Various Artists - Tidbits of Lunacy (Anstalt Records/Riot)

In case you hadn't heard, Nuclear Blast recently started a new label for your more crusty, underground, extreme, (mostly) grind acts. This label, Anstalt Records, is just the sort of thing that I personally think has been long overdue. I love this sampler. It's no-holds-barred, shitty, hilarious grind.

As a taster, Anstalt have released Tidbits of Lunacy: a very short sampler in fact, featuring two tracks each from three acts: Milking the Goatmachine, Bakteria and Pitbull Terrorist. The collection blasts you through an extremely enjoyable short period of time – something less than 20 mins. Each band won its way into my crazy metaller's heart instantly.

Now let's be clear: the production values on quite a bit of this little offering aren't brilliant. It is full of crust. Some of the music is, let's be honest, are so far from the polished offerings that Nuclear Blast regularly give us that you might well think that some of it is just shit, pure and simple. But you also must remember, Anstalt is a completely new label. Regardless, it's good fun; that's where this release strikes gold.

Tidbits of Lunacy kicks off with Milking the Goatmachine's Sour Milk Boogie; you hear some hillbillies having a roaring good time, before you are launched into the down-tuned grind of the track. It's nothing spectacular, just grind like lots of bands play it, although the groove these guys have is, like Blood Duster's, a little bit irresistible. 

Excuse the crappy statement, but honestly, Milking the Goatmachine is a fucking goatgasm of goatgrind. And it's best demonstrated by the next track on the album, the band's Surf Goataragua. Yes, really.

This is short, tongue-in-cheek, goat-focused grind – of course precipitated by the necessary bleating goats – the track is a bare, rocking track filled with the requisite Blood Duster-esque groove. At about one and a half minutes in, it morphs into a short grindy rendition of Pipeline, with squealing goats in the background, before heading back into its original groove. It's hilarious. And brilliant.

The third track comes from Pitbull Terrorist. The track, Corpocrazy is a fast, intense grind experience in a slightly different vein. It's an aggressive, precisely 56-second-long track. Pitbull Terrorist have a huge sound, that is evidently built on the live experience. You can't hear it without imagining what this would be like heard live, and for that to come across in a recording is no mean feat.

The fourth track is also from Pitbull Terrorist: Dirt Bomb. The intensity of Corpocrazy is still there, though reigned in slightly. The no-holds-barred, good fun grind is broken up with some nice riffs and the occasional fancy fretwork, but it's as dirty as its name.

The fifth track is from Bakteria. Now, let's be clear on one thing: shitty, chunky, back-yard, jamming-in-dad's-shed, terrible sounding grind with hilarious lyrics really hits the spot with me. The track, Defecate! Suffocate! Mutilate! Masturbate! Is best demonstrated by its lyrics:

'Shove your dick in a household blender / Defecate! Suffocate! Mutilate! Masturbate! / Kill yourself you stupid fuck ... Jerk off with a / dead dog's guts / come in the dog's carotid artery / Eat shit and get the stomach flu / Get fluid in your mother's lungs til she suffocates / Fuck her in the eye socket, eat her toe nails / Bury your baby sister in an elephant's rectum...' 

You get the picture. Clearly these guys don't take much seriously at all. And the chorus line – Defecate! Suffocate! Mutilate! Masturbate! - is guaranteed to get stuck in your head for days.

That is, until you hear the next Bakteria track, Sea Corpse. I have been in fits of laughter about this track, and I think I have actually fallen a little bit in love with this crusty offering from Bakteria. I would pay a lot of money to go to one of their shows, just for the entertainment value, and the fact that I could sing:

'Sea Corpse / I'm gonna make love to your bloated leg / Sea Corpse / I'm gonna poke my dick inside your brain...'

Yeah, alright, I'm crazy. Fitting then that I really dig the Anstalt offering - Anstalt meaning 'institution' in German. The label doesn't even refer to its artists as artists, but as patients.

Yes it sounds a little bit overdone. Yes, anybody who isn't a metalhead will be gasping with the sheer disgusting horror of the whole thing. But if you heard the planky, rocking, crapness of this track, you couldn't possibly take it seriously, much less get offended; in fact, I dare you to hear this and not get into it. The rhythms alone are irresistible, and the playing across the cymbals is nicely placed. If you're even a little bit into crusty grind, this shit is really going to hit the spot with you.

Tidbits of Lunacy isn't a formal release but you can hit up the label's myspace for a listen.