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Idiots Parade – Idiotsgraphy (2003-2013)



Idiots Parade, arguably Slovakia’s most visible female-fronted grindcore band, formed in Zvolen during 2004 as a successor to the earlier unit Tay Gatto. In all probability  the power trio took its name from the Nasum song ‘The Idiot Parade’ of their 2000 album “Human 2.0”. As the album title suggests this comprehensive 47 track compilation spans the band’s entire recorded history, including all of the band’s official releases, splits, and previously unreleased material. It commences with the most recent release “R.I.P.”, and works its way backward chronologically to the band’s earliest rehearsal recordings.

Central to Idiots Parade is frontwoman Petra, along with rhythm section Mato (bass guitar), and Jan (drums). The band is rounded out by guitarist Robert, who during the later stages of the trio’s career was duly replaced by Filip. The true calling card of the band is its energetic frontwoman Petra. Her high-octane vocal performance is completely over-the-top, and hysterical in its rabid intensity. A comparison could be made to Madison Marshall from Michigan grinding hardcore power trio Cloud Rat. As Idiots Parade comes from a hardcore background it isn’t very surprising to hear the bass guitar as prominent as it does. Likewise are none of the band’s releases overproduced in any capacity. Most of the lyrics deal with socio-political subjects, including but not limited to anti-capitalism, consumerism, the military-industrial complex – and introspective themes.

As a historical document “Idiotsgraphy (2003-2013)” had the arduous task of bringing together all of the band’s official releases, split albums, compilation tracks, and various assorted odds and ends. The disc consists of the "R.I.P." 5" EP (2013), the 2010 split with SayWhy?, the four tracks from the “This Comp Kills Fascists” session, and all the songs of the split with Abortion. The second half of the record compiles a number of unreleased recordings from 2006, along with the material from the “Sekec Mazec #4” 7" EP (2006). The anthology is fittingly concluded by the tracks from the band’s 2005 rehearsal demo, and its contribution to the Accomplice tape from 2005. Also included are covers from the band’s local and international contemporaries and inspirations such as Mäso (Slovakia), Sangre de Cristo (Slovakia), V.O.K.K., and Charles Bronson (US)

11018652_660385457421918_1138536963495326820_nThe “R.I.P.” material resembles Flesh Parade (“Kill Whitey”, in particular) closely. The growled backing vocals even don’t feel out of place. Petra’s vocals on the material for the split with SayWhy? are strangely subdued, muffled and whispered in parts – although they get better during the second half. One of the band’s biggest accomplishments was featuring on the second installment of the Scott Hull curated “This Comp Kills Fascists” series of compilations in 2010 that were released through Relapse Records. The four tracks of said compilation were among the band’s better produced efforts. Notable is that the band’s 2005 demo material is far thicker sounding than any of its later material.  Regardless of release the drum tone here is overall better than on many contemporary death metal releases. Like genre pillars Agathocles, and Nasum, before them Idiots Parade is able to do much with very little. While many songs barely clock over a minute the amount of dynamics and diversity that these cuts hold can be matched by few.

“Idiotsgraphy (2003-2013)” was released in a variety of formats on a swath of different European labels. It was released CD format on French grindcore specialist label Bones Brigade Records in 2014. Additionally, the compilation was released on cassette tape format by British label imprint Grindfather Productions. German label T.V.G. Records handled the LP release. Each of these various versions has it own distinct artwork differentiating it from the other. Interesting to note is that only the Bones Brigade Records print has a slightly different title with “Idiotsgraphy (2005-2013)”. Of all the different versions the Bones Brigade print is the most traditional looking while the other two versions accentuate the band’s DIY/hardcore ethos more with the handdrawn art.

Having all of the band’s recordings on a single disc proves just how consistent Idiots Parade was with its chosen style. From its 2005 rehearsal material to its swansong 2013 EP the quartet never compromised its vision and/or DIY ethos. Even though the production values increased from one effort to the next, Idiots Parade never surrendered to industry – or peer pressure to become a more marketable asset. The band was helped tremendously by the stellar performance of the delightful Petra. Her shrieks, wails and yells are among the strongest in the genre, and hopefully she’ll resurface sooner rather than later.  On all fronts is “Idiotsgraphy (2003-2013)” is a fitting eulogy to one of Slovakia’s most promising if shortlived grindcore units.