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King Parrot - Ugly Produce

King Parrot
Ugly Produce
by James Peterson at 19 November 2017, 7:11 AM

When I saw KING PARROT had a new album out in the pool of promos we get here at Metal Temple, I was really excited to hop on reviewing it, thinking that I was in for a treat of a band that actually does deathcore well. Turns out I completely must have mixed this band up with another band with a similar name, because these guys play super loud raucous slightly death metally grindcore. So… in a way it’s still deathcore if you want to get into term semantics. And voila!… Now you see that this is why I think describing music with subgenres is absolutely retarded on a personal level, and I will do my best to refrain from doing that past a certain threshold where it becomes too too much in this review. Because I’m guilty of it, I’ll admit. It’s too ingrained in the metal culture vernacular.

In any case, true to its name “Ugly Produce,” this band’s grand spankin’ new album is totally ugly, totally filthy, and uncompromisingly heavy. I absolutely love the sound engineering on this thing. It’s not perfect but there’s a hell of a lot to praise despite there being some things to dive into criticizing as well. The tone is somewhat standard for a band like this, and it reminds of the trademark ENTOMBED filtered/distorted buzzsaw tone, but that’s definitely not the exact tone that’s going on here. It’s nowhere near that bad, it’s just very distorted. With this kind of music, quite frankly, having a low gain or distortion tone doesn’t make as much sense anyway, since you want to sacrifice clarity in the harmonies of any chords for pure unfiltered chaos. These guitar tracks sit pretty well in the mix, the bass guitar is audible with a not too uncommon booming and churning tone, and everything perfectly blends with the drums. All of the elements of the drum kit have very organic tempos that don’t sacrifice any heaviness. It sounds like the mastering has a bit of a treble shelf added as well if that isn’t just my speakers, but I found this to be a bit jarring even though it suits the style. The kick drum and snare also cuts through in terms of level and EQ, but the overheads (cymbals, et al) are a bit buried behind the guitars along with the vocal.

Another thing you can expect here, as is common and sensible for this approach to writing and playing metal, is very compact song structures. You’ll find nothing here over the four-minute mark. But these songs do what they set out to do and really don’t need to do more. From the sliding chords, blackened blasting rage and commanding presence of the vocal line delivery of opener “Entrapment,” the spastic time changes of “Piss Wreck,” to the jumpy but almost freight-train-like constantly intense forward momentum of “Disgrace Yourself,” this record starts off on some really strong notes. Badass grooving riffs are littered throughout here. “All Hail the Grub” is the first song that falls flat for me, but due to it’s brevity of being ten seconds shy of two minutes, it’s not that big of a deal. Things pick up again after the slightly corny intro to “Ten Pounds of Shit in a Five Pound Bag,” (I’m sorry I just can’t with that name it’s hilarious every time I hear it screamed), but other than that this song is a banger with a real hardcore punk attitude. I almost felt like I could hear the bass more on this one too which made it more powerful for me.

I have to stop describing the songs briefly to discuss the vocalist’s tone, since I haven’t already. He utilizes a pretty high-pitched harsh yelp that really complements the overall instrumental presentation. The best way I can describe it is if Dani Filth’s yelpy shrieks were a fair bit lower in pitch. He also uses a guttural vocal that’s in a bit higher register than the typical cookie monster growl from time to time, and he fittingly utilizes this on the very death metal-influenced songs “Scattered” and “Now It Stokes Frenzy” (which is one of my favorites on the record and I recommend you check out.) That latter song has an unforgettable and incredible riff at a minute and 2 seconds that alternates between offbeat chugs and tremolo picking a single note, and it evolves into a really dissonant metal sliding riff similar to the one in the opening track. As the chugs evolve towards the end it starts to resemble something you might hear on classic SUFFOCATION material. “Numb Skull” was another weak track on the record for me because of how repetitive the riffing in the first third of the song is, even though there’s some seriously sick riffs in the middle of the track. There’s also a highlight part here where everything drops out except one rhythm guitar riff setting up a new tempo to end the song while another guitar does background ambiance before the whole band comes back in. I don’t think there is a single track on here that isn’t enjoyable in some way save for “All Hail the Grub.” The fact that every other song at least has something siqqnasty to offer is definitely a testament to this band’s songwriting.

The riffing in my other favorite song on the album “Die Before You Die” totally reminds of the approach to the guitar classic tech death bands would use or perhaps a good comparison would be CANNIBAL CORPSE’s “Mutation of the Cadaver” from their magnum opus album (to me) “Gore Obsessed.” This penultimate track from KING PARROT also contains a tempo deceleration at 1:12 that reminds of classic death metal songwriting techniques as well. It doesn’t last long though because a mere half a minute later it’s right back to that super sexy up-tempo string skipping riff insanity. I’ve decided to include “Die Before You Die” below, because while album closer “Spookin’ the Animals” also has some of the coolest and most distinct riffing on the album in the middle, the beginning and ending fall a little bit flat, similar to how like “Numb Skull” presented itself.

 I definitely recommend this album especially to grind fans, and given that it’s 10 songs and I only wasn’t as big on three of them, I think a 7/10 is warranted here. Pretty good disc.

Songwriting: 7
Originality: 6
Memorablity: 6
Production: 8

3 Star Rating

1. Entrapment
2. Piss Wreck
3. Disgrace Yourself
4. All Hail the Grub
5. Ten Pounds of Shit in a Five Pound Bag
6. Scattered
7. Now it Stokes Frenzy
8. Numb Skull
9. Die Before You Die
10. Spookin’ the Animals
Slatts – Bass
White – Guitars
Young – Vocals
Squires – Guitars
Hansen - Drums
Record Label: Agonia Records


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Edited 20 October 2018

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