Record of the Week: SKELETON PARTY/RELIGIOUS SS DISORDER split LP
We know this record is not new, but we got this review submission that we couldn’t resist from Cryptic Josh, whose mad ramblings you may recognize from the Grand Rapids Is Screaming website at grscreamer.com and the band Corrosive Kids…
I’ve been kicking myself to write a review about this album by SKELETON PARTY & RELIGIOUS SS DISORDER for a long time, but I had to let it sink in. This album was released in 2010 and for the longest time Skeleton Party and different incarnations of RSSD have been a constant flashing blip on the radar screen of rock! My thoughts were to give the record a chance to surgical apply a tiny ear mite embryo into my cerebellum that would with time dissolve like Pepto Bismol and became host to my brain. When the record was finally through with my wasted, atrophied muscle, and the moment was tense with the hanging chad of hiatus, the record would rain down vomit of its own hell-bound volition onto the paper allowing people to see what a rare and raw decoupage it really is! There were some aspects I had to let collect on me like a fungoid-covered softball. I’ll admit there were times when I felt like a crime photographer flashing pics of a child’s spattered intestine writhing in flames incarnate, but the excitement I got from these roguish songs was virginal, and that’s what tells me that this split is worth shitting about.
To start off, each band provides a lyric sheet for a whole album’s worth of material: Skeleton Party’s side of the record is called Songs from Above, and I’m pretty sure RSSD doesn’t have a title for their album, though I could be wrong.
The rockers for Religious SS Disorder’s side are listed as Claire: vox; Corbin: drums; Matt: bass; Ryan: guitar; Mike: guitar. Right now, you can probably already see a storm cloud up ahead and predict a blizzard of battering guitar din and drum punishment… If so, your forecast is spot on! These stranglers of rock keep things at a dizzying out of focus pursuit! The band careens out of the speakers at pulsing jogs that speed and break down like a mad rooster running from a farmer with swinging hatchet that stops to peck at fallen seeds. Ryan and Mike’s guitars curve and twist like daggers doing the Watusi on exposed flesh! Chugging along with the spastic glee of a psychopath, they annihilate everything in their path, creating an impenetrable wall around Claire. Corbin’s drums act as a sealant, almost knocking in the nails of Claire’s exclusive coffin of sound that she inhabits. She agonizingly squawks from her isle of oblivion buried in a crevice of the mind’s eye — our lil’ eye boogers venting a myriad of personal grievances as well as societal beefs through her ear-splitting hardcore songs! If you’re a fan of Bikini Kill, the subject matter is of a similar stripe. A general disgust in surroundings, society, and the self, causing a ravenous thirst for change.
Although this is a grim record in scale, surprisingly, there were parts I found in the album (mostly towards the middle) where there’s this playful chiding amongst the screaming din. What is displayed is the uncanny balance of a wounded child and a fully actualized woman forcefully emerging through a womb slicked with acid! We the listeners are allowed to witness this primitive spectacle that leaves a crimson mess seeping off our record players…but who wants “pretty music” anyway??
On the flip side, Skeleton Party plunges into the naked spotlight with a humungous wrecking ball aimed at clearing a path thru senile urban communities. The subject they’re loosely attacking is the home, and they’ve somehow soaked each song with potent gasoline that clears the room of hubris leaving only a do-or-die mentality that keeps the viewer on the ragged edge of Skeleton’s razorblade wit! I really appreciate the schizo persona Kolin plows thru each song with, which serves to fully accentuate their driving goal to make the listener paranoid of everyday living, or at least question the method to this madness. I can’t help myself — I’m a sucker for art that challenges the listener rather then feeds them through a bulging incontinence pipe!
Each song by Skeleton Party employs powerful hallucinatory methods of digging hot claws in listeners and planting cat scratch fever for life. I see Skeleton Party in league with science fiction writers like Philip K. Dick, J.G. Ballard, or atmospheric post-punkers like Joy Division, Comsat Angels, or Flipper, but pursuing an entirely different tact that is unlike these arch-relics of a forgotten past.
Careening head into China, “Highway Patrolman” is a rhinoceros of a song that takes any and all bystanders on a crashing waltz with gaping roadside attractions. This song is the perfect mind-quake to usher us into the shadowy “comfortable” subject of “Sequel,” that quite soon is revealed to be not a damn comforting after all! We are assailed by this band with simple revelations that for some reason we’ve resisted. Houses crumble, and welcome mats turn to dust under their sparse, riotous guitars that uproot any notion of stability, leaving us very shaky in our most intimate of places. Maybe I’m a sadist, but I enjoy when a musician prods me to the point where the blood pressure becomes radioactive, and these rock doctors won’t let up! Roltsch’s keyboards rain down like measured lightening upon the slashing conductors of sound coming from the geetars. And believe me, the keyboards are thoughtfully arranged; this isn’t some fly by night hootenanny. These boys create an aura here that is unlike anything I’ve heard or seen. The shafts of bleeding light that are illuminated by each preceding song come in varied shapes and sizes, and by the time we’ve reached The Crossing” the revolving doors of the “Highway” and “Sequel” are still spinning like a shrink’s pocket watch as we’re once again engulfed by the nonsense inherit in housing… Excellently simplistic, well-laden lines like, “The front door creaks, it’s a signal, and my memory leaks all over the kitchen floor!” keep you far from casual as the Skeletons kick and thrash you through this caustic trip.
I will review no more, however because I want you to purchase said record! It’s up to you now, if you like rock ‘n’ roll there’s no other choice at this point. These bands have your number and they will hunt you down! Please insert record into any available orifice and enjoy the sacrificial burn it creates! Believe me, it will be worth every dime. For records please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or go to www.77records.net!!!
— cryptic josh