Speak & Destroy
I don’t even want to get into the baggage that Tarrie B’s persona hefts around like a tourist who’s taken one too many stops at the Duty Free, way too much trouble for me to deal with right now. So let’s just say, she’s outspoken, she’s gone through some tough shit, she’s gotten some trouble from her boring metal peers (Fear Factory, some other dumb band zzzzzzzzzz), and she really reminds me of Lydia Lunch (maybe more earnest).
In fact, I will attempt the classic track-by-track review to stay as focused as possible. Opener “Terror” is progressing nicely enough on the strength of an insistent bassline, until she rocks out the “Heaven doesn’t want me/And hell is afraid I’ll take over” line. I had to cringe uncontrollably. Didn’t Ink 19 even run a comic making fun of that bumper sticker once? The live version of “Preacher” left an excellent raw metallic taste in my mouth that brings to mind Jesus Lizard’s best bits, with excellent, and I do mean exemplary, guttural throes of ecstasy, but something about those lyrics… Um, yeah, they cover “Tainted Love,” arrrrrgh, slightly better version than the two drunk college girls I saw singing and staggering away a couple of weeks ago. And yeah, they change, “boy” in the lyrics to “girl.” Next! By the end of “Blaspemous,” those lyrics have got to go. And the biggest problem I have with the album is apparent: the music is overproduced to the point of sterility. Kill the shithead producer, record the whole record live, like “Preacher!” To make matters worse, (1) the music is so samey-sounding that by “Absolution,” I’m starting to get nervous at the prospect of nine more tracks and (2) this selfsame music is often turned way down while the vocals are turned WAY up to render the whole thing inaudible. “My Beautiful Flower,” “Beware Of God,” and “Diavolina” veer too much into Korn territory for my tastes, the loud-quiet-loud-quiet-loud-loud dynamic scheme has been done to death. In the end, I’m left frustrated by the situation of a very talented and driven woman delivering a tepid and annoying record that only has two redeeming moments, the softly confessional “June 10th” and some truly inspired screams and death gurgles in the choruses. Is that all there is?