Thursday, November 12, 2015
Yep - my first reaction when this 1996 compilation was recommended to me was a nonplused "are you fucking kidding?" Interestingly, after I looked at the bands on the roster I belched out another "are you fucking kidding?" Having never knowingly heard a Smiths or Morrissey song in my life I wasn't sure what to expect from a punk/hardcore homage to the Manchester woe-is-me rock kings. In short though, I dug it. Probably the absolute antithesis to the original vibe of the songs, each cover are if a fast rocker, some a little more poppy then I'd like (a bunch of songs really sound like the Bouncing Souls) but I can't help but crack a smile at the idea of each vocalist taking a bit of a piss out of Morrissey's whiny style. Christ, even Anal Cunt (circa the 40 More Reasons To Hate Us-era) make an appearance - and their song is damn straight! Dare To Defy's "Shoplifters Of The World Unite" is a fantastic opener - if I didn't know better I would think I was listening to some old Snapcase song. Sub Zero has their Sick Of It All groove going, even the Meatmen rock their anthem with tongue planted firmly in cheek. I think the only song I could skip is Lament's restrained closer, "Back To The Old House" which is a little too close to the irritating original. Smiths fans prepare to be disappointed, all others, enjoy.
Tuesday, November 10, 2015
I don't know why it took me 20+ years to stumble upon this classic slab of crusty powerviolence grindcore or whatever pretentious audio tags I'm using today. Ironically, I've been pretty aware of Plutocracy's existence for some time, somewhat ashamedly from perusing the endless porn-laden liner notes (and "thank you's") on a few of my dusty Meat Shits 7-inchers of which Kindred (guitar), Max (drums) and Thomas (guitar) were all musicians(?) in at one time of another. Regardless of their pornogrind origins, Plutocracy's debut LP Dankstahz is chock full of crusty stop/start mincecore (what I always wished Man Is The Bastard actually sounded like) interspersed with solid, riff-heavy grind. Wicked fast A.C.-esque blastcore screeches to a blistering halt and crawls along at a leaden pace with some cool crusty Dystopia-vocal tradeoffs. Completely at the forefront of what better-supported bands were dropping at the time (and it's tough to know who actually influenced who), it's too bad these guys never broke out of Palo Alto. And the old-school rap samples are priceless. Surprisingly, Plutocracy had a tough time actually getting Dankstahz on record shelves, most of this LP (recorded in 1992) didn't see the light of stereos until their eponymous compilation CD dropped in '94. Evidently dropped by both Psychoslaughter and Schematics Records (how? why?), the pressed vinyl sat in a warehouse before one of the band members hand-screened a bunch of covers and finally got it in the stores years later (completists note there was a limited 10" that came out on a Germany label in '96 as well). For those interested in the further musical endeavors of the posse surrounding Plutocracy check out this blog run by Agents Of Satan vocalist Jason Balsells - lots of good downloads and stories. Enjoy.