Sunday, November 18, 2012

Hellride Music review of the PATHETICISM CD

Patheticism – S/T (Tsuguri Records) 
Jay Snyder

Holy shit, when I was wearing my Patheticism shirt a few weeks back, I never thought I’d be holding a proper release from the band in my hands shortly thereafter! If you don’t know who this band is, don’t feel bad. This menacing sludge/punk crew featuring Jon Cox (Seven Foot Spleen, Hanging Rotten, Stone of Abel, The Asound) and Scott Cline (Stone of Abel, Flat Tires, Seven Foot Spleen, Mountain of Judgment) were a shooting star affair; they released one song on the Destroys All Godzilla comp and vanished from the stratosphere. As it turns out, the group recorded 5 other songs during the Godzilla sessions that went unreleased until now…a real find for fans of that crusty, North Carolina bred grime/punk sound!

This shit is the real deal. My War era Black Flag run through overdriven fuzz pedals, stoner grooves, and a disgustingly fat, rock-based rhythm section. For being recorded in 2002, these songs haven’t lost a single brass knuckles’ worth of their punch… Opener, “Go Jet Jaguar (the only release song to my knowledge)” ram rods its way into a rousing, crossover curmudgeon; the thick, bluesy churns of the rhythm section locking into a doom hammered groove that’s eviscerated by dirge-y sludge riffs, caustically punk-influenced snare rolls, and sickly vocals screeches from Cox’s mangled larynx. Everything sounds ragged as hell, as if the tones were tossed in a bag, beaten with an ugly stick, and left to rot out in the midday sun. The tempos surge and stretch themselves out between punk and sludge, until settling on a vicious, Sabbath swing that’ll curl your toes up over your eyelids. “Shit Ritual” sweeps you off your feet with a vile, Scott Cline bass lick before discoloring the syrupy brew with a lunging, metallic riff that’s all huffed up on Motorhead, as Dave’s drumming strides a fine line betwixt straight-out metal and dingy d-beat. They break up the action admirably with blown-out, down-tempo sludge that’s as fuckin’ filthy as Buzzove*n but with bigger grooves and more fuzz on tap.

I could listen to “77 Told the Truth” on all day repeat; broken down, busted circuit sludge of the highest order that drunkenly stumbles its way into a back alley brawl equipped with shards of glass and bloody buck knives. There’s no shortage of cutthroat, stoner fluxed d-beat with breakneck, riff gutwrench here, and alongside the blood thirsty vocals the band positively machine guns holes through your brainstem. Surprisingly enough, “Eat Shit Pig,” trades squatter speed thrills for wave after wave of the fattest NC stoner/sludge around. The idea is simple; take the biggest blues riffs in town, cycle them relentlessly, and have Cox scream it into the ground while the drummer goes friggen bonkers. If other NC doomers from early Soulpreacher to Seven Foot Spleen butter your bread, you’ll be pigging out on this superb stench metal. “Dividian Polka” is more of the same, and all of the better for it…true sludge for fanatical fiends…somewhere between Lemmy, Iommi, and Ginn…fuck yeah! The band closes up shop with a withdrawal stricken rendition of Cherubs’ “Black House.” I fuckin’ love the Cherubs, and Patheticism do the original song justice, and pump it full of their own brand of shit sniffin’ sludge.

I’m damn glad Jon decided to excavate these songs for an official Tsuguri Records’ release. I never forgot about these guys over the years, and it’s a fuckin’ pleasure to have this demo in my collection. These cuts are raw, ratty, and rugged; showcasing individuals working at the edge of their game whilst shouting a big, “Fuck you,” to the rulebook. I’ll always be all about this stuff and that NC sound in general. Here’s an essential, long lost piece of the puzzle!

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