Chesty Malone and the Slice 'Em Ups - 'Torture Rock' (Wrecked Records) Print E-mail
CD Reviews
Written by Gaz E   
Wednesday, 17 August 2011 05:00

torturerockI always hated that lazy 'torture porn' tag that got created by the media in an attempt to afflict certain horror movies with negativity. Labelling flicks as vile, depraved and immoral, invariably though, sold more tickets and moved more product - no such thing as bad publicity, etc. This is why the musical equivalent of that tag, 'Torture Rock', is a perfect title for the new album from Chesty Malone and the Slice 'Em Ups because, simply, this is a band that deserves to be discovered by more people. Oh yeah, and because they are vile, depraved and immoral....


If you're curious as to why the word 'rock' was chosen to replace 'porn' for this album's torturous title then listen no further than stunning album track 'Panic At Point Doom', a startling stun gun blow of a tune that houses in its mid-section a riff so gargantuan that it would surely defeat any creature that dared to terrorise the band's home in New York, be it a Beast From 20,000 Fathoms or that computer generated fucker from Cloverfield.


The Slice 'Em Ups' crazed chimera of punk and metal, all by way of horror culture, trashy B-movies and cult cathode ray sickness, is as fucked up and furious as they come. Fronted by the female trouble that is Jaqueline Blownaparte - think the undead Penny Singleton starring in Blondie Goes To Monroeville Mall - the band will appeal to all dark denizens of sleazy, old school clubs where gutter punk 'n' roll is peddled like cheap drugs and bad sex. Ramming Motorhead, Misfits and The Cramps through the mangler, this band have fashioned a seedy sound that is an eerie exercise in badass songsmithery and bad taste but, as John Waters once said, bad taste is what entertainment is all about.


Entertainment, at its rawest, purest, was what grabbed a hold of me when I first heard 'Now We're Gonna See What Disaster Really Means', the 2008 debut from this bunch of sadistic song birthers. That previous record was a repulsive revelation and this follow-up - a split EP with hardcore mob Reason To Fight dissected the three year wait - raises the bar significantly; who said sequels are never better?


If you've heard 'Zombie Relief Fund' (or seen the lumbering lo-fi music video) previously then you'll know that Chesty Malone and the Slice 'Em Ups have lost none of their macabre sense of humour, yet there is a serious shift in quality on this sophomore release, both production and sound wise, and, as I loved that first album, I don't utter this statement lightly. Blownaparte sounds better, gnarlier, scarier, than ever and the guitars of Anthony Allen Van Hoek simply slay, throwing out chugging metal riffs alongside trashy three chord rock 'n' roll wonders.


Bookended by a gloomy, ghoulish intro/outro, 'Torture Rock', like its predecessor, is the haunted home for thirteen schlock rock songs - unlucky for some, but not you if you take the plunge and dive into this new release with teeth bared and black heart pumping. 'Protest The Unborn' kicks you in the gut and the punishment doesn't stop for around the next half hour or so....or until you crawl towards your weeping stereo and try to press repeat with fingers a-trembling, willing to take it all again with musical masochistic gusto. Anthemic choruses that sound like cursed mantras seep out of the likes of 'Bloodthirsty, Hungry & Mean', 'Brainwash Cocktail' and 'Primordial Times', ready to rub gored shoulders with the frenetic riffmongery of 'My Favourite Things' and 'The Brain That Ate New York'. 'Bloodsong' is possibly the most accessible that this band has ever sounded, thankfully, with its grue-afflicted lyrics, without compromise. 'Quest For Flesh', on the other severed hand, is possibly the fastest thing that this band has ever created - a noisy, near-perfect minute. 'Exit 13' opens with the band's first open love letter to a heavy Sabbath influence, a sludgy riff dissolving into frantic punk rock glory.


This Frankenstein's monster of influences, all smeared in an unashamed love of the horror genre and trashy pop culture, makes for one of the best albums of the year, without question. All pop punk bands and aficionados of these record company puppets should get down on their designer denim-cursed knees and bow down at the altar of Chesty Malone and the Slice 'Em Ups; almost living, kinda breathing proof that the best punk rock records come from untamed independent spirit and untutored talent.


'Torture Rock' is unhinged, debauched and, therefore, essential. Buy it or die.