Tuesday, November 27, 2018

GRAF ORLOCK + Kerrang!

"The premise of Graf Orlock is simple: grindcore about movies. The reality is a lot harder to describe — with heatstroke-tinged riffs, spit-flecked bellows, and frenzied drumming, the Los Angeles quartet express hidden torment and angst buried at the core of your favorite films..."

Kerrang! has premiered new Graf Orlock track "Alternate Route to Mexico," off upcoming album Examination of Violent Cinema, Volume 1, out December 7th via Vitriol Records.

Stream the song, here:

Pre-order the album, here:

Graf Orlock will hit the East Coast in January:
Jan 11 - Philadelphia, PA @ Barbary
Jan 12 - Providence, RI @ Al Dios
Jan 13 - Brooklyn, NY @ Saint Vitus

No band of the past decade embodies the spirit of DIY hardcore punk in a more creative or relentless way than Graf Orlock. Releasing music via their own label, touring to nearly every continent on earth without a booking agent (repeat trips to Japan, Australia, Southeast Asia, Eastern Europe, the Caribbean, and beyond), and designing their own implausible artwork and packaging (one EP cover was riddled with real bulletholes and another folded out into the form of an actual-size boombox), the Los Angeles band is a self-made powerhouse that keeps on trucking, year after year.

At the core of all its output is one very specific vision: to create music inspired entirely by Hollywood's best and worst action movies. Fueled equally by a sincere love for cinema and by an utter disdain for the current state of the industry, Graf Orlock's vision is arguably a ridiculous one – guitarist Jason Schmidt himself has referred to the band's work as "basically moronic fan fiction" – yet Graf Orlock executes it with dead seriousness, pouring into it more creativity and dedication than most bands ever muster, going on fifteen years now.

For its fourth album (and eleventh release in all), 
Examination of Violent Cinema, Volume 1, Graf Orlock claim to have narrowed their focus exclusively to films released in 2017 – films referenced on the album are rumored to range from John Wick 2 to Blade Runner 2049. A statement printed inside the LP describes it as "a testament to the rigor mortis of the vapid film industry..."

Fittingly, Schmidt describes Examination's packaging as "a body bag containing a fully-sealed LP jacket with perforations in a triangle like an autopsied corpse... you have to rip open the perforations to get into the record and get it out."

Though the conceptual stuff might threaten to overshadow the music, Graf Orlock's music stands on its own: an instantly recognizable sound built on fragmented hardcore punk and bursts of thrash and grind, held together by lyrics that are in fact dialogue from films. Freedom is the name of the game: songs twist and turn, a mix of blastbeats, breakdowns, and sweet-ass riffs, unfolding without structure but designed for maximum impact, and administered in a raw fashion that is more in line with Black Flag's later recordings than with most modern-day perfectionism. "Visceral, life-affirming violence" is how the band likes to classify it.

Photo by Alexis Acosta

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