Despite what many people may think, metal isn’t always about violence, hatred, and other negative emotions or aspects of human existence. Sometimes metal can be light-hearted, about having fun, or just plain goofy. Yet this doesn’t always come at the expense of the heaviness and technicality that is associated with metal. Serrabulho, a grindcore band that likes to party from Portugal, kick the preconceived notions about how goofy metal can or cannot be squarely in the balls with their newest release, “Porntugal.” Whatever you are expecting from this album, I assure you that you are not ready.
The album kicks off with “She Drinks Milk,” and it’s an instant indication that these guys don’t take themselves or their music seriously at all. What most “normies” accuse grindcore of sounding like, this song ACTUALLY sounds like, with literal animal noises complementing the frenetic drum and guitar work. It’s as bonkers as you’d expect.. until it gets even weirder by going into a part that’s sampled from a children’s song about drinking milk, before transitioning into a breakdown. After the song concluded, I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. Consider the album’s tone adequately set. The following track opens with a nice orchestral introduction followed by some Portuguese dialogue that serves as a soothing break on the ears before the pig squeals and whacked-out instrumentation remind you of what you’re in for. More straight forward than the previous track, it’s still clinically insane, and makes me question whether or not the band is actually singing lyrics at all or simply making animal noises. Track 3 is called…. “Fecal Torpedo…” and opens up with the lovely sounds of a Portugese gentleman taking a dump. Once the aural horror has passed, we get another tune that’s very much in line with the previous two tracks. I’m starting to sense a pattern. With track 4, “Pito Sem Penas,” opening with chickens clucking, flutes playing, and people arguing, I’m beginning to wonder if this record is actually an existential concept record about pushing the limits of just how far the listener can be fucked with. To the song’s credit, it blends the band’s tried-and-true formula with some strings and the previously mentioned flute work, which adds some spice among the grunts, shrieks, and.. leprechaun chants? Sure, why not. Track 5, “Os Tintins do Tintin” starts with farts, further cementing my concept album theory. This tune ramps up as it crawls along, starting off on a somewhat mellow note compared to its predecessors before bringing back the heaviness.
Track 6 is “BBC Wildlife,” and it emphasizes the hardcore side of the grindcore equation, at least in terms of the guitar and drum work. It’s nice to hear the band change things up in ways beyond simply fucking with you. Next up is a grindcore song in a major key.. something I thought I’d never hear outside of a witty youtube video. Buried underneath the wackiness and goofiness is some genuine creativity, which peaks its head out of the dirt every so often. The song wraps up with a nice acapella section, which is.. cute, for lack of a better term. I strongly doubt I’ll be using that word to describe anything else from this album. Track 8, “Gelado de Caganetas,” is an instrumental that features the bustling sounds of a marketplace alongside some quaint bagpipe playing. It’s not very metal, sure, but it’s the most normal sounding track so far, and I’m cherishing it. Given how the next track is called “Dingleberry Ice Cream,” can you blame me? It’s exactly what you’d expect at this point, coupled with the bagpipe playing from the previous track. Following a song with dingleberry in the title is a song that opens up with more farts, “Tofu au Cu,” which is one of the less gimmicky and more straight-forward tunes of the bunch, but still with the, ahem, ‘unique’ vocal work that we’ve come to expect. And the final track, “Tomate Pelado,” throws everything up to this point into a blender for a sendoff that completes this foray into the fucked-up.
If “Weird Al Getting a Grindcore Bukkake” wasn’t already a musical genre, I’m pretty sure Serrabulho just created it. Grindcore is already a filthy and absurd genre as is, but on “Porntugal,” these traits are dialed up to 11. Be sure to follow these guys online at https://www.facebook.com/serrabulhogrind/
Overall Sound – ???? out of 10 (what the fuck)
Vocal Style – 11 Pig Snorts out of 10 (Old McDonald would be proud)
Overall Song Composition – 6 out of 10 (shock value takes precedence over creativity, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t entertained)
Originality – 10 out of 10 (find me another band that sounds even remotely like these guys, I dare you)