posted on 1/2006 By:
It’s something of a reviewer’s cliché to cite an album’s sense of ‘fun’ as its redeeming quality. Can’t figure out how to explain why you would like a silly derivative death metal album or stale thrash disc? Ensure the reader that the band in question’s lack of originality is compensated for by their ‘energy’ or ‘eagerness to entertain’ or some other such euphemism and you’re golden. Of course, any reader with half a brain will quickly figure out that this is all journalistic shorthand for “it’s not remotely inventive but I like it anyway, so suck me.” Well, taking this into account, I’m gonna come right out and say it: Splatter’s S/T debut comes with my seal of approval because I fucking like it. Not because it’s mind-blowingly heavy, not because it’s a dazzling display of innovation or technicality, but because I think it’s a blast to listen to.
Fusing punk and hardcore in a manner that has less to do with As I Lay Dying than it does with a decidedly more upbeat version of Cursed, this Vancouver act rip through a few too many brief percussive charges on their first disc, and they manage to do so with punk-rock intensity and sneering humor. The primary ingredients at work here are melodic, heavy-duty punk a la Tragedy combined with some death metal weight and an extremely Helmet-esque groove sensibility (just take a listen to the bowling-ball riff from “Claustrophobic”). This foundation largely serves to stabilize and provide reference for vocalist CM, who can generate a typical metal scream with ease while primarily exerting her energies via rough-‘round-the-edges singing. CM can also summon up a serviceable balladic croon when called upon to (“Broken”), but her prime entertainment value comes from some very funny lyrical assaults. “Penis Envy,” “32-22-32,“ “Bitch” and “Skanky Doodle” are all attacks on modern gender politics, from etiquette to absurd standards to straightforward cathartic vocal explosions. On top of that, Splatter features one of the fastest and probably the best cover of a Blondie song ever recorded for a metal album (“Call Me”).
Splatter aren’t really trying to subject themselves to any sort of deep analysis and so I’ll oblige the band’s wishes and keep this short. Here’s a band who hardcore enthusiasts or crossover fans will find both musically satisfying and hilarious, while metal purists will reject this out of hand for not being straightforward inverted-cross blasting death. Meanwhile, those with a healthy appreciation for the genres involved will enjoy the raging punked-out songs-structures as well. General instrumental competence and some high-class Lucas McCan soloing are the icing on the cake. I’d advise the reader to enjoy this one for a quick laugh and some headbanging, but I would also caution the same reader to be aware that his own stylistic preferences might make this release nearly impossible to withstand.
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