AlbumsSeptember 30, 20224,616 views

Escuela Grind Memory Theater


Memory Theater
1. Endowed With Windows 2. My Heart, My hands 3. Cliffhanger 4. Strange Creature of Nothingness 5. Faulty Blueprints 6. All is Forgiven 7. Forced Collective Introspection 8. The Feed 9. Memory Theater
2022 MNRK Music Group
Our score 8

9/30/2022

It’s September and all the kids (and adults) are back in school, so now’s a pretty apt time to be visited by grinding death (or deathing grind) extraordinaires, Escuela Grind. Hailing from Shittsville, Massachusetts, the quartet have been giving the scene a lesson in earth science by shaking the damn earth since 2016, gaining notoriety with two EPs, PPOOWWEERRVVIIOOLLEENNCCEE and GGRRIINNDDCCOORREE, along with their volcanic debut album, Indoctrination, all released in 2020. Now, class is back in session with Memory Theater and let’s just say you’ll wanna sit up front for this one.

Time (and likely money) has been kinder to Escuela Grind as their latest effort is much cleaner and clearer. I’m sure we, and the band, can attribute that to the legendary Kurt Ballou being behind the boards for this album. It’s understandable how a harsh, unclean aesthetic can really complement a band like this, but with the mix and sound sporting a spit shine this time around, it makes their messages and intensity hit all the more harder, a boon for any group looking to make an impact.

Good thing then that this particular group is meteoric in size and power, leaving a crater in the front lawn of anyone unwittingly pressing play and not knowing the merciless dick-stomping they uncage. From the get-go, “Endowed With Windows” is pounding and plodding, a preamble to the audience requesting to be heard and seen as is–“Access my mind/Through all its windows/Not through my hormones/Not through my skin tone.”

Singer/screamer/orator Katerina Economou is as attention-grabbing as a vocalist can be, standing toe-to-toe with mortar explosion drum blasts, serrating guitars, subterranean and primal bass, and a combined stage of aural war waged in the mind. Memory Theater as a name refers to your ever-expanding mental space that grows with each point of knowledge, ideas, and general thoughts and perceptions. To that end, each song is a blistering, caustic foundation that builds up the tower of the greater album, masticating and undulating among itself in a mass that would make the best body horror conjurers cringe. Look no further than the cover art for a fascinating, beautiful interpretation by artist Andrew Tremblay.

As cerebral as it all can be, there’s simple comforts that Escuela Grind offer up. “The Feed” is a grim yet honest spew of flames in the direction of social media algorithms and their poisonous grip on society. “Cliffhanger” is a nitrous-injected track with a true groove, offering up a neat lyrical reference to legendary hip-hop joint “The Message” by Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five (“Don’t push me ‘cause I’m close to the edge”). “All is Forgiven” muses on the search for peace through taking charge and personal responsibility with a death metal candor and gallop to its melodic structure, exploding on all sides like a controlled detonation.

Memory Theater is the kind of album you come away from with road rash from how it lassos you by the ankle and drags you for its entire duration with nary a relent in sight. Each guitar chug and churn like an elbow drop to the sternum from the top rope. It’s almost baptismal or purgative in nature, enlightening and cathartic in a way that’s hard to come by, providing clarity through drowning the senses so only blankness stands on the other side of it able to be colored in by the good in life.

Bottom line: Escuela Grind are the types to write all their scathing and salient essays on anti-authority in all caps, scorch off their eyebrows with alchemical mixtures, and knock the shit out of every other kid in dodgeball. They’re the problem child, but agitating the right people and rousing others determined to fight alongside them. It’s sonic camaraderie, energetic and purposeful. As they experiment and settle into different permutations of heavy music over time, it’s likely that we’ll see true greatness out of them. Just like the young gifted kid in school, they’ve got great potential, and in the meantime, the ride is very much enjoyable as is.


12 comments

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anonymous 9/30/2022 6:42:49 AM

Marty from Zao here. Would smash.

anonymous 9/30/2022 8:04:38 AM

Yeah, I'd definitely bang the drummer.

anonymous 9/30/2022 10:11:17 AM

Women suck at music

anonymous 9/30/2022 10:37:21 AM

Singer/screamer/orator Horrific journalism.

anonymous 9/30/2022 1:18:23 PM

Get this man an editor.

anonymous 9/30/2022 3:46:17 PM

It's cool that 2 cute chicks are in the band and all, but this sucks.

anonymous 9/30/2022 8:28:32 PM

Band should be called, Bring Me the Threesome.

anonymous 10/1/2022 10:43:41 AM

Chauvinism?! Here?

rick_tocchet 10/1/2022 12:17:33 PM

Only reason to listen to this shit is to hope for a nip slip and it will be most likely from the drummer and his man tits bobblin around while he plays.

anonymous 10/2/2022 3:00:40 PM

Guitarist is hottest trans I've ever seen

anonymous 10/3/2022 8:48:45 AM

queen of the south grind yum

anonymous 10/4/2022 9:21:46 PM

Like an elbow drop to the sternum from the top rope 😂😂😂