Sexual Savior (Kachina Records)
Neal Smith, known in their world as the Rock ‘n’ Roll Realtor and our world as drummer in the classic Alice Cooper band lineup, is back with a perplexing, decadent, rumbling noisy album and band concept sure to ruffle some feathers. How can I describe this? Well, the guitars are gut-bucketed, and for that matter, so are Neal’s vocals and even his drum production, down a Jack Endino/Steve Albini dark alley toward another little known ‘kill’ band, Killdozer. Or maybe Godflesh and Butthole Surfers. And then Neal turns in colourful, plentiful, wildly entertaining, sex and violence-drenched lyrics, in a sort of ragged, admonishing, world-weary bark, the voice of a man resigned to hell. To be sure, there’s some Alice Cooper to this, but also The Cramps, Snowy Shaw’s under-rated Notre Dame project, Bronx Casket Co. and even Gwar. Not sure I can embrace these repugnant frequencies with any sort of “pleasure,” but I do find myself drawn to its resolute, amusingly imbecilic lope – there’s a weird navel-gaze to Smith’s unrelenting beats. And I’m impressed by the bravery of, well, about 666 aspects of this, the most abstract and arty being the crackhead drum sound and the choice to go completely ego-less, Smith turning in a simple bash, the only line possible for such stark musicks. My grade is completely un-utilitarian, in that I’m likely in a lonely spot – most people are either going to hate this, or conversely be completely sucked into Smith’s hedonistic, junk-strewn, doomed to damnation world created.
Martin Popoff [7.5]
Martin Popoff, PO Box 65208,
358 Danforth Ave., Toronto, ON M4K 2Z2