Review: Weak Flesh – A Bird in Hand (self-released, Mar 9)

It will probably take longer to read this review than it would to listen to any of the songs on A Bird in Hand, the second installment of Austin hardcore quartet’s brutally concise LP releases following 2016’s Blood Mouth. The band tears through fourteen tracks in as many minutes, each full of crushing unison riffs, dizzying technicality, desperate stretches of light-speed blasting, and the amazing heights that come when all of those elements are seamlessly combined with each other. At its heart, A Bird in Hand is a grind album with plenty of hardcore grit, but Weak Flesh are far from opposed to drawing from other subgenres to, pardon the pun, flesh out their own unique sound. The guitars frequently claw their way to angular, dissonant stabs reminiscent of more traditional mathcore, the chugging stomps and unpredictable tempo changes pay tribute to west coast powerviolence, and occasionally something unlike anything else is achieved, like the nightmarish atmospherics of the blasts on “Hand Foot Mouth.” My breaking down of the stylistic genealogy of A Bird in Hand is not intended to diminish the record’s uniqueness—which it possesses in spades—or to argue that any of the band members had those things in mind when writing the music; instead, it’s just a way for me to communicate how much of an eclectic, creative, and completely eviscerating experience this album is.

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