Mighty Sphincter Resurrection

Phoenix underground dwellers Mighty Sphincter have been churning out mysterious, cult-worthy material since the late '70s. Amidst current sounds and trends, Mighty Sphincter's gothic metal punk sticks out like a sore thumb. This two-song seven-inch is difficult to categorize and is all the more arresting as a result. The ice cold "Resurrection" adorns side A. As crazy as it sounds, this fantastic song sounds like Sisters of Mercy and Starkweather's bastard child. The track's simple structure allows haunting repetitions to pin the listener down with chilling waves that crash against the senses at a plodding, steady pace. Things get even more unsettling on side B's "Inferno of Joy." This number opens up with a steel-string acoustic guitar and an accordion. Soon, you are led before guest musician Dwid Hellion (Integrity), who with his raspy, ghastly croon, tells us that "the gates stand there, barring desire, barring the way of the dead unburied." The calmness of this number, the lack of riffs and drums make it chilling and curious. The conventionalist in me hoped for a crashing build-up at the end, but it quietly slithers away into the darkness instead. As confusing as Resurrection is, in terms of the band's musical direction, it begs the question: what they will come up with next and more importantly, can maintain the dark magic on a longer release? (A389)