Record Reviews: October 1990
Local Music Reviews
Reflection of Things to Come
After seeing Slaughterchrist live many times, I knew what this tape held upon its reels: One of the heaviest, tightest bands to be unleashed from the depths of the Salt Lake Underground—a grinding, moving force that is destined to leave the weak-strewn in dying clumps out of pity. Those with real guts will find it a tasty palatable treat dished up in steaming servings for their consumption.
From the opening plucked, single notes of “Eyes of Hatred” to the last belting chords of “Revolting Death,” you are mowed over with brutality not unlike being hit by a speeding freight train. The music is a relentless blend of metal riffs tightly knitted together, with care and obviously know-how. Manic tempo changes move along smoothly over the gravelly vocals reminiscent of demon voices spewing forth from the little girl in The Exorcist. The lyrics ranged from their hatred for religion to the cruelty of vivisection, from cannibalism to Russian roulette. And, many other nasty topics that seem to light the flames that throw this beast into action.
The recording quality is grade A, which makes this all the easier to listen to. So if you like music that leaves you feeling mauled and weak, this is definitely the beast upon your back! –Chuckles
Victims Willing 7”
This piece o wax is so heavy that it should be pressed in cast iron! The incredible force of Victims Willing is well-preserved on this, their first single ever. Having experienced two of their masterful shows I was under the impression that no one could ever come close to catching the insurmountable amount of fury that is so unleashed during such performances. I am ecstatic in being proved wrong.
Raunch Records is indeed pretty hot and this is another first-class colored Vinyl pressing. Top-notch gatefold cover and excellent sound quality all add up to another release worthy of any record collector’s attention. Kudos to Brad Collins and crew for a fine effort indeed.
Yet this release is much more than excellent packaging, for it is the beauteous sheath from which an incredible group emerges. The two selections here, “Lost” and “Home,” are among the two of the finest compositions Victims Willing has produced. The furious attack of “Home” hits my residence hard with the steadfast power-bashing of drummer Derek Sterns, and the earnest vocals of Brad Baker. Within the structure of the song, the establishment crumbles, giving way to a lovely melody that builds a new foundation. The flipside, a ditty entitled “Lost,” pumps along at a tempo I’d consider quite capable of inviting the symptoms which accompany arteriosclerosis. Very few bands can boast the guitar work featured here, and for this Kelly Evans and Steve Hickock deserves high honors. Bass is really where it’s at, and Joe Jewkes does more than perform, he commands the instrument, making Victims Willing decidedly moshable.
With this release, Victims Willing not only manages to lay claim to some awesome territory but establishes its own identity. Few bands forge their own sound, and I can definitely say these boys have their own, no holds barred. Again I make my plea to support your Salt Lake scene. The bands here are incredible, and with the inspirational forces of guys like Hate X9 and Victims Willing, all of you should be proud such talent thrives. Such efforts deserve not to go unnoticed, and from what I’ve seen it won’t for long. –Charlee Johnson
Perfection Of Desire
When I first heard of this straight-edge thing, I figured that it was an organization of reformed homosexuals. You know, something like “I used to be bent over, now I’m straight-edge.” When I found out what it was and what it stood for, I figured I had it all wrong—it was actually for reformed heterosexuals. Besides, some guy came up to me at a show a while back, and noticing the buddy-boy brew in my drip, proceeded to stick his X-crossed hand in my face while screaming “Do you know what this is?” I looked at him and said, “Uh, something to help you remember which hand is your right and which is your left?” In my case, many champions of this movement went on to form some of the better bands, including Fugazi, Judge, and now Shelter.
For the uninformed, Shelter is the brainchild of Ray Cappo, former leader and spiritual guide for Youth of Today. After a five-year existence documented with three LPs, a recently released 7-inch and a handful of demos, Youth of Today came to an end amidst continual line-up changes combined with rock n roll’s second most popular excuse for disbanding: Artistic differences. Chief creative forces John Porcelly and Cappo split, resulting in two of what will probably be the most influential acts of the ‘90s. While Porcelly is dinking around with Judge, Cappo indulges himself nowadays on a quest for spiritual perfection through Shelter. –Charlee Johnson
Into The Mirror Black
The lyrics here tend to be quite philosophical and ethereal. As far as the music goes, these guys don’t fuck around. Extremely tight musicianship. It’s very fast, but they know how to control the tempo, unlike many thrash bands. It’s very progressive and some might refer to it as Bach-rock. All metal fans should purchase this one, a fine addition to any head-bangers library. –Sly and Wiz
If any of you remember the band Face or Mirror/Mirror from several years back, you will certainly be glad to know that some of the musicians from these outfits are still producing music. This cassette single is one of the best-produced cassettes I have heard in a long time—original, inventive and creative. With the distinctive vocals of Eric Boe and the innovative synth and guitar work of Michael Wood, these few songs make for a very good taste of what could come from this band.
“Shake It Down” is by far my favorite song on the cassette, but the other two songs are just as good. Their style is very difficult to categorize because of the many difficult flavors they have combined to gain the sound they have created. The tape is well worth hunting down to buy—pick up one.
After The Rain
After seeing this band perform live at Cinema, I was happy when I received a copy of the tape. The music is pretty good. It has some cleverly arranged songs with some good hooks that keep the music listenable. However, I found the most enticing thing about the band’s sound to be the vocals. Julie has an original voice that reflects the influence of the likes of Patti Smith, The Marine Girls and Lauri Anderson.
The tape gives a great example of what these cats are about. The tape includes a whole plethora of good songs that sound pretty good for a self-produced tape. Check it out sometime.