Use Once and Destroy
On the cover of Use Once and Destroy, I see pentagrams, pot leaves, a confederate flag, and Anselmo;s face done up like Charlie Manson — god I fucking love this job.
Okay, I’ve got it down now, if Down II is the pot and LSD record, then Use Once and Destroy is the pills, speed and alcohol record. Fuck me, this is an ugly, nihilistic slab of sound. Sometimes it just sounds wrong, like these musical elements weren’t meant to be combined in this way, it turns the stomach. Use Once and Destroy is akin to back-alley surgery and stitched together limbs; a flailing, warm, predatory mess. Superjoint Ritual’s music is an unholy mélange of doom, thrash, hardcore punk, and blood-splattered dirt. It has a loose feel, songs completely change tack halfway through, usually to become more heavy. I can’t say enough times how this isn’t music for everyone, I even feel a little unclean after listening to this record — so pigfuckingly ugly and vile.
Superjoint guiding force Phil Anselmo is entering his fifteenth renaissance as one of metal’s finest vocalists to date — his performance is all over the map. High pitched black metal shrieks, low death metal growls, pure Pantera power, and spare moments of surprising emotional subtlety are just a few of the styles he=EDs employing here. And the lyrics are fucking awesome sociopathic manifestos, like the repeated screams of, “Sex was meant to kill you,” or even “Spread your legs for your addiction” from “Drug Your Love.” Furthermore, I think Anselmo has finally found his perfect creative foil, the Marr to his Morrissey, the Page to his Plant, in Eyehategod luminary Jimmy Bower. They seem to be engaging in a musical misanthropy contest — it’s in dead heat as of this writing. Could their presence on two of the best records of the year be attributed to coincidence? I think fucking not!
Songs like “The Introvert,” for example, shift and change and bleed into one another like a psychotic episode, covering a whole range of maladjustment. And most of the songs are under three minutes long! “Takes No Guts” is a surging mass of sped-up doomy guitars and Anselmo’s array of screams and sceeches, anchored by goddamn tight drums and a catchy central riff. Or how about the creeping, downtuned guitar riff at the end of “Everyone Hates Everyone,” that stands out in stark contrast to the rest of the song? Melvins meets The Exorcist. Diabolus en Musica all the way, baby! People get hanged for this kind of thing!
“Fuck Your Enemy” boasts some awesome Stooges/Mudhoney boogie over which Anselmo lets loose a torrent of abuse. “4 Songs” is a brutal compressed song suite — a grindcore blast gives way to heavy Thorazine doom and maximum throat torture, which then segues into a wicked doom groove hybrid, and finally atonal hardcore-influenced swaggering, with a fucking awesome lyric segment: “If you were me/You’d be in luck/But you’re not/So you suck.” Actually, it’s more like “14 Songs,” there are more ideas in this number than most bands put into a whole album. “Ozena” starts out like the savage little brother or “Good Friend and Bottle of Pills,” but quickly shifts to a much heavier and scab-encrusted level, with Anselmo screaming about fatal sex all over the song. Probably my favorite song on the record.
The bonus demos are fucking nice as well, all muddy and muffled — “Starvation Trip” sounds like The Misfits crossed with Hellhammer, and “Little H” feels more like Saint Vitus creeping death with all sorts of zombie death moans.
Not for the faint of mind or heart — this one’s a goddamn hatecore classic. Eighteen tracks of schizoid doomthrashavantdeathgrindharddrugblues.