Saturday, 27 July 2013

Cülo - My Life Sucks And I Could Care Less

"I feel that the future is hopeless and that things cannot improve." - Sarah Kane, 4:48 Psychosis

Metal-umlauted buttpunk played at nosedive rates. Cülo smashed their way in with a series of fucking great demos and seven inches which were collected on Life Is Vile and So Are We. This is their first real full-length, My Life Sucks (And I Could Care Less). Opening with the chirps and bloops of synths on Gestapo Boots of a Mutant, the album quickly tracks into its hazardous hardcore pace, running out this song in a punk instrumental, thrashing onwards with tension, setting the scene for this album's snarling confrontational stamp, which is anti-most shit.



ANTI-SOCIETY: Societies Claws, Dominant Farce. Lives lived in serried rows, proceeding down the same paths. Cülo ain't down with that.

ANTI-COP: On the Streets: squealing in and speeding up. Cops sharpen society's claws. Cülo ain't down with that.

ANTI-WAR: Down in Equador: dry vocals through a weedy death haze, like the jungle madness of Lucius Shepherd's Life During Wartime. Weird kid in a bad way soundtracked by soldier boot speed trampling. DOA In My Head twirling around in guitar tightness like sanity down a plughole.



ANTI-NOT BEING ON HEROIN: On the Nod. Cyanide Slug.

ANTI-LIFE: I Was Supposed to Be an Abortion. A longing for nothingness that goes beyond wiping out today with drugs. A time-travel reset wish so this could've never been. There's a line like this in Dead Milkmen's Nutrition too but they're it's played for fratty laughs, here it's painful.

ANTI-LOVE. Sick Sick Sick replete with organ stabs like The Misfits's Cough/Cool or the sharp urban throatcut of Hank Wood and the Hammerheads. "I GET DRUNK, I SAY SHIT/RAZORBLADE LOVE BABY, SICK, SICK, SICK." A take on companionship as bleak as The Mountain Goats's Alpha sequence. Cülo want no part of good, or they just feel like all the hate swilling about inside them that they don't deserve it.

ANTI-NOW: Modern Depressions (plural, that's important) with its bludgeoning drums and , that tears up suburban ruts ("I'M TOO BORED TO LIVE, TOO LAZY TO DIE!" rings out this death-to-monotony screed, this take is also present in It's My Life Sentence. ("IF THIS IS FREEDOM WORK OR DIE I WAS CURSED WITH A WORKING BRAIN!") There's a sadness ramped-up into anger here, as there is on Cyanide Slug.



ANTI-ART: Your Art is Getting All Over Me on the ickiness of nice things. "It's beautiful, you can be so boring and trite." Well maybe not anti-art. Anti-beauty, definitely. Anti-cool kid cos this punk trip is some nerdy undone shit (for people with working brains they want to break), maybe echoes of New Bomb Turk's classic takedown of artistic exceptionalism, Born Toulouse-Lautrec, but without the come-together chorus of that song, just the outrage at the self-satisfied poses, shooting with a dropout buzz and burn.

ANTI-EVERYTHING: "FUCK YOU! DON'T TELL ME WHAT TO DO! DON'T CARE ABOUT THE CONSEQUENCES! DON'T CARE ABOUT THE RULES!" is the chorus of My Attitude. Adolescent fury unbound.

But while Cülo share some of the obsessions of similarly fantastic current hardcore band Wild Child with their monomaniacal devotion to the dirty scrapings of lives lived on the wrong side of trackmarks and brains in rebellion, they don't share that bands chaotic imprecations. Cülo are fucking tight. They burn with the impetus of live Ramones with the junkfed streetcurled obsessions of dead Ramones. They're a band for whom the vast majority of their itching being can probably be traced back to non-studio versions of the song Wart Hog (or maybe the terrific kiddy deathwarble Lolita No. 18 version of it), both in speed and slurred words and in lines like "Death, death, death it's the price I pay/It's a sick world, what can I say?" and "I wanna puke, I can't sit still/Just took some dope and I feel ill/It's a sick world, sick, sick, sick/It's a hopeless life, I hate it, hate it"



There are a million bands that have been influenced by the Ramones, you can find Ramones covers from every corner of the globe, but often they stick to the poppy simplicity of I Remember You and, while I love many pop-punk bands, that sort of unchanging Ramonescore can get pretty damn tiring because the Ramones were so much more than just the goofy teenage love scenes Oh Oh I Love Her So (not to shit on Oh Oh I Love Her So, that song is one of my all-time favourites). They were so much more (they were rappers and movie-stars), they were fucking dirty and weird. They were Sol Yurick thugs singing love songs, they were poppy, they were fast, they were fucked-up dysfunctional individuals capable of writing tragic dirges, beautiful soaring dreamy daggers, and yeah, two minute punk runners that can cut through everyday problems for a second like a bomb. People who say every Ramones song sounds the same are people who've read more shitty articles about the Ramones by ill-informed narratively-limited nostalgiafucks than listened to Ramones albums.

"And yet, these DORKS who have more or less devoted their life to cluelessly ripping off the Ramones have never noticed this, and are generally hard-pressed to come up with a good reason why they're so goddamn boring. I always get the impression bands like these leave the stage muttering things like "Hmm, I THOUGHT I had the right kind of U.S. pin on the lapel of my black leather jacket! Maybe if I get a better one, we will be considered more exciting!")." - Rev. Norb, ripping apart Ramones-clones in his Rules for the 1997 Punk Touring Season. Okay, I'm taking it out of context a bit and here he was actually talking about the tight adherence to two-measure chord changes that the Ramones didn't ever do that much by these sort of bands, but the sentiment probably applies to people who make every single Ramones rip-off song they squeeze out some trite shit about talking to girls or not talking to girls, combining the sweetness of Rockaway Beach with the lyrics of I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend.

Anyway The Ramones's dirt is what Cülo feeds off of, the self-destructive street Dee Dee of Chinese Rock, the hate between Johnny and Joey of The KKK Took My Baby Away, the abandonment of straight life from It's Not My Place in the 9 to 5 World, freak self-identification laments on Pinhead, looking cool while feeling burnt out in druggy need like I Wanna Be Sedated and just the fuck-it nihilism: WART HOG, the Cülo ur-text.

So while in their hardcore punk mess there are inevitable echoes of a slew of greats: D.O.A., 76% Uncertain, CIA, Cheetah Chrome Motherfuckers, Terveet Kadet etc, you've also got real pop-punk touches, like the guitar lick of Cyanide Slug, or the closing title track, whose opening is like a viperous sharpened take on the wistful little guitar whips of fellow-Chicagoans Screeching Weasel's The Girl Next Door (or Texas ramshackle-punk Stymie's How to be an ASS). Cülo hate most things: but they love the Ramones because the Ramones are as weird and as fucked-up as they are. Cülo are pro-Ramones. Cülo are pro-some shit.

PRO-MUTANT: Radiation Mutation's sloppy Troma punk. Swampmouth speed, an overworked tongue kicking one word into another in a feverish fury, like Bad Brains at their highest ebb on How Low Can a Punk Get?  "Eins! We radiate! Zwei We mutate" snapping over each other, lyrics ruined in acidic mush until only the anger remains.

PRO-BEING ON HEROIN: A song about how heroin is good is pretty much indefensible on a number of levels, but in the obliterative hunger of On the Nod and Cyanide Slug there's a lot of Cülo's essential appeal. On The Nod with its closing cry of "GIMME GIMME JUNK! GIMME GIMME JUNK!" like a waygone version of the "Na-na-na-na-na I need a cigarette!" shouts that close out Fancy Pants and the Cellphones I Love Fags. Cyanide Slug: "I self-medicate because I can't get out of bed. I'm an addict, a faggot, with something wrong inside my head." might just be the key lyric on this album. A sense of otherness. A pain to dull with something. A pain to scream at someone. Drugs get done for a reason.



PRO-PUNK: Maybe that's the same as pro-mutant in Cülo's distorted world strung together from Nick Zedd movies and telling your minimum-wage boss to fuck off. The lyrics booklet is a ramshackle road-trip through the awesome truths of immaturity. Doodles that gets you sent to offices, sentient sandwiches giving birth to bits of bread, eyeballs falling out of irradiated heads, wolves with rifles, and the ultimate punk rock record insert: the arrest form for a band member, complete with the Received Clothing Receipt which read "Leather Jacket, black. Shirt, black. Jeans, black." Don't Care Part III rolls with the "I'm weird, I'm a cunt, I'm a freak, I'm a punk!" as a boast before sticking on "I'm a punk! I'm a punk! I'm a punk! I'm a punk!"

(There's also some 50s language in I Don't Care, a "Hey Daddio" probably cribbed from the Ramones' I Don't Wanna Go Down in the Basement. There's a playfulness of language in the booklet too, like the peculiarly prim: NO NINNIES, NO TWITS, copped from Devo's squawking herbert anthem Through Being Cool, which works in the same smiling way as Lumpy and the Dumpers "NITWITS!" call.)

Being a punk is what Cülo are ultimately about, and their conception of punk as outsider art. It's seems weird to talk of 'natural' punk topics, given how blatantly punk is a construct, but there they are: anti-society, anti-cop, anti-everything, anti-love, anti-most shit, pro-mutant, pro-drugs, pro-punk. All the bits of adolescent edginess that might just get rewired out of you at some later point but while they obsess you they crush and define.



I read Cülo described as 'refreshingly un-PC' by someone. What would be genuinely refreshing would to not read the phrase 'refreshingly un-PC' in a punk review ever again. I like a lot of music that is just concerned with its own obnoxiousness, but I never think that there's some sort of brave stand being made I just think the artist is expressing their self as artists are allowed to do, and that self is a bloody unfit-for-life dickhead, like a lot of artists are, like a lot of listeners are. I love Cülo, because they're angry and uncomfortable, and I've felt angry and uncomfortable a lot. But that's not a good thing, it's just a thing I can't avoid. It's not something to be praised in itself, it's something to be looked at maybe, definitely something to be struggled with. STOP TREATING PUNK MUSIC LIKE IT'S A FUCKING RICHARD LITTLEJOHN COLUMN. FUCK THOSE "TELLING IT LIKE IT IS!" SUPPORTIVE ARSEHOLE GRUNTS. It's dumb shit like this that makes me angry and uncomfortable enough to want to listen to stupid Cülo songs of unsustainable nihilism about how heroin is great.

Yes, there is a point in your life when you find yourself in a record store thinking "Yes, £5 is a great price but I really don't think I hate myself enough anymore to own a Spider Babies LP." but that sense of misfit rage, disconnection and loathing still resonates for a long time after you're moved into a headspace where you probably can't too often work up all the rage that's present on Your Art Is Getting All Over Me at shit empty art, but you still find that sort of attack to be something you can see being something you want to thrash along to. Cülo's essential appeal is that hearing people as fucked-up as you are, as fucked off as you are, torn between anger and angst in the same way that you've always been and articulating this bonedug obsession with infandous places and desires through songs equally catchy and furious is something fucking immense. It's not refreshing, it's definitely not comforting, it's just an acknowledgement of sorts of the bad bits inside you, the bad places that you're in, that can be twisted into this, twisted into something you can mosh your bedroom heart out to ignore the walls closing in. Sometimes you can't see a way out of this, and oftentimes that feels amazingly painful and upsetting and depressing, but sometimes you just don't give a fuck and it's liberating to be dumb and pain-gored and fronting like a Poison Idea badass in your untethered punxitude. You're a tormented imp but a king of punk.



"I might be getting too old to be called a problem child" is a line on My Life Sucks (And I Could Care Less), the song that plays this yellow spitting thing out. It's possibly the only sign of growth exhibited on this album (emotional growth, not cancerous growth, that shit abounds). It momentarily touches on the fuck-up poetry of a D4 or Johnny Hobo song, where everything is ruined forever. "I didn't mean to take your drugs. But I had to take your drugs." it goes in such a flatly elegiac self-hating non-apology that it would slip right into a Dead Mechanical song. The only sign here that there is consequence beyond hangovers, "I can't help but feel like It's all a waste of time/I'm waiting for a future that I know I'll never find."

And how do Cülo feel about this? Through the highs and the hate and the thrashing and the crummy stuff. Ah, fuck it. This is what they signed up for when they snorted morguechemicals off their copy of Too Tough to Die and picked a fight with a wall and started a shitty amazing punk band. Aaaaah fuck it. They could care less.

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Lumpy and the Dumpers

It's weird how quickly desire forms in punk circles, maybe one or two blogs or offhand mentions from a vaguely cool vaguely trusted source and a band can jump straight into the forefront of your mind as some of that real shit that you know you've got to get on. Two ripping demos from this band that popped up on a couple of my favourite punk internet spots and I was already unreasonably bummed when I found out I had missed them play a Thursday day show at Chaos in Tejas shortly after I arrived in Austin, and equally stoked when I found a flyer for their Saturday day show while wandering about on Friday morning.

Slop-punk slathered in fatty babble and tweaking on some true weirdone shit, Lumpy and the Dumpers first seven inch begins with Sex Pit. Opening in a trough of noise, Sex Pit has a long slurrylubed slide into a scuffed slobbering riff that kicks, and shines at the edges with pips and guitar squeaks. Screaming about a bacchanalia in filth, a fuck club lithe and squirming in a waste disposal. "I'M IN A POOL OF BUBBLING MUCK WHERE THE FLIES COME AROUND TO WIGGLE AND FUCK!" Transcendence through absolute degradation over "THE ONLY TRUTH IS AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PILE/NOT HOLY AND WHITE BUT STICKY AND VILE."

"FEELS SO RIGHT TO FUCK ON SLIME! FEELS SO RIGHT TO WASTE MY TIME IN THE SEX PIT!" the choruses blasts as the song wriggles and runs down into its foulness in tight circles with that sort of ripped-zip guitar tone like punk riffs squeezed through the bass grind of Chanes and Invy Da Truth's Loyalty.


 Elephant Man opens with the line "LET ME SEE YOU NITWITS POGO!" I'm always a fan of when these sort of braincracked punk nuts employ the language of raging Nicktoons characters, their animosity neutered by content restrictions, but finding a certain specificity of contempt in their puerile attacks. It fits this bands kinda aesthetic, Lumpy and the Dumpers sounding exactly like what you'd imagine Ren & Stimpy's latin-jazz freakout band to be named should they ever get their shit together in that way. Elephant Man features a bunch of ugly incomprehensible screams and blurts from the vocals as Joseph Merrick, this song's protagonist, struggles with his deformity and "CAN'T TAKE A NAP WITHOUT STARTING TO OOZE!", continuing this band's obsession with viscous fluid, like a Dawn of Humans song painted from a five year old's post-Ghostbusters 2 night terrors, making it feel sometimes like they're the prop-guys on a mid-90s kids game show. Mean Jeans have a song called Slime Time but with their pop-punk pull its more like a summertime slip-and-slide than the primordial glop here. Crazy Spirit, a band who share that sort of buggy oddface intensity and rumbling onwards motion with Lumpy and the Dumpers (if Lumpy and the Dumpers are more hardcore and fuller in their punk kills) have a song called Slimey Leech. which is more similar in its evocations of slippery weirdness and gunge, but maybe the real forerunner here thematically is the sneering spoken word of Nomeansno's bass-driven fulminating funk-punk/80s-pop cut-away Everyday I Start to Ooze: "A bold plan drawn up by assholes to screw morons/News at eleven but first/A long serious look at what's seeping from open sore/Perhaps you should STOP PICKING AT IT." where the succession of lop-sided leers, shocknews headscreams and crackling absurdities break out from silly social contracts with 'those personal acts' into a disgorgement of inner bile, black and yellow and bubbling.




The final song on this seven inch is called Too Much Slime, (they're not tiring of their theme, the chorus is "TOO MUCH SLIME! NO SUCH THING!"). It rolls on in this grubby motion, and degrades into these snatches of amplified cockroach clicks, and snaffling breaks, like a tear in the tape eaten by ugly worms. An ode to all that oozes, from tubs of vaseline to the primordial goop we popped from. The second verse suggests slime baptisms as a solution to the problems of Catholic initiation rites. This band wants you down in the muck from conception to end, Joseph Merrick and his secretions isn't some freak to be pitied, but a Lumpy/Dumpy hero whose essential dirty uncensored being was allowed to come out in a way that clean normals would never countenance. This band is about the filth inside, which is not to be confused with the darkness, it's not mental anguish and black godlusts that are spewing forth here, just the natural logistics of flesh, the slippery smelly stuff, honesty of form in the chitterlings and the old shambles. Semi-solid beings playing songs of uncomfortable physicality.



When I saw them in Texas, they played at the end of a long bill (something like 8 or 9 bands), after originally being billed third or fourth, and in a sweltering record store full of hot people who had been standing there for what felt like three days. They tore the place up, the drummer breaking a drumstool and drumming standing up for one song, the singer stalking around sneering, everyone responding positively to those calls to pogo, jumping and skipping about. And everyone in the room was sweat-drenched entirely, clothes clinging tightly with the perspiration, swamp-arsed and feeling icky and loving it. Just the way this band would want.

Available for PWYW download on Bandcamp.

Saturday, 13 July 2013

Una Bestia Incontrolable - Observant Com el Món es Destrueix

"Dusk and the benediction of shadow were coming back, but not for the Erstwhile, who had become too old. When the sun went away, they creaked and cracked, crawling on the forest floor and hanging sloth-like from trees. There was no cave or simple dwelling for them. They did not have the pleasures of men, or the ability to make and change what was around them. They had each forgotten their purpose and the details of their design, how they had come to roam the ancient wood. But they all had longing, and it was attached to the actions of humans." - B.J Catling, The Voorh

Una Bestia Incontrolable are a Catalan-language hardcore band that featuring members of sweet fucking Spanish bands such as Glam, Atentado and Destino Final. Their new album Observant Com el Món es Destrueix (Watching As The World Is Destroyed) starts the same way their 2012 demo 10-11-12 finished, with the peaceful balm of birds twittering, with a slight buzz in the distance. (Both this album and the demo are available for free on their website. You can buy the album from La Vida Es Un Mus in the UK, Not Normal Tapes in the US) Then we get the sound of wood being chopped, this steady slow rural percussion as wobbling bass swells over the top like a threat. A threat realised as the guitar crackles and then and the drums clamber into life. Big chopping riffs like those earlier axe strokes, falling down with repetitive force, like looped animations of smokestacks tumbling. Lyricless, scenesetting, Mar de Lava (Sea of Lava) is a fucking great opener. Every relisten those woodland sounds, the birdsong just getting sweeter as the promise of the riff lingers. This is an always worth-it opener trick and it works perfectly here, like the classic crash-ins on Fly On the Ships/Cry of the Sheeps on Paintbox's Trip, Trance and Travelling or the post-advice wallbuster that throws you writhing into Sweat Loaf on Locust Abortion Technician by the Butthole Surfers. The first song is called Mar De Lava (Sea of Lava), the cover of the album a peaceful volcano watching over workers in the field, the back cover those people engulfed in flame as the Krakatoan beast is unleashed, watching as the world is destroyed from the art on down, even if its only a small world, for some it is all.



El Cant Dels Ocells (The Singing of Birds) is what follows this mighty wordless stomp, a hardcore punk rumbling with that same relentless energy but sped-up, that gritty dirt-rubbed guitar tone pushing forwards, that weird monotony, not one of boredom, but just one of purpose. This song starts with Hank Wood city crudeness "An urban jungle, a rat's nest. Is where you live, a hole in the middle of the world." before quickly making its escape, tearing out of town with that pounding rhythm, however this is not some trite pastoral yearning, like a cock from Blur who reaches 40 and then fucks off to the counties to make cheese and stare contemplatively at chickens or something, nature, when reached, is unforgiving and cruel in a way that the city's malevolent snatchings can only dream about. "The noise of the river is a daily punishment, the singing of birds a memory of freedom." Like the movie Vagabond (Sans Toit Ni Loi or Without Roof Nor Law, originally) where that idea of freedom and escape, just leads to a tighter shorter path. One with shoes shredding and no respite and spiky rocks all over it.

This album is pretty consistent in its tone but not in its speed, pace changes up, going from El Cant Dels Ocells escape-to-void energy to steady sod flattening buzztrudge of No Hi Ha Esperanca or La Primera Foguera, all held together by the guitar's scratch and scrabble, hardcore with the added muddy noise-rock clatter of something like Pissed Jeans or Kim Phuc or Karp.

La Primera Foguera (The First Bonfire) is about the birth of fire, but that spark painted not as some larcenous Promethean grandeur but as the mechanics of caveman toil, echoing through. "We are the descendants of the survivors who made the first bonfires with sticks and stones" it howls."The signal that indicates we are alive is the first bonfire". These notions of something wheedling its way down through the years, something odd and maybe a bit beyond ken stuck in our hunter-gatherer bones is something the album focuses on a lot but the back half of the album becomes even tighter in its natural focus, the songs pretty much all evoking the forest and some hidden malignant power within it. From The Evil Dead to a million sardonic twistings of the Teddy Bears' Picnic's opening line.


There are screams bursting through on the tear of Vulnerable, getting louder, closer, wilder, the music getting faster, running futilely away from this crazed report. Its only lyrics "Nobody comes for me and an unknown force takes me deep into the forest and makes me feel defenseless and vulnerable" There is Runes, Decadencia's guitar noise a frantic pinnedrat squeak, twitching over the slabs of bass. "Sand in stomach. Blood in Hands. Lead in looks. Ruins, decadence." Vaixell Oblidats (Forgotten Ships) is a calmer intonation, a more measured terror, living with this. The wordless Veri A La Sang (Venom of Blood) squeaks and pops and the album closes with A Las Seves Mans (Into His Hands), another treefell hardcore stomper of abject terror and Berstuk desire lines. "I don't know what I'm scared of but I'll know it soon."

I generally tend to associate noise-rock and hardcore, this albums twin seedlings, with a more urban setting, the only band that immediately springs to mind so concerned with vegetation are So Il and their earthy goofy gardencore, taking the DIY vegan vegetable patch and smashing it into big chunks of crustcore screaming odes to working the land: "my hand are the only thing i need to pull these weeds!/fuck yr shovels, fuck yr trowels! ...stealing gardening books from powell's." so it's interesting to see this mechanical unnatural power worked in service of nature's simple unforgivingness.

This is a genuine comment I once read on anarchistnews.org and saved for posterity because it just the best: "You're the one who's a child if you think that all this infrastructure is necessary (not to mention healthy or humane) to take care of the sick, the hungry, the young, or the old. Have you ever even seen a picture of the woods? If you have, you've probably seen the best hospital, grocery store, and playground EVER." I don't know if that's serious, with the internet Poe's Law lurks sniggering in every comment section but that is one of the stupidest things that I have ever read (and let's assume it's true, because a bunch anarcho-primitivists are also down with the unabomber so it's unlikely they're really put together that well up there). There's a brick-sized Tom Clancy novel where the eco-terrorists who've constructed a massive conspiracy to return the world to a humanless eden (a conspiracy involving ex-Baader Meinhof operatives, superviruses, kidnapped homeless people in New York, a multinational pharmaceutical company and the 2000 Sydney Olympics) get given their wish and sent into the woods to fend for themselves. SPOILERS: they don't make it out.



Romanticise the call of the birds and the simplicity of woodland life all you want, test yourself against nature and nature will usually win, on a longer timeframe it always will, the real creepy-crawlies and stumbling snarling (incontrolable) beasts of woods will always catch up to you. You just ain't built for that shit, who is? We want the comfort of a carpark at the top of hill, we want the warmth of the bonfire and not have to stray too far from it, we walk through the woods in the dappled light in the day, bombing hills on mountainboards, having picnics but once the night comes down each friendly grotto comes alive with blue-black shadows and movements in the corner of your eye get ominous, the susurrus of woodsound in the dark has big warring worrying things behind it.

Forest spirits to take you away and eat your bones, like the memory blackening oppressive force of B.J. Catling's The Voorh. Pernicious smirking forest knifepucks, or a deadfaced stalker, unseen, always pacing behind you with the rustle of brushes, the whip and crack of branches and twigs. An endless evil in the woods, deeper than the roots of the biggest fuck-off trees. Fuck the communion with nature, fuck the Growth of the Soil, don't trust the earth. This album is the sound of cold streams, mini-eschatons, phobias of the dark that stretch back further than childhood, stretch back right into some deeper human dread, primal terror, shadowy places that have existed for a long-ass time. It's an album of fire, winds and flamewhips. Echoes. Shit. Crepitations. Threat. Pounding rocks, nasty fucknoise built into looming boulders and packed into mud since the coalescence of the earth. Violence until now. Let us in. Let us out. We were right to be afraid.

"What's funny about myths is that they start someplace, and end up bringing the whole thing back with them: You don't want your kids to go out in the woods at night, for example, because they'll come home dead or eaten or injured. So you tell them a story about the woods at night, that basically is meant to make them afraid of the woods at night. But on the inside of your head, where you actually live, the woods at night already mean something else scary: your woods, your night. Gods thrive on belief, but that's not where they come from. So the story takes on a power of its own -- something Out There gets all the blame, all the credit -- and before you know it you're avoiding the woods at night not because of injury or attack, but so you don't piss off the woods." - Jacob Clifton