Unless you're actively seeking out the absolute gnarliest music you can find, it's easy to forget that there's a whole world of extreme sounds out there, roiling just underground. Local grindcore destructors P.L.F. (neé Pretty Little Flower) have seen a pretty big chunk of that world. Since forming in 1999, guitarist/vocalist Dave Callier's trio of rage-aholics has toured the U.S. seven times and Europe three times. This year, the band plans to add Australia to the list.
That's a pretty long reach for a group plying the most excruciating mutation of heavy metal yet imagined, but if you want your music heard in a scene as tight-knit and far-flung as grindcore, you go to where the audiences are.
"I sometimes compare it to people who are really into extreme horror movies or really into hot sauce," Callier says. "They're more in a minority around the world than people who are into regular food or regular movies. But people who are into that stuff are like freaks about it."
Local freaks can get their grindcore fix this Friday at Walters, when P.L.F. and other aggronauts play the opening night of the new Badass Weekend festival. The trio will come armed with new music from its third album, Devious Persecution and Wholesale Slaughter, released just last week.
The record's 14 tracks are each short, jagged slices of obliterating crunch, crammed full of Callier's thrashy, hyperspeed riffing and the deft blasting of drummer Brian Fajardo, who's also slayed the skins for noted Texas grinders like Kill the Client, Noisear and Phobia. If grindcore really was a hot sauce, P.L.F.'s recipe would be nothing particularly fancy -- just a big bottle full of ghost chili juice, maybe, with no lid.
Devious Persecution is the latest in a long string of releases by P.L.F. The more music, the more opportunities to tour places like Australia, as Callier sees it. In addition to their three albums, the band has bashed out two split LPs and nine split seven-inches. This time around, though, their studio time was spent a bit differently.
"The new album took a little longer than usual to record because our drummer for past year and a half or so lives in the Dallas area, and he plays in a lot of really active other bands," Callier says. "So, the recording was a little bit protracted, what with driving up to North Texas to track the instruments.
"But the actual writing process was really quick," he adds. "Besides two older songs that we re-recorded, we composed, wrote and recorded all of the music right there in the studio."
That includes the album's lyrics, naturally, which -- in grand, grind tradition -- are totally unintelligible. Callier swears, though, that a message is in there, for those able to hear it.
"There exist some more improvisational grindcore bands and some goregrind bands that freely admit they don't actually have lyrics; the voice is just more of an instrument," he says. "To me, though, writing lyrics is very important. I feel that if I'm going to go to the trouble to compose something to be sang, I want it to at least be well-written."
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Collectors can try to decipher Callier's demonic howls for themselves by picking up Devious Persecution and Wholesale Slaughter at Sound Exchange and Vinal Edge or by ordering it straight from the record company at www.SixWeeksRecords.com. After the Badass Weekend, P.L.F. will play their next Houston gig at the Unite to Destroy Fest on March 8 at the White Swan.
Callier is hoping plenty of grind freaks show up to check out the new songs.
"My favorite thing in the world is to nerd out over music or stay up late drinking and listening to records," he says. "If I can provide that joy to other people, it's pretty gratifying."
See www.waltersdowntown.com for more info on Badass Weekend.