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Reviews
Taint - Sex Sick
Saturday, March 01 2008 @ 01:00 AM PST
Contributed by: S:M:J63

Sex Sick

Artist: Taint United States

Title: Sex Sick

Label: Ajna Offensive United States

Genre: Power Electronics

01 Whores Don’t Come
02 Good Girl
03 Johns
04 The New Centurion (Ultra)
05 Repulsed
06 At Your Worst
07 Tramp
08 Ask for More
09 Low
10 Tricking Sick
11 Fuck Up

Keith Brewer (aka Taint) is a Texas-based power electronics outfit; here he provides us with eleven slices of sleazy psychotic nastiness. This isn’t your average run-of-the-mill power electronics assault though; rather than bludgeoning the listener with totally unbearable noise and excruciating digital whine (although these elements are there), this has instead a subtly unnerving and discomfiting effect through the use of minimalist and sparse instrumentation combined with appropriate voice samples and distorted vocals. It’s the sonic equivalent of the quiet twinkly-eyed next door neighbour who gives sweets to kids and helps out in the community but who actually turns out to be a twisted sadistic serial killer who has a dark secret in his basement....

Sex is one of those commonplaces that we routinely sweep under the carpet as if we are vaguely embarrassed about the fact that we indulge in it; and because of our reticence to acknowledge it for what it is (a joyful act), over the years a sordid shamefulness has crept in and given sustenance to a less than salubrious facet of sex that ruins lives, whether it’s because of the prostitute having to endure censure and opprobrium from those members of society who would wish it away; or that same prostitute having to put her life in danger every time she solicits for custom, not knowing whether the man she picks up is legitimate or a sick twisted little fuck; or the ever-present spectre of contracting AIDS or some other disease; or simply the uncomfortable reality behind many a closed door. This album reminds us most painfully that what for most of us consider a simple act of showing the deepest love for another is for others a rocky road to ruin, degradation and despair.

Some of this makes for deeply uncomfortable listening at times; quite apart from the high-pitched squeal of feedback and the explosive detonations, the grainy sandpaper noise, the seismic bass rumbles and the sharply delivered hate- and spite-filled vocals that sound like Brewer has been constantly gargling with the coarsest gravel imaginable, there are also revealingly disturbing voice excerpts, of a man talking about venereal diseases and underage sex, women gagging and choking after performing fellatio, a prostitute talking about her married customers, men paying schoolgirls for sex, the self-disgust felt by prostitutes for what they do in order to survive, and possibly the most harrowing of all, the woman who has reached the true depths of despair to the point of wailing incoherence coupled with a young woman talking about cutting herself in the pubic area. If these are the voices of real people then these recordings are all the more keenly and unsettlingly poignant.

This isn’t for those of a sensitive disposition or those who find the truth too uncomfortable or disturbing. Brewer challenges us all to take a good look under the carpet where all this human detritus is usually swept out of our sight, where it won’t upset the equilibrium of our safe comfortable lives, and to face up to the pin-sharp and painful chiaroscuro of reality. For my part I think it good to be both reminded and pushed in this way; it is perhaps sobering to realise that for some people out there this is their everyday reality and existence – I shudder, as indeed we all should, at the very thought.

One little observation to make note of: this CD does indeed comprise eleven tracks although there are only three actually indexed on the CD when put into the player.... beware the possible confusion....

     



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