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Betty Swallaux - 'Grinding Betty' (self released) 4.5/5

Just a few short months after hitting the world with a very strong demo release, Llanelli grindcore experimentalists Betty Swallaux are back with their debt album.

If you have managed to track down Betty Swallaux's demo you'll know Gaz Wooloff and his crew have developed an almost unique sound, blending elements of industrial grindcore and extreme metal sensibilities with 'nintendo-core' style electronica, elements of progressive rock and great slices of traditional punk, add in the in your face use of drum machines and loops and the result is a sound that is as near unique as you'll hear anywhere.

This nifty eight tracker kicks off with Fantasy, a nifty little number that starts out sounding like something from a 1990's console game sound track before plunging head long into a wall of glorious Electro Hippies influenced noise. Other high points include Ramstein on acid industrial grind of Deep, the wonderful Give Me Some More, a track that bizarrely wouldn't sound to out of place on an album by the late great Robert Calvert and gloriously brutal Cruel Britannia (in my books the stand out track on the album) with its damning political lyrics and breakneck slam dance frenzy riffing.

There a couple of cover versions on show here as well... the old Divynils standard I Touch My Self is a pretty straight forward rendition in the Betty Swallaux style and makes for an enjoyable listen. Then theres a stripped down and rebuilt version of America (Just Say No), an early single by Bristol band Alien Stash Tin that blows the balls off the original.

Another plus here is the production, Its about as slick as its possible to get with a home recording rig and still maintain Betty Swallaux unique sound and jagged edge attack. Something the guys should be proud of.

Over all Betty Swallaux are one of the most unique, innovative and exciting projects around at the moment and should be bound for international cult status at the very least, and this album will only go to help that process along in fine style.


For fans of... Ramstein, Amebix, 23 Skidoo, Electro Hippies, Elephant 12....

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