Melbourne’s King Parrot have spent the last decade reviving thrashcore, grindcore’s older and less metallic cousin. King Parrot wavered from album-to-album between more a more hardcore sound on their 2013 debut Bite Your Head Off to serious flirtations with death metal on 2015’s Dead Set, and a happy medium between the two on 2017’s Ugly Produce. They’ve also made a name for themselves by producing some hilarious videos and playing absolutely insane live sets supporting bands like Cattle Decapitation and Psycroptic.
If you thought the title of the Holed Up in the Lair EP sounds like King Parrot have quarantine on their minds, you’d be correct. As chief screeching parrot Matt Young explained, the band normally gets together to write their music, something that simply wasn’t possible this time around because of the lockdown. Because of this, they decided to just go ahead, record enough music to fit on a 7-inch EP, “four days, four tracks, write em’, record em’ and be done with it.”
Holed Up in the Lair takes all of 8 minutes to play through and it features some gritty, gnarly, thrashy fun stuff. “Banished Flawed the Docile” lurches through more riffs and tempo changes in under 3 minutes than Dream Theater can usually pull off, while still managing to stay coherent from start to finish. “Blunder to Asunder” is a pocket-sized mosh extravaganza. “Nor is Yours” has some catchy interplay between the two guitars and a dramatic ending. “Kick up a Stink”is the closest Holed up in the Lair gets to the more grindcore sound of Dead Set, but it still has a nasty breakdown clearly designed to cause some bruising in the mosh pit. This song also has a dramatic ending, but I won’t spoil the surprise. Suffice it to say, King Parrot made an immensely entertaining EP.
All this would have been impressive if the band did not hold themselves to a four songs in four days goal. Holed Up in the Lair has surprisingly good production for something recorded in a deliberate rush. It makes one wonder what some of the more pensive bands out there could pull off if they rammed through the creative and production process in the same way.
With Holed Up in the Lair, King Parrot made a fun, satisfying-yet-too-brief offering. It might not be possible to capture their on-stage energy in any recorded form, but people familiar with them, and who’ve hungered for something new will definitely want to listen to this. This is mosh music the way it is meant to be.