The Boys From Brutalsville
Well, shit. It was obviously a gimme that this was gonna be one of my favorite records of the year, if for no other reason than Antiseen paid proper blood-encrusted tribute to the suicidal, homicidal genocidal Sabu in, well, “Sabu.” That fucker revolutionized professional wrestling and should be remembered for both his innovative spots and high-flying spots, and his willingness to wrap himself in barbed wire and dive on Terry Funk. Didn’t Sabu glue a wound shut in mid-match once? Doesn’t Jeff Clayton have almost as many gigs on his forehead as Steve Corino? But damn, that’s rock and roll, if I ever had a band it would be mandatory for every member to bleed/blade every night. Fucking striking visual, that Jeff Clayton.
Unfortunately, there were two little caveats that got in the way of my total listening experience. First of all, the production was a little on the weak side. Man, those guitars should have been caked in dirt, blood, and broken glass, and that distortion needed to be thicker and more evil. So I don’t know, that’s the little complaint out of the way. Now for the wussbag complaint. Um, the lyrics to “Melting Pot” and “Talkshow Trash” were• well, listen, I like Agnostic Front and Burzum and even Graveland• but maybe, just maybe, those lyrics were just a little cringe-worthy. And I wasn’t like offended or anything, they just seemed even more caricatured than the rendering of the band on the inside cover. It’s like this, these lyrics bother me for the same reason that Cannibal Corpse lyrics bother me, yet Exhumed and Nuclear Death and Necrophagia lyrics don’t bother me. Oh well, awkward hand wringing aside, you’d be hard pressed to find a better Ramones cover than “Commando,” better road blues songs than “Six Days on the Road” and “Broke Down Blues,” and you would never find better wrestling songs than “Sabu” and (YEAH) “Babyface Killer.” In the end, blood is cool, wrestling is cool, long hair is cool, offending people is very cool, but the fucking coolest thing of all is creating a body of music that withstands the test of time and trend. Antiseen thusly passes on all counts.
TKO Records, 4104 24th St. #103, San Francisco, CA 94114; http://www.tkorecords.com