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Brutal Truth is a New York City-based grindcore band that was formed in 1990 by ex-Anthrax and Nuclear Assault bassist Dan Lilker. The group disbanded in 1999. Brutal Truth was one of the pioneers of grindcore who enjoyed world wide success, particularly in Japan and Australia.
Originally signed to Earache Records, on which they released two albums, 1992’s Extreme Conditions Demand Extreme Responses, and 1994’s Need to Control, as well as an EP entitled Perpetual Conversion, and a 7” single for the song “Godplayer”. During this time, music videos were made for the songs “Ill Neglect”, “Collatoral Damage”, and “Godplayer”. Brutal Truth found frustration with Earache Records, as did many 1990s Relapse Records bands, and switched to Relapse Records, known for its roster of grindcore acts, with whom they stayed until the band’s demise.
On Relapse they released the mini album Kill Trend Suicide, a full length release entitled Sounds of the Animal Kingdom, and a double CD live album called Goodbye Cruel World. The band has also released many split 7” singles on smaller labels, with most of these being out of print and difficult to find.
In 2001, the Guinness Book of Records awarded Brutal Truth the record for “Shortest Music Video” for their video “Collateral Damage,” which weighs in at 2.18 seconds long and consists of 48 still images in rapid succession followed by a clip of an explosion.
Drummer Rich Hoak now provides vocals and drums for a new project titled Total Fucking Destruction. Kevin Sharp released an album with Venomous Concept in 2004, a hardcore punk band featuring members from Melvins and Napalm Death. He was also a member of Australian grind band Damaged for a little over a year from 1999. Dan Lilker now plays for a host of bands and is currently bassist for the re-united Nuclear Assault.
As of late 2006, according to their official website and MySpace page, Brutal Truth has reformed with three-quarters of the final lineup returning (Lilker, Hoak and Sharp); Jody Roberts (of the band Salt This Earth) is apparently replacing Brent McCarty on guitar.
It is doubtful the most extreme end of the musical spectrum has ever possessed such a transfixing dichotomy as BRUTAL TRUTH. The band progressed with boundless enthusiasm through the primal fury of traditional grindcore and hardcore punk. They attacked suffocating city life on the edge of the 21st century and its media noise overload with the bare-knuckled forcefulness of passion, conviction and a simple love for playing music. They created chaos with a surgical precision and finesse unmatched by their peers.
The primitive origins of BRUTAL TRUTH can be traced back to the early nineties when infamous bassist extraordinaire Danny Lilker created the group. The initial three-piece lineup featuring Danny on vocals/bass, guitarist Brent "Gurn" McCarty and drummer Scott Lewis was completely raw and only a side project to Danny’s other musical endeavors. The trio issued a quick demo and single before adding the vocal presence of Atlanta-born music journalist Kevin Sharp.
In a flash Earache Records picked up the quartet, Danny ditched his other project, and BRUTAL TRUTH issued their 1992 debut album "Extreme Conditions Demand Extreme Responses". This work became nothing less than a milestone in the grindcore/death metal world. One of the fastest records of its time, "Extreme Conditions Demand Extreme Responses" launched the band into the international spotlight. The absolutely manic three second video for "Collateral Damage" received worldwide exposure via MTV, and the tracks "Ill Neglect" and "Walking Corpse" remained staples in the band’s live show for years afterwards.
BRUTAL TRUTH immediately hit the road and secured a reputation as one of the hardest touring bands in the underground. First came the east coast and midwest U.S. tour with INCANTATION and PUNGENT STENCH, then the North American Campaign For Musical Destruction with NAPALM DEATH, CARCASS and CATHEDRAL. Europe and Canada were conquered with FEAR FACTORY and NAPALM DEATH respectively, and another U.S. go round with BOREDOMS and PAIN TEENS followed immediately thereafter. Vast strings of regional dates tied the touring madness together.
As if the oomph provided bythe addition of power tools and other metal objects into the live setting wasn’t enough, the sound collage of "Bedsheets", and LARCENY title track techno remix of their "Perpetual Conversion" mini-LP in 1993 further established the band’s need to experiment. BRUTAL TRUTH made their first trip to Japan upon the mini-CD’s release to tour once again with the BOREDOMS and S.O.B.. Drummer Lewis exited the ranks after their return home.
Kevin Sharp (who has performed with John Zorn’s NAKED CITY and PAINKILLER) stumbled upon the Philadelphia-born drummer Rich Hoak (ex-NINEFINGER) outside of the famed ABC-No-Rio in the fall of 1993. The rest is, as they say, history.
BRUTAL TRUTH retreated to an isolated cabin in New Hampshire during the winter of 1993/1994 to write and rehearse their sophomore record. The result of their efforts surfaced as "Need To Control", a twenty plus song document of extremist angst. Running the gamut from full-on grindcore to DISCHARGE-styled punk to ambient/electronic sound collage to death metal, "Need To Control" was incredibly expansive and the pivotal transition point for the band’s future. As with most groundbreaking works, the album perplexed as many people as it entertained. The new lineup embarked on more lengthy tour runs including a 69-show-in-75-day European tour and a three month North American headlining stint with MACABRE and PUNGENT STENCH.
Due to their willingness to experiment in various noise ensembles outside the band, BRUTAL TRUTH amassed a disparate audience: metalheads, punkers, grind and underground hardcore fans, art-noise and experimental music enthusiasts. The band was lauded as having helped make it possible for noise artists to establish themselves in North America.
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