SPONTANEOUS DISGUST: C4 Suppository—A Love Sonnet in Plastique: Cassette

Jun 20, 2007

To be honest, I have no recollection of where I first heard of Spontaneous Disgust. My guess would be in some dingy downtown bar, knee deep in spent Sierra Nevada and Newcastle bottles and arguing the viability of punk rock as a direct challenge to the status quo with Yogi, Mike Guerrero, and some punter who thought the newest incarnation of the Misfits was relevant. Ultimately, I guess the particulars don’t really matter and are probably wholly fabricated by my somewhat addled mind. What is relevant is that one morning I woke up nursing a hangover and in dire need of a bowl of menudo to kill said hangover in its tracks and found this battered cassette with “Spontaneous Discgust” (sic) written on one side, wrapped in a strip of heavy sandpaper adorned with markered happy faces and mutilated stick figures and held together by a frayed blue rubber band. Although I had no recollection whatsoever as to where the tape came from, I assumed it probably came from a friend, as I found it stuffed unceremoniously into the inside pocket of my flight jacket. I plunked it into my tape player, pressed play, and sat for my first helping of the world’s only known crudo cure-all, and nearly had my head blown off of my shoulders when the music started. What was coming out of my stereo was not so much “music” as a complete assault on everything humankind holds sacred—a mélange of misery, frustration, and righteous anger wrapped around monster hooks and BIG beats. While it certainly contained all the requisites, it wasn’t easily classifiable as “punk” in the strictest sense—I mean how the hell can a band use a French horn in that way and still be called “punk”?—and any attempts to pigeonhole it in any of punk’s multiple sub-genres proved even more difficult. No, these guys were dealing in a whole new categorization and they were doing their damnedest to ensure they remained the ONLY residing in that neighborhood. The songs—“When I Think of You, I Know Why Mantises Kill Their Mates,” “Praise the Lord and Pass the Amniocentesis,” “Donner Dinner Party” and “The Mustard Gas Shuffle,” respectively—worked on a level I’d never heard a band, punk or otherwise, work on before, freely profaning every sense of decency imaginable without resorting to cheap shock tactics, all in the name of making a pointed statement about the hypocrisy of American culture and its glorification of violence as art. Needless to say, I was hooked. The tape lasted a grand total of seven listens before it inexplicably disintegrated, depositing a fine brown powder in my car stereo that I’m still scraping out these many years later. Years afterward, I learned that the tape’s short lifespan was intentional—part of the band’s desire to make their fans really WORK to hear them—and that it was only one of twenty-four that ever actually existed, but those seven listens were enough to hook me but good and ensure that I would remain a lifelong fan. Some thirty-eight releases later (eleven of which I’ve actually heard), they remain one of my favorite bands and C4 Suppository—A Love Sonnet in Plastique remains one of the greatest punk-oriented releases I’ve ever heard. Wanna copy? Good fucking luck finding one that works, kid.

 –jimmy (address lost in the mists of time)