detourn yourself! this shrieks. debord’s like a fucking spectre hanging over me just now. letterists got a fist in my ass working me like a ventriloquists dummy. yup mattins’ back. reductionally, indulging the destructive/restrictive rockist impulses of billy bao with a spewy fervour not seen since… okay not the last billy bao record (urban disease) but certainly may08.
see, unpredictability’s what i dig about mattin. urban disease was so beautifully unlike a billy bao record, defined by silence, lacking words. exquisite corpse is baoist in all but name. unredeconstructed rawk, spittle-flecked and foam-mouthed. lyrics that read like marxist/situationist pamphlets. and all wrapped up in a muss of violent concept.
this is a record as much about rock music as capitalism. putting the exquisite corpse as game aside, taking the words at face value, we’re looking at the bloated airbrushed near-zombie nonfuckerry of rock and roll as an artistic force, we’re looking at the (kinda) free market as ouroboros, devouring it’s own dead flesh. both theories impotent, like leatherface wildly swinging that huge dick chainsaw at thin air; the realisation a way of life’s coming to a(n) (un)climactic end. which makes this record such a goddam joy. fulla wild messy pep. an epinephrine shot to yr head/heart/gut/cock/cunt/feet. all the corporeal zones music should kick you in.
mattin and his savage chinese whisperers hack unsighted at the cadaver of rock and roll, blind men performing an autopsy on pre-post-bust-capitalism. a ten track three year old prescience of the carry-on-as-normal weekend at bernies school of economics. none of this fichtean dialectic and oppositional psychopathology would matter a tinker’s cuss if it wasn’t glued to to such (im)perfect, uncut (in every sense of the word) bash and clatter, if it wasn’t done with a fair bit of dry, dry panache. can’t help but like a fella who follows up the line ‘revolution through language’ with ‘i never wrote slogan songs’…
it started, in proper contrarian style, with mattin’s lyrics and voice. followed by kevin failure’s guitar and piano. then margarida garcia’s bass. and finally loy fankbonner’s drums. all recorded independently, without hearing the other’s part, with nothing to go on but words. the rules: one take, three minutes per track. no way back, said the man himself. fuck technique, fuck metre, fuck progression, fuck structure. it is what it is in this moment.
and the results? a wild, vicious thrash. songs, forever staggering at the edge, teetering on the cusp, threatening to fall spectacularly apart but somehow never succumbing to the ugly pull of gravity. vox that veer from croon to snarl to jabber. beats like hardcore that doesn’t quite know what to do with itself then suddenly remembers. fella on guitar pulling brutish gobs of skree and punctuation marks of semi-refined piano klang from the aether. buckshots of bass, aiming at nothing and hitting everything.
prefix avant-something / post-whatever all you like. it’s against itself. and at it’s core it does what rock music should do, but rarely does: refuse/resist.