2LP Misery – From Where The Sun Never Shines
Most noticeable is how much the album rocks. Most modern crust punk is so concerned with sounding heavy or evil or whatever that it sinks from music to a parade of nasty, lumbering sounds. Yet here, Misery teass through 14 tracks, a few of which are lengthy, with the energy (but not sound) of the Ramones. By keeping the energy level high and building a shell of thick, nasty barking over the top, the band forge an aggression that invigorates as opposed to wearing down the listener.
While the band fit punk and metal together well, they also perform the difficult (and often self-contradictory) feat of mixing together crust punk’s penchant for mysticism with modern politics. Unlike some of the UK counterparts, Misery does use a sort of mysticism, but leaves it up to the listener to determine if their prophetic callings are for real or just metaphors for modern problems. “Mother Nature” finds the band anthropomorphizing the earth itself with lyrics like “Mother nature! She’s crying! Mother nature, she’s dyingâ¦ she’s dead!” But, further, Misery points the finger straight at us with “We are not an intelligent being / Just parasites digging too deep.” But then, just as the band does exalt the higher sense, they pull it back down with the directly political “Iron Age” where the band forefully rebukes “It’s a fuel of filth which we use to survive/on the dead of past years which we’ve based our lives.”
Fittingly, the album’s end features a cover of Amebix’s “I.C.B.M.” It’s proper in that the whole album almost feels like the American take on that LP. The band rampage forward, maintaining a massive heaviness, all while mixing the political with the pagan. It’s too bad that it takes almost 20 years for albums like this to germinate, but if that’s the incubation time, let’s hope Mother Earth is prepping the seeds of another as we speak.