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Reviews
Prurient - Cocaine Death
Wednesday, July 01 2009 @ 03:00 AM PDT
Contributed by: Vargr Wulf

Cocaine Death

Artist: Prurient United States

Title: Cocaine Death

Label: Hospital Productions United States

Genre: Power Electronics/ Post-Industrial

Track Listing:

01 Pretext bahaman burial
02 Cocaine Death
03 Dog Of Addiction
04 Lay By Son
05 Garden Of Tranquility
06 Eve Of Adam
07 Historically, Women Use Poison To Kill
08 Postscript coke cunts


Prurient is a challenging and thoughtful artist who thankfully defies easy categorization. This is a compact disc release that contains three separate cassette releases that were all self-released by the performer, as well as an “unreleased diptych” titled Necrocolonialist that acts as bookending tracks for the record. For those of you who are not scholars of classical Byzantine and Roman art from Late Antiquity, a diptych is dual-paneled single piece of art, so it is logical that all three cassettes fall somewhat within the context of these two tracks, titled Bahaman Burial and Coke Cunts. These titles flesh out what is the most apparent theme of this release, the downward spiral of a femme fatale as well as the repercussions on the surrounding psychic environment. The cover of the release appears to be a photograph depicting a pretty young lady wearing some expensive-looking jewelry and desperately clinging to the tattooed arm of a blonde who is just out of frame. It looks like it was photographed from a television screen. Superimposed over her shoulder is a strange logo that resembles a spider web. In the accompanying booklet, there is a series of immaculately printed photographs (headlined with the phrase “That Sort Of Thing”) that appear to be taken somewhere in the Gulf Coast region of the United States. The atmosphere of trapped crabs, decayed palm trees, unlevel graveyards, rusty and decimated vehicles, and discarded containers for alcoholic beverages is unmistakably that of a storm-battered and destroyed community.

I was recently in Grand Isle, Louisiana, and was shocked to see teenage and preteen girls walking along the streets at late hours of the night wearing, to be polite, very unmodest clothing. There were several hotels and bars open on an otherwise abandoned strip of road. One of them, where the girls seemed to be emerging from, was called Daddy's Money, garishly displayed in bold print on a sign that was about fifteen feet wide in length. I spoke with a restaurant owner in the area who informed me that there were fights in the street every night, as well as these seemingly underaged girls walking around at night looking for men to drive away with. The men were mostly from the oil refinery nearby, and the cops turn a blind eye to the whole affair because their main job is providing security for the plant. It would be completely against their interest to bother the workers while they are getting their kicks, so the area becomes this strange sort of desiccated playground for these redneck hooligans. Another local informed me that what were formerly family events ten years ago are now very child-unfriendly due to public intoxication and nudity being rampant. The girls are likely from nearby communities, but who knows. This release does a lot to accurately express the decay and debauchery that come from this sort of territory on the earth.

As for the music, this is a dynamic and well-composed release that holds up very well on repeated listens. Largely, bass-heavy synth and keyboard melodies are the glue that holds together a wide range of very expressive ambient noise. This is particularly the case on the first track, the aforementioned Bahaman Burial, which has an underwater vibe that is cruel and morbidly appropriate. The vocals, when they come in, are flangered out to the point of sounding like a man thrashing about the bile filling his own lungs. Gasps of air between screams about “Man” “Wife” and “Children.” Great guest screams from FFH at one point, another excellent NY noise artist. Other parts of the record are more violent noise, other parts more synthy and pretty, but every track is totally solid and contributes to the whole in a major way. Nothing on this release sounds quite like anything else I have heard before. A particularly enjoyable release from a prolific artist.

     


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