Everything about this release seems to slap me silly with a
symbolic rubber chicken. The Cosmic Joke holds forth, I look
for well over a year for Sudden Infant releases in reputable
(and preferrably disreputable) record stores, find nothing…
so I contact Senor Sudden Infant who puts me in touch with
the chief gardener at Blossoming Noise who dropped two CDs
at KFJC weeks before in the mitts of the Dominic Trix-ter.
In holding this release, I have the epiphany that the band
name carries with it an implied Death Syndrome (keeping
in merciless murderous manner of too many noise bands) but
then I learn I am wrong as can be, it deals with the man
behind the mixer being dealt a parent card much earlier on.
Sudden Infant bringing a sea-change in his proto punk
career. And toss in Aleister Crowley artwork (oh man
that brings back a weak Page in the old Zep attic).
But the hell with all of that, the Joke Lanz is upon me,
and this is a fantastic noise release that is not by the
numbers in any way, shape or deform. The cuts that feature
Annie Stubbs’ voice are stellar, something about her sonic
presence complements Lanz so well. The initial track a
hypnotic beckoning into the audio inferno is shattering.
“Angelic Agony” burns first and then is a backwardsy and
beautiful spin on the power of a canine golden shower? A
dog of another sort (Cerberus?) turns up panting on “In
The Palm of Darkness.” Annie gets some white-knuckle
screaming going on “Putrified Puppet Master” and “Tandoori
Chicken Scooter II,” on the latter Joke provides a beat
that sounds like someone punching a pumping heart. “Nag
Nag Nag” could be the best punk song ever if it wanted to.
“Sonic Claustrophobia” is a nice showcase of Joke’s sense
of headphone headfun. “The Serpent and the Rainbow” is a
soft zombie wading in water, “Monks of Venus” shows that
transcendental meditation can also *cause* violence. If
Roxy Music fans make it to the end, they’ll be pleased by
the closing cover but only if they go through and enjoy
the variation of this entire album. There’s a lot of
breadth and breaths here…I’m hard-pressed to pin down
why this strikes me as a work of genius, but it sure as
hell does strike me. Again and again…please.
Don’t make me beg…
As tremendous as this is, something tells me babysitting
the Sudden Infant for *live* performance tops it all!
Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on
July 19, 2007 at 12:03 am
Filed as A Library,CD
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