review :: sutcliffe jugend :: pigdaddy :: cold spring
given the number of "extreme" acts that have stumbled in the footsteps of others, it makes me happy to think that there are still bands who seem to be able to make people angry. i don't mean music that gets people riled up, i mean artists who actually generate invective and fury. for years, sutcliffe jugend has been that sort of artist (and have seemed quite happy to spit vitriol back at their detractors). it seems that they generate an extreme reaction of one sort or another, often conflicting, but always a source for, ahem, robust dialogue.
in recent years, the band has branched out considerably from their power electronics roots, incorporating more guitars (possibly influenced by their own "bodychoke" project), which has had the effect of galvanising listeners even further. "pigdaddy" is only going to increase that divide.
whether or not you enjoy this album is going to be based largely on your personal tolerance for really, really wacky vocals. i don't mean standard p.e. vocals, i mean the far reaches of strange. because the album is suffused with kevin tomkins bizarre, confrontational, schizophrenic, histrionic vocals and if that's going to be a problem for you, turn back now.
if you think you can handle that, or if, like me, the idea of being ranted at by a violent escapee of a disreputable nut house off his meds makes you salivate, what you have is 45 minutes of squelching, grimy, visceral, at times glitchy sound. track titles like "filth" and "dirty" verge on a form of onomatopoeia. listening to the album gives me a distinct sense of what it would feel like to have my head shoved into the nastier parts of a pig sty (by aforementioned deranged escapee).
the end result is something that is not harsh in the way that, say, merzbow is harsh, but rather something that is difficult, challenging and demanding of the listener. people i know with more extreme taste in music than i have found it a daunting listen, which says more than i can about its level of originality. one way or another, the album is going to get a reaction out of you.
while i won't be throwing it on at a dinner party any time soon, i will say that i'm happy to revel in its glorious mud all by myself. because sometimes, you just need to wallow.