My first time in Italy I met several different groups of kids who were serious Cripple Bastards fans. Whenever I spoke with them about New York Hardcore or anything related they were completely versed. They knew all of the bands, songs etc. It was like I was talking to them about unreachable gods. But, the Cripple Bastards mattered even more to them. The more time I spent there and the more I spoke with people who were invested in the music they listened to, I realized that the luxuries that we have in America do not apply in many other places. What we take for granted is that we can put a band together, rehearse, record and then just release a record. Anyone can do it and it's just common knowledge. When I spoke to the Italian kids about this, the opportunities they spoke about were all much more controlled. The opportunity to sell something, to market something and to have a tangible product was this massive undertaking that is almost completely counter to that of creative freedom. The concept of being an up and coming band who would release records, play shows and become rock stars or even influential in your scene, was incredibly more rare than it would be here.
Enter the Cripple Bastards, an obnoxious grindcore band from Torino, Italy. Obnoxious to the point that this record has 69 tracks on it, one of which is in 5 parts. Not having been exposed to these guys before understanding their impact on the scene in Italy, I think my takeaway from it is a lot different than it would have been had I not been exposed to their influence. I cannot possibly rate this against any other grindcore of its class or purely off of musicality.
When I hear this, I hear a defiance against their social structure and a perseverance to remain relevant despite the odds. With them having released 7 full lengths, 28 EPs and been included on countless other compilations and assorted material, I see how they have become idols for a specific scene of young and frustrated kids and I feel their music represents that and the portion of their energy that speaks to that is what makes these guys matter in a way that transcends the composition and execution of these 69 tracks.