Lubricated Goat Lubricated Goat The Great Old Ones (Reptilian ...


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Lubricated Goat has earned itself a reputation as a restless, constantly mutating organism. Since its late-80s Australian origins, something like 40-odd members have passed through its ranks at one point or another, which makes you wonder what sort of entity could suck people up and spew them back out like that. Many have gone on to other bands, while others have never been heard from again. One of them might be lying in a ditch somewhere. Another used to sell porn ads for this very paper. He was a nice guy.


If you were the driving force behind a musical chimera like this, you might find a challenge in distilling the work of about 15 years, several thousand miles and however many wayward souls into one album. But if you were Stu Spasm, you might just toss out everything that came before, tap the best musicians you could find who haven't run for their lives yet and re-record all the best parts.


And this would be a good move. The Great Old Ones pulls its tracks from seven previous, mostly unavailable releases and grinds them through the works of a whole new infernal machine. This lineup includes bassist Natz (ex Cop Shoot Cop), guitarist Ant (ex Spitters) and percussionist Hayden, who just wandered out of the woods one day, by one apocryphal account.


The songs themselves are surprisingly lacking in the self-aggrandizing badassery that one would expect from an underground rock legend. In the frothing roar of a deranged ringmaster, Mr. Spasm mostly describes the kinds of freaks and goings-on that might fill a panorama by Hieronymus Bosch, if only he'd had a better sense of humor?a failed suicide enjoys an unbreakable lease on life as a drooling vegetable, necrophilic overtures are lavished on something, cannibals find themselves at awkward social gatherings, the dead are not only damned to walk the Earth, but to get fag-bashed in the parking lots of fast-food joints. There's also a grating instrumental tribute to Ennio Morricone and a happy little number about seeing your rivals flounder in obscurity.


Various efforts to describe Lubricated Goat's sound usually involve the use of some of the stupidest phrases ever coined, even for record reviewers: spazz-jazz, scuzz-rock, noise-skronk. In lieu of speaking in tongues, I can only promise that guitars, bass and drums are played hard and well, and that they benefit from some refreshingly less-than-heavy-handed production. Even stripped of the gristle of brass that characterized earlier recordings, the songs and musicianship are strong enough to deliver the sort of aural cornholing that most jaded audiences so richly deserve. Lie back and enjoy.


?Morgan Intrieri


Feederz
Ever Feel Like Killing Your Boss?
Teachers in Space
(Broken Rekids)

As a college student, I found the Situationists' antipolitics, antiwork, antiboredom celebration of vandalism and esthetic terrorism quite appealing. Situationists were more fun than those smelly anarchists, and never talked about collective farms.


As a result, the two albums Feederz released in the 80s (finally out on CD for the first time) had an enormous impact on me?both the gleefully abrasive hardcore of Ever Feel Like Killing Your Boss? and the more eclectic follow-up, Teachers in Space (with its Challenger explosion cover art). Apart from the Pistols, the Feederz were the only band I knew of with any direct Situationist connections. While other punk bands from the same generation wrote songs about Reagan, Nicaragua and nuclear war, Feederz encouraged their fans to torch factories, steal everything and castrate bankers.


The big hit from Boss was a crude, snotty and hilarious anti-Christian track called "Jesus Entering from the Rear," but the other tracks on the album are what make it an interesting listen nowadays. Fact is, today the band might well be busted by the feds were they to record and release these essentially pro-terrorist songs. Given all the changes we've witnessed over the past couple of years, it's interesting to hear a band sing, "You know you're well-adjusted if you don't seem to mind the cops are always around."


Frank Discussion, the Feederz frontman and braintrust, has a harsh and nasal voice that has been compared to Jello Biafra's more than once (though I find it much more grating). And on Teachers in Space, he shrieks his Situationism in what almost amounts to a concept album.


Teachers opens with a clip from The Twilight Zone (in which a magic mirror tells a woman that her life is utterly inconsequential), followed by an endless list of consumer products read over a harsh bass track. Then Frank appears to perform a musical rendition of Lewis Carroll's "Lobster Quadrille." In the songs that follow, he encourages people to quit their jobs, set fires and destroy all the values they've been trained to hold dear. Despite the extremely cynical and utterly incorrect nature of the songs on both albums, all he's doing here, really, is encouraging people to think for themselves, lead interesting lives and not buy into all the crap handed out by the media, the government and the schools. That, and kill ex-girlfriends. It's a manifesto, yes, but a funny manifesto, and a much-needed one in this day and age. I got over my Situationist fling pretty quickly, but I still love these records.


For those technologically equipped, the new disc also contains video of an infamous 1987 live show in which Discussion fires an AK-47 into the crowd.


?Jim Knipfel


Zebrahead
MFZB
(Red Ink/Egg/Columbia/Sony)

Most Precious Blood
Our Lady of Annihilation
(Trustkill Records)

I grew up in the sticks, so before I was exposed to any "officially" underground/alternative/progressive music, there was heavy metal. Old-school metal. Hallelujah. Nowadays, punk rock has been so fully whored out that it's little more than this decade's metal. In one corner, we've got the flashy yet vapid crowd?today's Poison, Warrant, latter-day Cre and, sorry to burst anybody's bubble, Guns n' Roses. These are the bands that can sometimes surprise you with depth and musicianship, but are mostly just slinging product and a bullshit bad-boy image?Good Charlotte, the Ataris, Blink 182. Punk in dress but not in sound or attitude.


In the other corner there's the stuff that will piss off your parents, make your ears bleed and probably turn you on to even weirder shit later on. When I was 14, that was Slayer, Godflesh, vintage Anthrax, etc. They seemed to be genuinely angry mutants who don't care if they get on MTV. Today we have... Well, who knows? Because stuff like that still can't get played on the radio. But it seems to have filtered into the hardcore scene.


Speaking of radio play, Zebrahead's MFZB sounds a whole lot like the Offspring mixed with Sublime and real radio-friendly Rage Against the Machine. It's a shame the CD is that easy to compare, categorize and dismiss because lyrically they're several IQ points above the rest of the useless heap (if there weren't so many damn love songs). The bouncy ska bass lines, simple chords, rap-rock backing vocals and over-reliance on (ugh) high-note pick slides scream out "commercialism," and they're on Columbia/Sony subsidiary Red Ink, so whaddya expect? It's clear these guys cut teeth on 80s suck metal.


Most Precious Blood's Our Lady of Annihilation is not trying to be commercial. They're part of the new pack of hardcore bands that have lifted the machine-gun beats and chugging chords of 80s/90s speed- and death-metal, using their guitar sound to simulate an aerial bombing assault with throat-searing guttural vocals to match. You can tell some of 'em must have been Catholic kids, but they've spared us the inverted crucifixes, and new vocalist Rob Fusco is an improvement over his screamier predecessor.


Unfortunately, for such arrestingly bludgeoning, apocalyptic music, they don't seem to have much of a program. Fusco howls and gargles with conviction without having much to say, making Zebrahead's fuzzy diatribes against society seem concise by comparison. (Then again, those Anthrax lyrics seemed a whole lot smarter when I was 14.) Of these two releases, Our Lady is the better and more challenging album, but it would've been nice for the band to deliver a complete package.


?Philip Henken


Plastikman
Closer
(Mute Records)

Upon receiving the new Plastikman CD in the mail, I spent a fruitless quarter-hour or so clawing at the package, in the desperate hope that I might be able to extract the disc from its airtight packaging. For some unknown reason, the powers that be at Mute records decided to enclose the Plastikman album in a sleeve that, while attractive and unusual, thoroughly cocoons the CD in such a way as to make it near-impossible to remove. In the end, after a number of paper cuts and enough off-color language to frighten my elderly neighbors, I succeeded in prying the CD from its casing, upon which I discovered myself facing much the same problem in a slightly different form.


Plastikman, the occasional nom de plume of electronica idol Richie Hawtin, is best known for his acclaimed 1998 album, Consumed. This release, featuring an emphasis on vocal tracks unusual for his work, is, I'm sorry to say it, a tremendous bore. The title implies an intimacy that the profoundly chilly music resolutely shies away from. I would recommend this album for use by insomniacs, except some of the tracks create a rather frightful racket that would be somewhat less than conducive to counting sheep. The spare tracks consist mostly of programmed, repetitive drums, with little other instrumentation, and the occasional robotic/demonic vocals, courtesy of the Richmeister himself.


Hawtin is a talented musician, as evidenced by 2001's DE9: Closer to the Edit, but his ability to create a memorable or unique sound is entirely absent here. Closer sounds like it was made by a team of robots?and not in a good way. On the whole, Closer sounds like it was recorded by your kid sister on her brand-new iMac its first day out of the box. Any musical pleasure to be derived from the album is so tightly enclosed within the framework of spartan minimalism that Closer should be used as a punishment device for naughty kids. "No more of that terrible Plastikman, mommy?I promise I'll be good!"


?Saul Austerlitz





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