Yeah Yeah Yeahs guitarist Nick Zinner has launched a new grindcore project, More Pain. A collaboration with vocalist Justin Pearson, Zinner’s bandmate in punk supergroup Head Wound City, the band will release its self-titled debut EP on April 19th via Pearson’s prolific Three One G label. A video for lead track “Hammering Tenderness” is out now.
Blurring by in under 30 seconds, the track makes Head Wound City sound long-winded in comparison. It begins with a scribble of guitar noise, leading into a fast, primitive riff; Pearson lets out a scream, and bass and drums, both also played by Zinner, come rushing in. The meat of the track alternates between white-knuckle grind, with Zinner smashing out an impressive blast beat, and a classic hardcore feel. Over top, Pearson — whose abrasive screech has featured in a variety of bands, such as the Locust, Retox and Swing Kids, dating back to the early Nineties — yells out an abstract diatribe against religion and war:
State of bore, shadow war.
God swore life’s a chore.
You lost me at, “God says”, suck on those warheads.
Pre-war/Post-war: Die some more, and furthermore …
God fucking swore.
Directed by Joana Lopes, the song’s lyric video shows a dizzying string of images, such as a brain being squashed in a fist, and shots of skulls and artillery.
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The roots of More Pain date back to 2005, when Zinner invited Pearson to join what would become Head Wound City, which also includes members of Blood Brothers and Pearson’s Locust bandmate Gabe Serbian. In 2016, that band released its debut album, A New Wave of Violence.
In an e-mail, Pearson gave Rolling Stone some background on his and Zinner’s newest team-up. “Initially it was for part of a film score that Zinner was working on,” Pearson explains of the music. “But the film hasn’t and might not ever come out. So we opted to just release it on Three One G as a three song EP.” Zinner recorded all the music for the release, then sent it to Pearson, who added vocals separately.
“There was talk about playing live and making it a somewhat legit band, but I think Zinner might be too busy,” Pearson adds. “But you never know.”
The More Pain EP, which will be released digitally and as a limited-edition flexi, is available for preorder now.
Yeah Yeah Yeahs began playing live again in 2017 after several years off, and the band has a few dates booked for May. Meanwhile, Pearson recently issued the self-titled debut by his other band Planet B, a collaboration with Sonido de la Frontera’s Luke Henshaw.