“Scum” by Napalm Death, from Scum (Earache Records):
In 1981, four gutter-punk kids from Birmingham, England, instigated the seemingly endless splintering of metal subgenres in forging the sound that would later be dubbed “grindcore.” Playing hardcore punk at impossibly breakneck speeds, Napalm Death‘s revolving-door lineup married punk’s pissed-off, anarchic aesthetic to the intensity of extreme metal. As the forefather of the genre, the band — with its 1987 debut, Scum — introduced one of grindcore’s trademarks — concision. With songs rarely cracking the one-minute mark (including the infamous, one-second-long “You Suffer”), the first record in the Napalm catalog chronicles the creativity of a group of kids who were long on ideas and short on patience. 27 years later, Napalm is still cranking out brutal grindcore, albeit with much more nuance and complexity than the bands that have been replicating the riffs from Scum for the past two decades.