Strapping Young Lad
Live In Australia — No Sleep Till Bedtime
At last! “A new time has come, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, welcome the FUCK home! Hey, man, I’m gonna fuck his shit up, no fear no compromise, I want it all, I will never be afraid, I’ll die for what I believe. All hail the new flesh, it suits me fine. Just get away, you motherfuck, and we’ll be back if you come, for what this means to me, you piece of shit, I’ll see you pigs in hell.” I must admit that I adopted the lyrics to “All Hail the New Flesh” as my personal mantra for six months last year, as they were very suiting for my interaction with the brainless subhumans I had for classmates and teachers. If I hadn’t quit college after that semester, I would have had no choice but to select the only other logical alternative: BLOWING THINGS UP! Haahahahah!!!!!!!! NO!!!!! Must maintain control… there is no conspiracy… no one is after me… they can’t read my mind… forget about the tunnels… breathe deeply… OK… calm down… all better… PHEW! Ready to continue the review.
Anyway, listening to this 9-track CD brought back memories of those days; how inspiring and intense their live show is. This band looks like they just stepped off the set of Braveheart: five angry barbarians, storming the globe, ready to annihilate anyone who dares to get in their way. The seven live tracks included here represent their energy and organization very well; several songs stop right in the middle just long enough for Devin to say something silly. Many of the sound effects & background vocals are somehow injected into the live performance (I’m not accusing them of overdubbing, because I saw it live, too) by some mysterious means that I have not thus far comprehended.
Readers of Douglas Adams will recall the effects that a Pangalactic Gargle-Blaster or the Total Perspective Vortex have on a being’s consciousness. Listening to Devin Townsend’s vocals through headphones easily out-ranks these two devices, as his singing is not merely a work of science-fiction, but on those truly paralyzing, mind-tingling, overwhelming experiences that can only be described through COMPARISON to events taking place in works of science fiction. If the previous sentence doesn’t make any sense to you, I’ll just say that there are not many things on Earth like it. While in Strapping Young Lad, Devin Townsend mostly chooses to scream; nevertheless, his over-the-edge vocal abilities deserve to be taken seriously; no one does it better.
Gene Hoglan’s drumming is absolutely insane; until I saw SYL live, I never even questioned my assumption that the tracks were 100% drum machine. (Coming from me, that’s the greatest compliment.) I was very intrigued by the bonus song, “Japan.” Who is playing drums? I don’t think it’s Gene. Page Hamilton is going to be angry about that rhythm guitar riff. The chorus is very dense and beautiful, and the lyrics were in Devin’s comfy style of being very blurry/profound. One of these days I expect him to slip and accidentally sing the solution to the chicken/egg question.
For in-depth information on all of Devin Townsend’s projects & bands, contact HevyDevy Records, P.O. Box 44116, Burnaby, B.C., Canada, V5B 4Y2, HevyDevy@home.com, http://home.bc.rogers.wave.ca/hdrecord/index.html. Century Media, 1453-A 14th St., Suite 324, Santa Monica, CA 90404; http://www.centurymedia.com