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Sunday, 16 January 2011

Are You Excitements? (CSSO- Are you excrements? 2001)

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It was probably around 2002 when I first heard CSSO and I still recall the initial reaction: WHAT? WHY? WHAT IS THAT WEIRD GUITAR SOUND? THE FUCK? and WHAT DOES CSSO EVEN MEAN?

At this point I had seen bands like Napalm Death but having just lived through the atrocities of the Nu-Metal wars (1998-2001) I was pretty much off my heavy sounds. Right off them in fact and totally digging the Japanese Harsh Noise kings (Masonna, Merzbow etc) and slap bang in the middle of a serious prog habit (sue me).
So basically getting back into a bunch of juvenile screaming and chugging seemed unlikely.
But not impossible; this band offered a way to combine the exuberant psychosis of the first-wave grind I had known with the experimental and playful approach inherent to much noise music.
Written down I will admit that it sounds like a terrible proposition, (tantamount to that most profane of punk crimes: not taking nastiness seriously) but this music is as lousy as it is brilliant, a garish microwave dinner thrown at the wall of understanding.

CSSO produce the kind of incongruous marriage of ideas you only get from somewhere else. Somewhere not where you are from. Somewhere good.

The tracks on are you excrements? sound as if a resurrected zombie Elvis has been forced to record a comeback extra special 5000 years hence, when only fuzzy grind is popular for some frankly tenuous reason.
Frequently the music farts itself out into a squelchy synthy coma that pratts about for ages, only to suddenly explode into feedback-drenched riffing ala guitar wolf and monstrous gurgly splatter vocals.
Many of you will not like this stuff, there is much more stupid dickerey and much less blasting than some of the band's earlier work however it's just full of amusing/ genius/ dumb ideas; perhaps a retarded cousin of fantomas or melt banana that is by some cruel twist better looking than either and thus the object of my affections.

ABOVE: Some dudes, taken from the CSSO myspace page so it's BOUND TO BE THEM.

One of the best elements of CSSO's sound on this album are the crazily wah-wahed guitars. They take a rather nasty and cheap guitar sound, distort that in a bad and fizzy manner and then as if THAT isn't enough they proceed to wah them all over the place. Often the left and right channel are being wahed out of synch and it's a wonderfully disorienting experience, scuzzy knives of axe skronk slashing you up and down and in and out.

I'll hazard that the name 'are you excrements' is a reference to Hendrix's 'Are you experienced' as many elements of the production (not just the guitars) are sort of psychedelic and trippy, especially the long bonged-out jams that are left when the blasting subsides. It leads one to wonder just what a certain J. Hendrix would have made of this appropriation but DONT WORRY KIDS I've engaged the services of a well-known clairvoyant (who's name must remain a secret) just so we can find out OK LET'S TRY THIS:

HENDRIX'S GHOST: awww hey man, what's up?

LUKE ORAM: hey J (I call him J), just wondered what you made of the weird you-isms used by the band CSSO on their album 'are you excrements?', especially the track 'Mental Rape'?

HENDRIX'S GHOST: it's an honour dude, up here in heaven ALL MUSIC has blastbeats. Anyway I gots to fly, band practise with Mieszko Talarczyk

UNNAMED CLAIRVOYANT: EEEUUURGH the ghost of Hendrix has left me, that'll be 300 Euros.

ABOVE: dead dudes dig the grind.

Well there we have it, CSSO and the soul of Dad's favourite proved beyond doubt that the basic blocks of grindcore CAN be used to make some things far beyond the scope of their creators. And that occasionally they SHOULD be used as such.
If you have any problems with that, or with any of this sarcastic nonsense please leave a comment TA TA.

Other greb I went on about:

**I don't think I need to link to Elvis, Hendrix or ND**