member in common, drummer Mick Harris, often credited with the invention of the blast beat.

Released with bonus rough mixes of every track, this full dynamic range master edition allows you to appreciate the “full dynamics” of the rough-as-sandpaper production. Politically charged and unrelenting, this is as energising and essential as ever.

4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars

Earache | MOSH 003 LP 1 (CD / LP)

Reviewed by Dayal Patterson
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