CAUSTIC – Unicorns, Kittens, and Shit

CD Reviews 10 Jun 2006

causticcover2CAUSTIC – Unicorns, Kittens, and Shit

(2006    CrunchPod)

It helps to have friends in high places in the music business (or low places, depending on how you perceive the industrial/powernoise scene).  You never know when you’ll need them to tell everyone how much you suck in an attempt to help your CD sales.  At least that’s how Caustic sees things.

Caustic, aka local concert promoter Matt Fanale, is also a comedian and member of the Atlas Improv group.  So when the opening track (prophetically named “This Track Will Get Skipped a Lot”) of his first full-length CD, amorously entitled Unicorns, Kittens, and Shit, features a music-less collage of some of the biggest names in the industrial music scene across the globe accusing him of massive suckage and having homoerotic tendencies, you just have to take it with a grain of salt.  After listening to the first track, or skipping it, you get to judge for yourself if what is claimed in the inaugural track is really true.

If sandpapery noises rhythmically mashed together in such a way as to cause ear bleeding and put one in an extremely stompy mood is your kind of thing, or if you’re partial to the sounds of machinery when rabid squirrels get caught and crunched up in the gears, then this CD will smash you over the head with a bottle of malt liquor in a way that you will appreciate.  It’s an ode to the harder edge of 80’s-style industrial while gazing forward at the mostly vocal-less powernoise fad that overdoses on movie samples and is slowly infiltrating the darker dance clubs on all corners of the planet.  Visceral and ghetto, its enough to give anyone painted with Cure makeup smears from crying.

The admittedly skippable track isn’t the only one where Caustic sent out a global beacon for assistance from other established artists.  “Burn” is a disturbingly creepy collaboration with Columbia-born Manufactura while Severina X Sol, a Los Angeles resident of Diva Destruction and Cylab fame, lent her voice to two of the songs (Fanale’s own growly voice is absent from the disc).  The general lack of vocalization on the CD is compensated with funny song titles, such as “Emmanuel Lewis Handjob” and “Hitler Ruined That Mustache for Everyone.”  The most mosh-able ditty is “Mmmm Paperscraper I Love You,” a title that mocks the well-known Underworld tune with a similar name while bitch-slapping you repeatedly with the sample “tell me about my uterus.”  

The original release date for UKS was supposed to be in March but there were censorship hurdles (see the “Street Power” column in the April issue of this mag). The record company he initially signed with went belly up, and the first shipment of CDs was accidentally sent to the wrong side of the continent.  On the bright side, if there was one, it delayed the release until the ominous date of 6/6/06, the favorite number of a certain beast.  If you’ve seen Caustic live, then you know that this disc will be best enjoyed while pounding down a couple of bottles of your favorite 40 oz malt-brewed beverage.

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About the author

Sean Bunny

Sean has played drums for Outhouse, Pubic Stubble, B.O.R.D., Exploding White Mice, and Urn. He was a producer and engineer for WORT's Access Hour for several years and currently DJs once a month for the Inferno's Punk Rock Wednesdays. He has been a contributor to Rick's Cafe, Dane101, and Local Sounds Magazine.

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