Anal Cunt: The Old Testament

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Anal Cunt: The Old Testament
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Anal Cunt: The Old Testament
Grindcore
Relapse Records
November 22nd, 2011
Release length: 2:19:00
Myspace
Over the years, Anal Cunt had clearly built up an infamous reputation in the Grindcore community. Musically and lyrically, the group really tried to be rather offensive, but at the same time not give a damn what people thought of the music and seemed to just do whatever it is they wanted. Sometimes the material was good, and others just felt like it was composed in the middle of a drunken high or while whacked out on drugs. With sudden passing of vocalist Seth Putnam, there’s no denying that the group is now further out into the minds of society in general. Of course, this is because it’s time to make money off the memory. The Old Testament is the latest compilation, though completely sanctioned by the band (perhaps approved before Seth’s passing) to include all the EPs, demo, and split material from the late eighties and on in one two disc set. For fans it’s worth it, but what exactly does this release entail?

Does it even matter? Anal Cunt is so widely known and acknowledged at this point that anyone who hears the name has an opinion on them. You, the reader, more then likely already know whether you’re going to buy this or not. It’s obvious die hard long-time fans will pick this up instantly if they don’t have all the material, or just out of showing their devotion to the group if they do. If you dislike Anal Cunt, you know as well as the next person you’re not going to bother with it. There’s no real way to describe the audio quality either since it goes from 1988 up to modern day, and clearly the songs are going to sound very raw to much clearer and modern in comparison. And that’s one positive thing about this. Considering the material that Anal Cunt put out throughout the life of the group, trying to clean it up or remaster these releases in some way would be a bit of a disservice to the legacy of the band. One reason why the group’s 1988 47 Song Demo is enjoyable at all is because of how raw it is, and the simple fact that the band is just clearly having fun in the studio. There are times it even sounds like they’re just improvising and making stuff up on the spot, as well as just screaming without actual lyrics, and if there were it’d be a complete shock considering it definitely doesn’t sound that way.

It’s also nice that the fans get to kind of watch the evolution of the band, and with the way it’s set up, having an entire release placed on the disc as one specific track, he or she could easily just stop after a certain amount of releases and throw on the full-length that comes after where they left off if they happen to own it. You can pick up on when the band is trying to include more lyrics instead of just screaming and grunting, hear the slight variations to the music over the years and how the band does eventually try to do more with the Grindcore sound other then blastbeats after a while, such things as that. Disc one alone shows the band evolving a bit, even by the time you reach the “Another EP – Part 1” set of tracks, though the audio quality to this EP is even worse then the “1st Demo” or “47 Song Demo” material available on the start of this disc. But aside the audio quality, you can also pick up on the band’s audience ins ome of the live releases included on here like “Live in Berlin, Germany – April 20, 1990” where they just end up closing the set by having fun with the crowd and playing grinds that last maybe one or two seconds, which actually does get the crowd worked up a little more then you would think.

While disc one gives you a good insight to the earlier days of the band and where they started, disc two continues to show the band growing a little more musically and trying out some different things, such as including mock covers of older songs like with the “Anal Cunt side of split 7″ with Meat Shits.” You can also pick up on the band doing a little more then just furious blast beats from start to finish such as with “Side One of Unplugged E.P.” and “Side Two of Unplugged E.P.” That concept doesn’t go too far with these songs either, but at least it’s noticable and offers a different change of pace. At the same time though, it seems the band really starts to push much shorter songs on this disc then the other.

Again, The Old Testament is an album that doesn’t really need a review since everyone knows whether or not they intend to buy this release the moment they see or hear about it. But, for fans of Anal Cunt, it’s not a bad piece to have, and the fact that it is licensed by the band won’t leave you feeling like your money went to capitalize on Seth Putnam’s death. Given the amount of b-side material, EPs, Splits, etc., that end up on this release, it makes a good two disc compilation for fans who can’t quite track down all the pieces in the collection, or just want to hear it and could care less about owning the originals. If you’re not a fan of Anal Cunt in the first place, this release will do absolutely nothing to sway your opinion about the band and their music, and chances are good you won’t really even be bothered with it. Much of the material on the releases gathered here is far from great, or even that beneficial to the Grindcore scene despite the band being so infamous in it over the years. If you like senseless blastbeats and screaming to the point where it can merge into noise, or just silly shenanigans by bands in their releases, then some, if not most of this album will make you happy. If you don’t fall into any of these categories, then this collection of raw, hard to find material is definitely not something you’ll kick yourself for missing out on.

Disc One
01. 1st Demo – 7:44
02. 47 Song Demo – 9:02
03. 5,643 Song E.P. – Part 1 – 6:12
04. 5,643 Song E.P. – Part 2 – 6:12
05. 88 Song EP – Part One – 6:32
06. 88 Song EP – Part Two – 6:51
07. Anal Cunt side of split 7″ with Seven Minutes of Nausea – 6:15
08. Anal Cunt songs from Apocalyptic Convultions 10″ Compilation – 2:55
09. Another E.P. – Part 1 – 5:47
10. Another E.P. – Part 2 – 6:11
11. Live in Berlin, Germany – April 20, 1990 – 1:56
12. Live in Indiana – 6:20
13. Live in Schwabisch Hall, Germany – April 3, 1990 – 7:11

Disc Two
01. Anal Cunt side of split 7″ with Meat Shits – 6:31
02. Anal Cunt side of split 7″ with Psycho – 6:05
03. Anal Cunt songs from The Master of Noise 12″ Compilation – 6:20
04. Side One of Unplugged E.P. – 7:05
05. Side Two of Unplugged E.P. – 8:51
06. Side One of Live E.P. – 7:38
07. Side Two of Live E.P. – 8:12
08. Riverbottom Nightmare Band – 1:35
09. Boy George – 0:57
10. Anal Cunt Theme Song (Instrumental) – 0:57
11. Even Newest H.C. Song #1 – 0:39
12. Precursor to Song #6 (Instrumental) – 2:06
13. Song $5 – 2:59

Overall Score: 7/10

Digital review copy of this release provided by Relapse Records.