Various Artists – Kittycore Vol. 2 (KOF 179)

There is an array of colours and a cat that looks like some kind of gremlin on the album cover of Kittycore Vol. 2.

Artists: There are fifteen of them!
Title: Kittycore Vol. 2
Label: Kitty On Fire Records
Cat#: KOF 179
Keywords: 8bit, Cybergrind, Experimental, Grindcore, Hardcore, Metal, Midicore, Neo-Noise, Nintendocore, Post-Cybergrind, Progressive Punk
Reviewer: Alex Spalding

Drug of choice? Whatever’s on the table… and tonight it happens to be the Kittycore Vol. 2 compilation. There’s an initial headrush, some nosebleeds, an hour of extreme tripping and a lengthy afterglow followed by a period of laying on the floor as all the endorphins leave your body… and then a craven desire for more! It’s the best high ever, and it’s called NOISE. For all you kitty kats out there, let us begin!  始めてください!

The first track is ‘I Was Gonna Procrastinate, But I Don’t Feel Like It Right Now’ by Unicorn Hole. I was gonna write a review of it, but I didn’t feel like it right then. But now I think I’ll go ahead. The introduction is of some kind of a clown asking us if we’re ready for some shitty music. I’m terrified. It ends soon, though, and some hi-speed drums, guitar and vocals come in. It’s like a mosh-pit on meth and adrenaline. I hear some midi-buzzing as well, and the chorus to this track is kind of interesting, it almost sounds kind of like a pop melody going on, even pretty catchy-ish.

The next track is by Mouth Violence, titled ‘Generations Of Nasum’. There is some deeper, bassier drum thrashing, two styles of vocals, one really low like a growl. The guitars are thumping over the drums…

… after that comes ‘Corrode’, by The Obliteration Project. The mixing on this track is interesting, the vocals very growly! The guitars are all over the place, and I dig the basslines. Toward the end is a really random slow section that had an interesting sound in juxtaposition to the rest of the track.

‘Mindless World Of Wonders’, by I Shot The Duck Hunt Dog is next. It’s like… very old scars will burn again… I can still remember not being able to shoot the dog on Duck Hunt, regardless of how bad I’d want to every time he’d laugh at my bad aim. What an ass! Anyway, the track starts with a synthbass sequence, then the vocals and a groove come in. A really cool and unexpected sound on this track, it’s very power-pop with some nice chip arps and what sounds like a guy in another room shouting into the mix!

A Fallen Dream then brings us ‘Encircled’, with a slower groove and lfo-driven synthline. Some dark guitars and a touch of string overture come in as well, and the music unfolds into a nice section with sweet guitars and what sounds like an electric piano. Then the track gets harder again, but it’s sort of a slow hardcore type track. I’m really enjoying a lot of the sounds that are real subtle in the mix.

‘Datacloud’ is by A Cellophane Jackal. It begins with some really nice, almost ambient style synth bass pads, adding tightly programmed drum sounds. Then these screaming vocals come in along with a synth that sounds like it’s degenerating before our ears. This is really wild, a lot to wrap your head around for sure, but I’m impressed with it sonically, how it sounds like a mix of hardcore cybergrind and something off of one of Aphex Twin’s hard-drives. Wow!

The Godspeed Process is up next with a track titled ‘Shackles Of Decay’. It begins with some drums, NES-style soundchip tones, vocals, then some really heavy guitar work and guttural scream-vox. Melodically intense… the music grips you by the collar and threatens to bite your face off, getting saliva all over your threads. At the end, some guy is sampled saying that the synthesizers on this album sound like garbage. xD

Then, Morbidly A Beast comes on with their track ‘King Of The Kill’. I hear a familiar sample from King Of The Hill, a show I never thought I watched, yet any time an episode is on it is one I’ve already seen. How does that happen? Regarding the music, after the sample ends we go straight into a lofi rumble of black grindcore. In another section I hear traces of chip leads in the murk. Piano floats enticingly over the mix soon after.

‘Overcome With Ritualistic Hunger’ is by Scavenger, Invader! and starts off with a low bassy synth glitch and some samples. Then we hear some grindcore with an onslaught of guitars and chip leads/sound effects. The vocals are really screamy and work well with the chaos of the music, which just goes nuts in several places!

Glitch City’s ‘Ransom (Rough)’ begins with some really nice, pretty chiptune sounds as well as intense drum work. I’m enjoying this one a lot as a cool interlude of a track, it’s got a seriously wonderful sound. Might be my personal favourite thing on this compilation so far.

After that is ‘777’ by Corvid Canine. There’s a lot of deep atmospherics, wind and heavily reverberated vocals. Then it goes into what sounds like thrashcore run through a strange filter, almost like a screamy bandpass with loads of reverb effects, which makes it very sonically interesting and practically psychedelic. The backwards vocals are a nice touch!

Master Toad then comes in with ‘The Transmission’, which sounds like digital bells/pads and drums doing a kind of stilted, downtempo funk thing. This is also very nice, melodic… I think I’m enjoying the latter half of this comp the most, with it’s more varied soundscape.

‘System Failure’ is the next track, by Mother Network, and it starts off with some nice chiptune sequences before adding in the hardcore metal vibes, crunching guitars, guttural vocal sounds, thick drums. The chip leads over the top of everything are really great.

144 Kassandra does the next track, ‘Siberian Acrospire’, which begins with some rhythmic guitar and melodic piano… during the metal section the vocals are really interesting, almost operatic. The track has a lot of change-ups, and it turns out to be one of the tracks here most worth hearing for how completely unusual it is in so many regards. Difficult to describe! But, yes… definitely I feel, as the track goes on, that if you were in some strange paradoxical situation in which you were capable of hearing one and only one track on this compilation, which surely I hope is not the case, but if it were… this should be the one. There are a lot of sounds to chew on, many of which are very interesting, even really pretty.

Go:Eskimo’s ‘Credit Roll (Demo)’ entranced me from the beginning, with it’s really lovely synth soundscape. The next section is almost like lofi midi funkpopmetal or something, with screamy vocals. I found it really bizarre and enjoyable, vocals especially. I really enjoyed the breakdown section with it’s smooth chip leads and guitar distortion, thrashy drumgrooves.

All sounds considered, this is a compilation that will just as soon melt your face off as get you pummeling everything in sight… and then there are those tracks that feel more transcendental. Definitely worth checking out, especially if you’re into grindcore, as this is some of the best stuff I’ve heard in the genre. This was particularly the case (for me) from about ‘Ransom (Rough)’ through to the end! Check it out at this link I’m gonna drop below, later!

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