Black Army Jacket
Chain Saw Safety
Well, you had your chance to catch them and now they’re gone. Yep, B.A.J. lasted but a brief, what was it? Two years? And now screaming guttural vocalist Rob Lawi has left the band. But there’s always 222 , a document of an extreme metal band that I saw from birth to clear maturity and then poof ?
As time went on, the most notable change in Black Army Jacket was their movement from one of the most “out there” in extreme metal to a very mature, near-death metal group. This coming from a real concentration on guitars and rhythm. Oh, they’re still extreme on 222, but the roots from which they sprang, oh, say, Blood Feast, show through. Just listen to “U-68,” a tribute to the “golden age” of death metal. (Thumbs up to producer Dean Rispler, too.)
Lyrically, one needs an appreciation of how a native American of Iraqi-Japanese descent can cope with the English language and it’s veritable plethora of words. More than enough can be said in very few words, especially in the efficient language from the Land of the Rising Sun. Indeed, songs like “Meow, Meow, Meow” and “MultimediaInfanilizaiton” are simply doubled-up haiku. It’s damn dark, too. These minimalist songs have an edge to them that carves at the soul. “Deathache,” “When I Can’t See You, Are You There?” and “Empire of Tears,” are entire supernatural operas condensed, again, into a couple of lines of haiku. “I Object” and “Saccadic Eye Movements” are what I’d call “classic” Black Army Jacket, in that is follows this formula: noise, shout once side of argument, noise, shout other side of argument, brutal noise, shout once side of argument, noise, shout other side of argument. Brutality in action. This is a collector’s item.
Chain Saw Safety, P.O. Box 260318, Bellrose, NY 11426-0318