Thursday, May 11, 2006

MORE RERUNS

In the early Nineties I made up the office of TOMB for rating death and grind metal records. Years later I would recycle it in the Village Voice in this quaint article on making your own doom metal mix CD, E Pluribus Doomen.

But actually, it again dates to the Morning Call newspaper where editors had no idea what I was writing about although they were most happy to allow it.

SEPULTURA
Arise
MALEVOLENT CREATION
The Ten Commandments
ATROCITY
Hallucinations

Good morning boys and girls. As you know, death eventually comes to us all. However, due to the constant advances of science, the very process of death and the state of deadness itself are now being investigated so that we all might understand life a little better. At the forefront of this sudden flurry of inquiry are none other than the youthful scions of death metal music. One of the leading houses of research in the new science of "extirpology" (the study of extirpation and related subjects) is RC Records. They have just seen fit to fund three young bands and have forwarded their current publications for review here at the Teleological Office of Morbidity and Burial (T.O.M.B.)

The most promising of these bands is Sepultura from Brazil. They address the coming Eschaton in "Dead Embryonic Cells." It will be heralded, Sepultura claims, by a rain of dung from the heavens. Good research!

Also worth comment is Malevolent Creation. MC choose to expound upon the time-worn topic of premature burial which puts them in good company with Poe. However, a critical error has been made. MC has overlooked the embalming process which -- more or less -- insures that those thought dead will be rendered such before burial should a goof occur at the coroner's office. The depth of this work is unfortunately shallow.

Last is Atrocity. Conceptually, this is very advanced -- expanding on the eternal death wish and the consequences of pacts with Satan in the guise of drug use. Like anything so esoteric, it may be difficult for the layman to grasp. Atrocity is definitely the intellectual in the bunch. As you can see, RC Records really knows its death metal. Now you must excuse me, there is ectroplasm forming in my Satanic Particle Collider.

Also:

CHARLIE DANIELS
Renegade
HANK WILLIAMS JR.
Pure Hank

"Renegade" shows that Charlie Daniels hasn't aged a bit after 20 years of redneck rock. In fact, he sounds so well-preserved, he's freeze-dried. While the title track and "Honky Tonk Life" are slow Skynyrd/Outlaws guitar aggro, the rest of the disc is crystallized cornpone and humble-bumbling lumpen prole bonhomie. And there is a loused-up version of "Layla" with cow-flop fiddle taking the place of Clapton's lashing guitar. It's just enough to make you want to bust the dang thing over Daniels' graying head.

In comparison, Hank Williams Jr's new disc is as cool as a long spurt of fuming chaw onto shiny boots. First, Hank gets the real country out of the way fast because he knows it stinks. Heck, he evens tells the listener to skip on by jumping forward to cut six (good advice) -- "Memphis Belle" -- and rocking out hard for the rest of the disc. Hank then sings "I need to dance with someone in the raw/I need to find me a Hollywood Honey" on "Hollywood Honey." The guitars hump out a nice tune in the background. Then he revives Waylon's "Just to Satisfy You" and gets you to thinking he's going to give his squeeze a good pop on the lip if she doesn't straighten out and fly right. Reminds me of what real Southern Rock was all about -- beating your girlfriend while drunk out of your mind in the living room -- that does. Hank even includes a nice pick of said "Hollywood Honey" and she is wearing a fine nudie suit of cowboy-style lingerie. You don't see much of that around here. Hank Williams, Jr. -- now here's a guy who really knows how to take care of his fans.

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