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Archive for the ‘Carcass’ Category

may20014SOUNDTRACK: CRYPTOPSY-“Slit Your Guts” (1996).

cryptI had never heard of this band until I saw the song mentioned in the article.  The song is impossibly fast with speeding guitars, super fast (inhuman) drums and an indecipherable growl as vocal.  In other words, a typical cookie monster metal song.  And yet, there is a lot more to it and, indeed it took me several listens before I could even figure out what was happening here, by which time I had really fallen for the song.

There’s a middle section which is just as punishing and fast but which is basically an instrumental break–not for showing off exactly but for showcasing more than the bands pummel.  It has a short guitar solo followed by a faster more traditional solo (each for one measure, each in a different ear). Then the tempo picks up for an extended instrumental section.  The melody is slightly more sinister, but it sounds great.  There’s even a (very short) bass solo that sticks out as a totally unexpected (and fun) surprise.

Then the growls come back in, staying with the new melody.  The vocals are so low and growly that they are almost another distorted instrument rather than a voice.

After that there’s a lengthy proper guitar solo.  As the song comes to a close,  it repeats some previous sections before suddenly halting.  It’s quite a trip. And it definitely makes me want to hear more from them (whatever their name means).

[READ: April 14, 2014] “Destroy Your Safe and Happy Lives”

Robbins, who is a poet, but about whom I know little else, takes us on a sort of literary tour of heavy metal.  His tone is interesting–he is clearly into metal, like in a big way (at the end of the article he talks about taking his writing students to see Converge (although he doesn’t exactly say why)), but he’s also not afraid to make fun of the preposterousness of, well, most of the bands–even the ones he likes.  It’s a kind of warts and all appreciation for what metal is and isn’t.  many people have written about metal from many different angles, so there’s not a lot “new” here, but it is interesting to hear the different bands discussed in such a thoughtful (and not just in a fanboy) way.

His first footnote is interesting both for metal followers and metal disdainers: “Genre classification doesn’t interest me.  Listen to Poison Idea’s Feel the Darkness followed by Repulsion’s Horrified and tell me the main difference between hardcore punk and metal isn’t that one has a bullshit positive message and one has a bullshit negative message.”

But since Robbins is a poet, he is interested in metal’s connection to poetry.  And in the article he cites William Blake (of course), but also Rilke and John Ashbery and (naturally) Milton’s Paradise Lost, as well as Shelley, Lord Byron and Charles Baudelaire.  He talks about them not because they are cool poets, but because they have also talked about because of metal’s “most familiar trope…duh, Satanism, which might be silly–okay, its’ definitely silly, but has a distinguished literary pedigree”.  Besides, he notes that Satan has the best lines in Paradise Lost (and I note that just as Judas has the best songs in Jesus Christ Superstar).

But sometimes this Satanism turns into a  form of paganism which then turns into nature worship.  From Voivod’s “Killing Technology” to black metal’s romanticism of nature (sometimes to crazy extremes–but that’s what a band needs to do to stand out sometimes).  Metal is all about the dark and primordial, a”rebuke to our soft lives.”

And yet, as a poet, Robbins has some quibbles with metal: (more…)

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SOUNDTRACK: GWAR on The Joan Rivers Show (1991).

Because this story is pretty, nay, really gross, I wanted to find a suitably gross song to attach to it. I considered Cannibal Corpse and Carcass, but I found that most of the lyrics were too hard to understand.  And then I hit upon Gwar.

I was trying to pick my favorite Gwar song (actually I only know their first two albums), and then YouTube pointed me to this absurd interview.

I always enjoyed the premise of Gwar, and I think that Scumdogs is a wonderfully hilarious album.  This interview (around the time of the release of Scumdogs) is really funny.  They actually make Joan Rivers speechless, and they play their act wonderfully straight.  I’d never watched a second of Joan’s show, and won’t watch any more than this clip, but seeing Oderus Urungus and Beefcake the Mighty on a talk show is pretty awesome.

Check it out here.  Sadly, there is no song played live.

[READ: November 5, 2010] “Guts”

My coworker suggested I read this story.  And I know from past experience that if he suggests something it will be slightly, shall we say, askew.  When a fellow coworker who had also read it overheard the suggestion she groaned in a way that confirmed my suspicions.

I’m not exactly sure what’s going on in Haunted.  My coworker said it was a short story collection and yet the book clearly says Haunted: A Novel.  I browsed the back and I get the sense that the book is a whole bunch of people writing /telling stories, but I didn’t investigate too thoroughly (I will likely read the whole book one of these days just to find out).

So, anyway, yeah, “Guts” is pretty disturbing.  It begins with a guy telling stories about the creepy/weird things people do to get off.  More specifically it talks about the injuries people sustain while trying to get off. (more…)

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