Sunday, March 1, 2009


Dystopia 'The Aftermath' 1999, Life Is Abuse

My komrades, greetings. This week I will try and tell you all about something called The Aftermath. Oakland,California negative-core(yep) lords Dystopia put this out in 1999 as their second and for a while thought to be their final album. Ah damn how can I find the words for this one. In short, this record here is in a whole other realm of unfuckwithable/can'tfuckwithit, it is 'retarded' as my homeboy Charles says. Releasing albums is not about competition between bands, for that would be dumb and whatnot, but goddamn if this joint doesn't smash the shit out of everything ever. Dystopia are one of a kind and this is straight up their pinnacle. Their style of crusty metal sounding sludge punk or whatever was as sociopolitical/misanthropic as it was brutal. Their sound is one of the most on point coherent blasts of genuine human frustration and hopelessness that has ever made it to record, and that is a big deal because damn, how easy and common is it/has it been through the years to sing about death and human suffering and put a whole bunch of terrible imagery on record covers and wear black all the time and sound all dark or whatever, but really have nothing going on beyond the fashion-ized and conformed aesthetic that those groups have always had. You know? That shit is fucking blown out and is oversaturated and is hollow, it is worthless. Having said that, this is the real shit right here. Anguish on record, radical and honest ,emotive politics and releases of total rage that are delivered with an authentic truth and personal hatred that lets you know that it is real. You can tell when that happens on record, the 'real shit' amongst thousands of fake ass attempts to be cool in surrounding themes with an empty nothing. The lyrics expose a persons inability to cope with the sum of all negativity or evils that we know to exist in this world. From direct experience of awful situations as well as more general politics, Dystopia put forth the 'Love Earth / Hate People' idea and every release of theirs was consistent with that approach through their span. The drummer Dino Sommese does much of the vocals while also putting down, in my opinion, the illest fucking drumming that ever happened on a sludge/crust record, period. The very downtuned/delayed guitar and murky bass rhythms mirror the scathing drum and vocal ferociousness, this is what makes it to ill. And if that wasn't enough, they have a whole noise component that includes a sample prowess that rules so much, not only does it play a huge role in Dystopia's sound but it tops samples occurring on many albums that do that whole thing. Uniquely harsh,strange music, fucked up tempos and such memorable songs, really what I am getting at is that the whole package of what is Dystopia, is so complete and thorough, it yields nothing but awe and no room for criticism because it is just that thought out. I've intended to write about this record for months but each week I've opted for something else, mostly because I realized early on in the review thing that only the most honorable words would be able to do it even the tiniest, remotely minimum praise that I feel The Aftermath ought to receive. Anyway. The Aftermath itself is only four songs on one side of a 12", that has the most excellent etching that ever happened on a record on the opposite side. But the CD contains much more material recorded earlier that appears on the Backstabber 7" and splits with Skaven and Suffering Luna, back in 1995. Though it is a compilation of sorts, the record bangs through each of the 12 tracks with the sound and force of an album that paralyzes you. Both the 12" and Aftermath CD are crucial to your collection, or at least to your listening, if you like reading this column. And check out their first and also what became their final release, Human=Garbage(1994) and Dystopia(2008) because obviously, they both stomp ass, they both really fucking rule. But for me its all about The Aftermath. As is indicated by the insane etching on this 12", the packaging and layout of all of their their vinyl releases are just proper- twelve page color booklets, stickers, fucking razor blades(on the early releases), how it should be. This is from Self Defeating Prophecy, "What is wrong with me?/ why can't I think straight?/ I'm lost/ because I think too much/ about misery, of life, no esteem from prodding eyes/ My confidence/ mistakes, scarred to sleep or stay awake/ Nails dig into my head/ tossing and turning in my bed/ biting my lips,bloodstained mouth/will I end up dead,or can I digest it all?/ This shit I'm fed/ endured for so long/ I am surprised that I've made it this far/ In my lifetime/ I watch people waste their lives away/ it makes me sick/ to think I could end up like them/ But I won't."

and this week,
its all about tha Benjamin baby

- snow. that's right our neck of the woods (the east coast) just got blasted with trillions upon trillions of those delicate little flakes. This is by far the largest outpouring of heaven's lil' bleach that i have experienced as a resident of the south and i cant help but ponder the psychological implications of a fresh blanket of fluffy newness not only on the individual but the larger polity. That goes double down here (the south) where people are unaccustomed to snow and as a result have no clue what to do with their shit when it happens. I had not strayed but maybe 100 ft. from my front door this afternoon before i discovered a damsel in distress, a young lady who through some miracle of Newtonian physics managed to get her car stuck on railroad tracks. If that is happening in my back yard I can only imagine the bedlam that is currently going on out there. Still and all snow is like some of the dopest shit on the planet and I'm glad its here.

- birthdays - i've got one, you've got one, we've all got one. You get to do what you want all day long and anyone who doesn't like it can kiss your ass. And then it hits you that you can have this much fun all year long, everyday. And then you are like the shit for a week. And then you forget. But before you become a total douche again your character changes in some small yet fundamental way. At least I think that's how it works.

- drea - my cat. sleeping on my lap as i type. surely dreaming of the snowflakes she's gonna chase next time i open the door. that is some cute shit.

- typing "blogspot" in google after the name of some music you want - works like 95% of the time. takes less than five minutes usually downloading at or around 500 kb/s. a little trick shown to me by none other than archbishop zarlacc von xarlacc the destroyer. almost like being back in the napster days.

- abelton - i thought this program fucking sucked and was only for wieners for a long time and then i used it one time and discovered i was very wrong. The ability to slowly and seamlessly mold your music over long periods of time gives one the megalomaniacal feeling of being equal parts phillip glass and charles darwin.

- projection televisions - why settle for a 50-inch screen when you can have one that is 8-feet? My crib in Athens comes equipped with one of these joints and i can honestly say after experiencing it i will never go back to non-projection screens again. nvr.

- the ramsey center - i kind of wish i was there right now. so many people all trying to accomplish their various athletic goals, all looking so goddamn good. there are a lot of aspects of being a uga student that i find very lame, the existence of the ramsey center (and the beautiful babies inside) almost single-handedly makes bearable the unbearable whackness of uga.

- pharoah sanders' "karma" - this is a good one to try that blogspot thing on. This is an absolutely beautiful record that will take you from the heights of flight with enormous biological organisms in the stratosphere to the depths of being digested by an unholy sow in some sulfuric hell. this is some intense shit but if you listen to it, it will reorganize your neurons in a way that will allow you to do "powder" like shit in no time.

- burritos - i know of no more efficient way to ingest food than by putting it all in a big pile and wrapping it in a flour tortilla which can be carried around with you wherever you may roam. to make matters even better all one has to do is put a little tobasco brand chipotle pepper sauce on whatever type of burrito you may have for an instant taste sensation. make big burrito success!

- top ten lists - these lists are always real good cause i always get good ideas or like get some kind of new perspective on shit that makes me realize how our thoughts and energies are like all connected in this big field and how the lines of demarcation from individual to individual are really not all as cut and dry as we sometimes suppose... alright enough of my rambling. yall need to go outside and throw a snowball while you can.


heated mammal said...

I have to agree that this record fucking (excuse my language, weak humanity)rips. It is pretty much the sound a strip mine would make if topography could lament its demis at the hands homo sapiens. And, yes Xarlacc nailed the hit on its head, the drummer earns double beastliness creds on skins and vox.
As far as top ten goes, I wish I would have seen some of that snow. Somehow Chattanoo missed out and only got blasted with cold rain and wind, which is not fun at all. Also, kudos to working "Top Ten lists" into a top ten list. I wish Id've done that.

30cent said...

man karma is an awesome record. everything pharoah sanders and leon thomas did in that era was excellent...