Primitive Rage - Enemies Left to Crush (Self-released)

Last I wrote about deathgrind, I took sport on as a helpful metaphor to distinguish elite from middling prospects. That, arguably, was only a sanitized euphemism for the battle royale of punks goring one another on Bandcamp for my attention. If my earlier review characterized Cave Grave’s avatar in this arena as a burly rugby player turned gladiator, mowing the morass with a Berserker-sized broadsword, Primitive Rage earn a wide berth by slinking ferociously with their lean, mean, don’t-fuck-with-me exterior. No one wants to fight a person with filed-down incisors and barbed wire wrapped around their knuckles, yet those are the apotropaics at work on Enemies Left to Crush. Products of Missouri’s tight-knit hardcore scene, Primitive Rage riot like they’re double fisting Molotov cocktails, dragging the tattered cape of a blackened lo-fi mix on their ballistic tour through hell. Songs like “Shrouded in Desire” bellow with a disregard for human life that would recall war metal’s mercenary assaults, if Primitive Rage didn’t have such swagger and bounce in their misanthropy. It takes a smirking confidence to sample the ‘GTA guitar bro’ meme as both a goofy opening and motivation for the anti-homophobic (which Primitive Rage definitely are). In this regard, perhaps it’s best to classify Enemies Left to Crush as a thrashy, twenty-first-century take on the indecorous irreverence of Siege—making up for lost bass fills with layered vocals that split the difference between Wolf King’s growled overtones and Caustic Wound’s bowel-scraping roar. That is to say, as much as Primitive Rage see only in blood red, they beat out the competition by flashing a smile on the hunt for your jugular.