Published Dec 01, 2004Good gore-grind from Canada is a rarity, and Winnipegs Putresence are here to fill that void. Like most great gore acts, Putresences tunes have more than a keen hue of the first two Carcass albums shaded over their short blasts of bass-drenched grind. With song titles like "Gunked Up Tree Chipper and "Blood Loss and Trauma From A Vengeful Hatchet Assault To Penile Shaft, its also clear that theres humour overriding the lyrics, which are a goofy romp through a horror-filled mind. Oddly enough, that mind is one of ex-Head Hits Concrete and Swallowing Shit screamer Mike Alexander, known for always having some of the sharpest and most volatile political lyrics around. He makes the switch into the realm of gore just fine here, and, amazingly enough, his lungs are still intact, as he proves while screaming and gurgling with the best of them. The riffs blaze past with the perfect amount of punk uselessness (a good thing) and old school gutter-grind; the blood starts dripping over it all soon enough and it turns into a wonderful blur of gruesome noise. Sure, no ones going to remember any of these songs when its all over, but while its playing this is top-drawer gore.
What made you go from political lyrics to gore lyrics? Alexander: Im definitely not finished with writing political lyrics, but it felt like it was time to change my focus. It wasnt that much of a shift for me; I write about all kinds of stuff, political and non-political, and have been doing so for a while. Ive written short horror stories and Ive never been afraid of editors, so with Putrescence, its just a matter of doing enough research into pathology and neurological trauma to justify some of the gory lyrics being written for this band.
Some gore-grind does carry deeper meaning than it first appears; is that the case for Putresence? In some cases, I find that the lyrics are natural progressions of things Ive written about before. I like to think of the first two Cattle Decapitation LPs or Circle of Dead Children records when I think of lyrics. I showed Human Jerky to a co-worker who didnt get the irony of a vegetarian band slapping pictures of dead animals on their cover. The whole thing was abhorrent to her. Gore imagery isnt going to convey a whole lot of deep imagery, but I like some of the subtleties that can be found in a select few albums. (No Escape)