record review

MUTANT SCUM • self-titled LP

Mutant Scum • Mutant Scum LP

Handstand Records

Mutant Scum

This album came with a sheet of other reviewer’s online reviews and I tore that paper to shreds. I really didn’t want to read about what other people thought for two reasons.

Reading music writer’s written reviews nauseates me (and yes, I’m aware of the paradox). I like the reviews at Bad Transfer because I know the folks and trust their opinions. I was turned off by reviews years ago due to reading too many verbose nonsense descriptions of the music. Know what I mean? I really can’t take shit like “the guitars sound like orphans toppling down a flight of stairs to the back beat of thundering hail storms” et al. = gross

Why include other reviews with a review copy? You want to see if I can measure up to Rolling Stone or Metal Headache or whatever/whoever you also sent this to? Guess what, I can’t because A: This is not what I do for a living. I love music and I pinch these reviews into my free time between being a dad, husband, friend, employee and other slivers of everyday stuffs. B: I don’t think for a second that my words will in any way sway a person (you) into picking this up because I either like it or hate it. I’m betting that you’ve already decided.

So, here’s what is going on for me with this Mutant Scum LP. I really dig the cover of this. It harkens back to the days of high school art projects and my youth’s fascination with global nuclear devastation and whatever is left of humanity being forced underground to live. Seeing this cover, I was transported back to 1984 when I watched the Toxic Avenger for the first time with my friend Matt Kinney. Off the bat I’m intrigued so I took my iPod, wiped it clean and replaced the 10,000 songs with this Mutant Scum LP. I had around 8 hours of solid flight time booked for work so my plan was, that for 4 hours in each direction, I was going to immerse myself into this record and write the review on the plane. I didn’t do that. I tried to but I ended up turning it off and staring out the window for part of the time and watching part of the Dora the Explorer movie for the remaining time in transit. I was later in a hotel and able to sit down and get into this without distraction. Sound wise this a metal/thrash/sludge record. After I really opened up to this I started to get into it and following the arc of the album. Mutant Scum started
to remind me of the Cocteau Twins. OK, hear me out, not in sound insomuch but in the way that the singer of Cocteau Twins, Elizabeth Fraser, doesn’t sing words but she sings sounds and melodies over the instruments to add an entirely new depth to the music by using the voice as an instrument for conveying urgency and emotion without words. And Mutant Scum are doing the same thing! How cool is that! Mutant Scum is the Cocteau Twins of metal and thrash and sludge. Or so I thought. When I got home and pulled open the gate fold, I saw all of the lyrics to the songs. They are mostly about radiation, wizards, blood mentioned a few times, demons, slime and sludge, and did I mention blood? Oh, and they sing about skin problems such as melting off, mutilation, discolorations, itchiness, scars, all the usual skin problems, a dermatologists dream come true. Well, I guess they don’t mention sun burn but that is probably because they do sing about how cloudy it is all the time.

I have a great appreciation for anyone that is willing to put something out into the world. The time to build and practice the songs, create and articulate the vision, and the monetary investment totaled with the other points is commendable. This isn’t quite my thing but it certainly has a place in the world, or at least the underworld, or the world after global nuclear disaster when we’ve crawled from the sewers and relearned how to make record players work. The record is a radioactive slime green and you can buy your own from here:
https://handstandrecords.com/store/items/mutant-scum-mutant-scum-12-inch-lp/

(JD)

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Justin Dratson: JD   Nate Wilson: NW   Matt Average: MA

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