For Our Consideration: Grindcore Christmas albums pay tribute to music’s margins 25 seconds at a time

Grindcore made its first splash outside its insular bubble with Napalm Death’s 1987 debut, Scum, which includes the one-and-a-fraction-second song “You Suffer,” a favorite of iconic BBC DJ John Peel. The terse, brutal cuts on Scum set the tone for decades of extreme metal to come, and tense opener “Multinational Corporations” lays out grindcore’s moral compass and lyrical blueprint. As spindly, unsettling guitars and chattering cymbals rise to a crest, growling vocalist Nik Bullen repeats the phrase “Multinational corporations / Genocide of the starving nations.”

Grindcore’s anti-capitalist credo cracked open the world to skewer everything, including Christmas, which has become more diametrically opposed to the genre’s orthodox impulses as the rampant consumerism epitomized by Black Friday threatens to overshadow the Christmas spirit. The holiday season has been so distorted by the world of commerce, it’s a wonder there isn’t a grindcore sub-genre made up of …

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