Yes, the greatest drummer in heavy music is named Dave. But it's not the one you're thinking of. Dave Witte is the go-to guy, right now, for all things percussively assaultive. He first emerged, bashing away, in New Jersey abstract-grind gutter-dwellers Human Remains, then joined the even more abstract grindcore-masters Discordance Axis. (Their entire discography has just been reissued by Hydra Head; why aren't you at the record store already?) While still an Axis power, he became the drummer for Melt-Banana, an almost cartoonishly spastic Japanese noise-punk outfit. Now he's playing with possibly the most sedate ensemble of his career, but that ain't saying much.
Burnt by the Sun's two albums, Soundtrack to the Personal Revolution and The Perfect Is the Enemy of the Good (both on Relapse), have combined the fury of grind- and mathcore with occasional touches of melody and witty track titles ("Boston Tea-Bag Party," "Lizard-Skin Barbie," "Shooter McGavin"). Their songs are short, crunchy, and overwhelming; they swarm on you like carnivorous locusts and make you like it. Live, they're bound to be even better. Witte is a terrifying thing to behold, especially now that he's playing songs that are more than 90 seconds long.
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