Contraband International Activity
Finland-based thrashers Pitbull Terrorist come with some good gimmicky background stories; you’ve got to give them that.
The balaclava-wearing four-piece between them claim to have past lives in guerrilla warfare, organised crime, the secret services and, erm, world class athletics, but now soundtrack the activities of global activists Pitbull Pack International. It’s similar to the schtick used by Fear Factory/Napalm Death/Paradise Lost affiliated ‘Mexican’ grind bandits Brujeria, or Slipknot with a lower mask budget, and it’s unlikely many genuine guerrilla groups are on MySpace or sell tracks on iTunes and Amazon.
The guerrilla/anarchist imagery continues on songs such as the grimy death meal of ‘Dirty Bomb’ and the System Of A Down style chug (complete with operatic vocal interlude) of ‘The Shit Of The System’. There’s certainly no dicking about on ‘Contraband International Activity (‘CIA’ for short), the longest song is 123 seconds - the instrumental ‘In Confidence’ with its two whirling, powerful riffs - but that leave little time for PT to try many ideas.
The songs that stand out during this 25-minute blitzkrieg of buzzing thrash are the ones that move away from the old school template and bring in elements of crust, grindcore and death metal, such as the combusting, collapsing riffs and blastbeats on ‘The Pig’. On ‘Ode To The Old’, a tangle of shredding guitar parts, singer Ursula occasionally ditches her genderless growls for otherworldly vocals that are far more unnerving, as is the high-pitched voice of guitarist John Keu on ‘Guerra’. But otherwise, Pitbull Terrorist aren’t as radical as they’d have us believe.