GG ALLIN & THE CRIMINAL QUARTET / DUANE PETERS GUNFIGHT, THE: Split: 7″

On one hand, you could tout this record as a well-deserved salute to two of punk’s more celebrated modern primitives. On the other hand, you could tack it up to yet another garish attempt to sell the gunk scraped from the toenails, clipped from the frosty cadaver of another dead-as-dirt rock star who is now bigger and more well-known in death than he was in life. That is not to, in any way, slight Mr. Duane Peters, but to put into sharp focus the likely truth that it’s GG’s rotting pudge that is the crackling fat behind the “sizzle” being sold here. But I suppose that all seems to have a badly burnt curl of cynicism to it, which is probably not entirely fair. Maybe this record really is nothing more than a celebration of two dent-headed, scar-decorated, half-cocked meat rockets determined to streak obscenely across the sky, crash, and finally implode in the absolute middle of nowhere and the craggy musical detritus they’ve left behind. I’m not sure why I wrote that last sentence that way or whether I really agree with it or not, but I’m going to leave it alone for now. Chances are that GG never regretted or even thought twice about the bubbling brown glop that burped out of his backside and splattered on the floor, so I’m going to adopt a similar attitude here. Reckless art deserves reckless criticism, if it deserves any criticism at all. And I mean that as a sort of compliment. While a declaration like that has all the stodgy pomposity of an Antonin Artaud or Guy Debord, this 7”, though dressed up as a sort of country-fried take on GG and Duane, is also presented as “art.” In fact, one of the two spoken word cuts here is a recording of GG himself waxing philosophic about what “art” means to him. I’ve listened to his take several times now and I’m still trying to figure out if I think it’s just the dumb flapping tongue of a desperate poop mime, or if it’s a cut-to-the core statement by an “art brut” performer stripped of all the typical pretentious baggage. All I know is that I agree with it more than I don’t. Duane’s spoken cut here is more or less a throw away comment about what he thinks about GG. Again, I don’t disagree with what he says, but it’s hardly illuminating. But no surprise there, as pretty much everyone knows that the thoughts that emanate from these two gentlemen have about as much profundity as the lint tumbleweeds in Johnny Paycheck’s navel. More important than any punk rock philosophizing, this record has two songs by GG and the Criminal Quartet and two songs by Duane Peters Gunfight. GG’s tracks sound like all the attempts at country you’ve heard from GG before. Basically, it sounds like drunken karaoke recordings made in GG’s motel room after a show, while he has a lamp shade on his head and piss on his breath and he croons off-key like a croaking salamander. Duane Peters has a tune called “Last Cowboy,” which is a rocker with a slightly country punk (Nine Pound Hammer) feel to it and is probably the highlight of the record. His other “tune” is called “Marry Me” and is a musical interpretation of a full-throttle booze stupor, complete with woozy slide blues guitar. It features the skate boarding legend sounding like he gargled with a thermos full of Tom Waits’s hacked up phlegm right before the recording was made. As it’s packaged here, we basically have the grubby miscreant spiritual grand kiddies of Hank Williams Sr., boozed up, narcotized, and making recordings they probably don’t remember ever making. And at a level several steps lower and seamier than any so-called “outlaw country.” This is more like “murderer’s row country.” These louts haven’t a speck of decency in them and there’s more dirt and grit in just one of their scabs than on the entire bodies of Waylon, Willie, and David Allen Coe put together. And for that reason alone, in this world oozing with turgid, jingoistic, corporate-teat-sucking sow bellies like Toby Keith, this is a dirty good thing.

 –aphid (Ponk)