BIG BUSINESS BOYS THINK THEY’RE HOT (WHITE) SH*T
Despite being such a huge fan of Big Business’ Here Come The Waterworks, 2009’s Mind The Drift honestly doesn’t stand much of a chance of making it into my year-end Top 10 list. The same cannot be said, however, for Sculpted Beef, the brief vinyl (and digital) debut from White Shit, Jared Warren and Coady Willis’ side-project with Andy Coronado of Wrangler Brutes and Monorchid. Contrasting significantly with the slightly proggy art-metal Warren and Willis explore with their other bands, White Shit make brash, lo-fi hardcore in the Black Flag/Minor Threat tradition. Here, sprawling riffage and avant-garde percussion is violently tossed aside and replaced with filth, fury, and snot-nosed wit. And it’s all done pretty fucking well.
Sporting some truly homoerotic cover art bound to alienate some of the intolerant meatheads who use the word “faggot” in a derogatory sense, Sculpted Beef exudes a passion and appreciation for both the golden age of SST and the somehow still thriving underground American punk scene. Most of these songs barely pass the one minute mark, with only a couple venturing beyond a second minute. Backed by one of the most in-demand rhythm sections in heavy music today, Coronado does a great job doling out punk rock riffs fleshed out with deceptive complexity. Vocally, Warren thankfully gives up the whiney bellow that dominates Mind The Drift and instead delivers a back-to-basics punk rock shout that nods to Henry Rollins and Ian MacKaye without emulating nor imitating. “Women” is perhaps the most primitive example of this–the song’s title comprises nearly all of the lyrics–but he also manages to cram loads of lyrical content into minute-and-a-half ditties like “Surfing My Life Away.” My favorite cut here is the weirdest one: “Jim Morrison.” Here, Coronado (presumably) takes the mic and tells a reminiscing tale not of the deceased Doors frontman, but rather a portly 60-year old former neighbor with whom he got along with fairly well. At just under fifteen minutes in length, Sculpted Beef, released on Post Present Medium, sounds a hell of a lot more comfortable alongside Mangled Demos From 1983 than any Melvins release on which Warren or Willis have actually played. This is a good thing.