Singapore grindcore trio Wormrot have no illusions about the style of music they create, but they do have a sense of humor. While rock and roll history is full of bands who insist they don’t want to be labeled, Wormrot wear theirs proudly—even performing in front of an “In Grind We Trust” banner—and would never disrespect the rich history laid out by bands like Napalm Death and Pig Destroyer. On their 2010 debut, Abuse, they showed no fear of speed or volume. Their latest, Dirge, indicates they have no plan on lightening up.
The title itself is tongue-in-cheek: None of the songs here are slow, solemn meditations on loss and grief. They are assaults on the ears—30 to 90 seconds of drummer Fitri’s blast beats, Arif’s tri-toned vocals, and unrelenting, multi-layered, tuned-down thrashing from guitarist Rasyid. The shortest song, “You Suffer But Why Is It My Problem,” clocks in at four seconds, yet in that time it provides a hint of melody and two of Arif’s three voices (a low growl, a mid-range yelp, and a fore-throated scream).
Aside from “You Suffer” and album closer “Final Insult,” an instrumental that breaks the 90-second barrier, the songs are indistiguishable from one another—but that’s the point. The titles provide everything else you need to know about the band: “No One Gives a Shit,” “All Go No Emo,” “Semiconsious Godsize Dumbass,” and everyone’s favorite, “Butt Kreig is Showing.” Wormrot have a place in this universe to create loud, fast, heavy, make-your-ears-bleed nuggets. At under 20 minutes, Dirge fulfills that promise, with more than a pinch of fun.