VARIOUS ARTISTS: Is It…Dead?: CD

Northwest powerviolence in its varigated forms. Lots of screaming. Lots of herking and jerking rhythms, where the vocals seem tend to be slower than the music. Some, “hey, that’s my scrotum in that tractor gear” vocals and esoteric topics of discourse, such as Teen Cthulhu, who release this head-scratching gem: “in this world without unicorns, we live in a world of electric light.” Personal faves, Bloodhag, pay homage to Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. (“simple, perfect text, unblemished by excess”). With Botch’s “Hutton’s Great Heat Engine,” I read along to the song, and couldn’t make out a single blooming word, but they made me think of the pain I get from listening to later Melvins. Raft of Dead Monkeys win best band name. Imagine an electric knife’s serrating a vocalists’ throat. That’s Akimbo, one of three bands with a song over four minutes long on this CD. There’s a band name here that looks like a vehicle identification number. It’s long. Even if I typed it, you wouldn’t remember it. Naha’s kraut rock, like Can – sythesizers, off-timing, and clinically fucked. Rounding out the lineup are: Homo Eradicus, Hollywood Mike Miranda, Old Rawler, and Hexadecimal. All in all, angry, angry stuff that makes me feel like punishing small cats, well, at least yell at them really loud and call them pussies and stuff.

 –todd (Sub Pop, Crash Rawk, Rock’n’role Play)