Total Fucking Destruction Zen and the Art of Total Fucking Destruction

Expectations will always be high for Total Fucking Destruction, given that drummer Rich Hoak played in one of extreme metal’s greatest grinders: Brutal Truth. But that’s unfair, given that the approach TFD take to their punk-grind is much more fun, loose and party-hearty than BT’s more serious and musician-friendly interpretation of essentially the same sound. Here, on TFD’s long-awaited first full-length (kind of), the band create a mini-epic divided into three parts. The first is comprised of ten tunes, which would make a great little EP on their own. The music is grindcore based in a loose punk rock ethic, with vocals that grate and a production sound that confounds. Think Kill Trend Suicide’s controversial paper-thin sound, which now, with the help of nostalgia, is enjoyable. Go figure. Thing is, these ten songs fly past and as fun as they are, and as great as the drumming is, there’s not much to bring the listener back for seconds. The second part of the album is a handful of older TFD songs re-recorded acoustically and rearranged in a jazz fashion. Almost impressive at points, this is more of a one-listen joke. The third and final section is a video of nine quick tunes from a party show; it’d be fun to watch except for the audio and video being way off. Clearly, Hoak’s not trying to break new ground with TFD, instead he’s content to just thrash away in whatever basement will have them. Once Brutal Truth fans can accept that, they’ll enjoy this. (Translation Loss)