Sow is Anne Wildsmith and her words, with musical chores taken on by fellow masochists like Pig, Optical 8, Sasha KMFDM and various other shady characters. This is also the worthiest record released by Invisible in forever. Now I know that if you bought every record that I proclaimed “the one,” you would have quite a few, but my god, this is the one. Five seconds into album opener “Ssik,” my mouth was hanging open like a Tex Avery character, through the perfection of sound and expression. Wildsmith and Mr. Raymond Watts have produced the final evolution in soundtracks of longing and psychosis.
” Sick could end right now, and I’ll be fine,” I thought, and then “Jo The Lover” stormed in angrily. “Jo The Lover” destroys me every time. Sneering threats over an absolutely vicious drum pattern. While feverishly constructing a shrine to place my copy of the CD booklet on, song after song completely astounded me. There’s “Wedge,” a spoken track with backing music that feels like a rainy night in Birmingham, and it is the most naked and unflinching look at the end of a relationship since Smog’s “Women’s Things.” Guess what, her side of the story is just as disturbed and disturbing.
Wildsmith outdoes Serge Gainsbourgh’s genteel menace with her French language epics “Egohead” and “K-Casino,” claustrophobic and suffocating. I’m gasping for breath… “Working For God” is the soundtrack to the Vatican being demolished. Wildsmith leers in a disfigured Italian, and I can feel it in the bottom of my stomach. “I Do Not Belong Here” ends the record on a sickly serene note. Over a disorienting backdrop, she whispers lucidly of heartbreak and pain with all the subtlety of a suicide note. You can almost hear the calm rushing in your ears.
Anne Wildsmith is doing us all the favor of upping the lyrical ante of industrial/electronic music to the point of high art (as life). Don’t even bring up the issue of “women in industrial” music, Wildsmith’s work transcends, while still being deeply rooted in her identity as a strong woman. She doesn’t have many challengers, let alone peers. This is the ONE.
Invisible Records, P.O. Box 16008, Chicago, IL 60616; http://www.invisiblerecords.com