Archive for August, 1998

Hell Is Other Bands

Wednesday, August 19th, 1998

by Ann Marlowe

August 19 – 25, 1998

My first thought, entering CBGB for the first of “two nights of crust, grind, and doom at the birthplace of underground rock,” was, How fucking refreshing. A club in the East Village where no one is wearing Prada. And now that cute eclecticism is the order of the day, a monolithic aesthetic might be purifying, like a Color Field painting or one of those meditation rooms recently featured in the Times‘s Home section. CBs was packed when Anal Cunt went on, and in a classic speedmetal moment bandleader Seth Putnam leapt into the audience the first song out. Only his fans were shouting for “Song Number Eight,” which authentically dates back to an early album: as Anal Cunt’s transgressive / “transgressive” name suggests, they’re a takeoff on conventional metal’s literalism–one album, Top Forty Hits, has 40 (extremely brief) songs. But they also begin from the fact of pain, and how you make art that acknowledges pain but gives pleasure. And they’re hilarious. One song intro went: “The street life in New York is rough… I’ve bought Biohazard albums, I know what it’s like”; another, “This song is called ‘Face It, You’re a Metal Band,’ and it’s about Brutal Truth.” The burly, beer-bellied singer asked, “How many of you have weight-loss problems?” by way of introducing “Body by Auschwitz.” (more…)