Thursday, 10 April 2014

Gas Rag - Beats Off MLP

Gas Rag Beats Off. Gas Rag breaks in. More brisk whirrs of hardcore punk, ravenous in its eradicative wants, disgusted in its truths, raw with the crepitus of the world's broken bones. Biting fiercely at the drugwar apathy with gruff blunt repetition: "SIXTY THOUSAND DEAD. SIXTY THOUSAND ARE DEAD." on Drugs and Violence. Life traps catalogued/struggled with on The Clock: "LIFE BY THE CLOCK, IT'S A TIME BOMB" and Criminal Gas: "GOT CAUGHT, HANDCUFFED, A NEW COURT DATE/MAYBE COULD HAVE ESCAPED, NOW IT'S TOO LATE". Death worship drawn and trashed on Endless Vietnam, Mass Grave and It's a Gift. Beats Off runs at sex with the same dry sharp rush as it runs at war evils on the title track: "BEAT OFF AND FEELING FREE", self-abuse as self-demarcation, brief relief from those traps, from that pain. It smacks down the ugly smugness of twee science fetishism as easily as it rips up the vast hypocracies of religion on Annihilation: "ANOTHER WAR IN THE NAME OF RELIGION AND WE ARE THE PAWNS/BUT'S IT'S FUCKING SCIENCE THAT GAVE US THE BOMB."

These ills and more laid down hard in short hardcore punk cuts that might lean into powerviolence territory in their brevity, but keeping it firmly in the sharpened punk claws of 80s snotheads like Dayglo Abortions or 90s terminal velocity burnthrash like Death Wish Kids. For in all it's rage it rarely flirts with chaos, these songs aren't crashing into themselves and exploding, not squealing manically into noise tantrums, these venoms are tightly controlled, tripwire taught, toeing a shock-collar line of nervous form, corralled and driven onwards by the piston drumming, like a coin whirling around a table in a spin, the speed maintains the poise, the ferocity spat out with presence and furious tightrope grace. A few times this tension breaks, it wails away on Annihilation in a scratching addict itch and whine, it wriggles out on It's a Gift, but for the most part this anger, just and terse, is aimed true. Spasms of pith and hard rancor and speed, outlining the aches and woes of the living and carrying a deep rage for the unsettled dead.

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