Don't be fooled by the garish and goulish cover art that adorns Buried in the Front Yard from Pennsylvania's Rumpelstiltskin Grinder. This is not some super extreme death metal or grindcore release, which is fairly common on the band's label Relapse Records. On the contrary, Buried in the Front Yard is a wonderful homage to classic 80's thrash bands like Exodus, Megadeth, Kreator, Destruction, Violence, Death Angel, Sacrifice, Whiplash, Toxic, and Heathen. The album is very refreshing and fast paced, with a multitude of crunchy and tricky guitar riffs, complex rhythms, and the Tom G. Warrior meets Chuck Schuldiner styled vocals of Eli Shaika.
There's plenty of compelling and kick ass tracks here, like the addicting "Orange & Black Attack" with its sing-along chorus, "No! We're not fucking around!", or the rocket fueled guitar aggression of "Grab a Shovel (We've Got Bodies to Bury)". The lyrics overall are pretty indicative of the thrash scene, goofy yet fun, and conveyed convicingly by Shaika, who delivers with a throaty rasp that is easy to decipher each line. The guitar work from Matt Moore and Ryan Moll really is what makes this album, as each contribute bone crunching and catchy rhythms while Moll puts together some mind-blowing shredding solos. At times, especially with Shaika's vocal style, the music reminds me of a more sped up latter day Death. Expect thunderous rhythms from the team of drummer Patrick Battaglia and bassist Shawn Riley, who power songs like "Unleash the Troll" and the manic "Grinder" to pummeling results yet with a ton of groove.
So get in an 80's frame of mind, and pick yourself up a copy of Buried in the Front Yard, one of the best thrash records released in some time. I'm already ready and waiting for their follow-up.
1. Stealing E.T.
2. Orange & Black Attack
3. Grab a Shovel (We've Got Bodies to Bury)
4. Day Merman Met Todd 'The Harpoon' Wilson
5. Unleash the Troll
7. Let the Fools Cheer
8. Ode to Tanks