Cattle Decapitation: Human Jerky

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Cattle Decapitation: Human Jerky
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Death Metal, Grindcore
Three.One.G Records
1999
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When Cattle Decapitation first started out, things were a little different. Focusing more on a Grindcore sound then a more Death Metal sound, with or without the latter Progressive elements, their earlier material wasn’t really met with rave reviews. Human Jerky is the first EP the band ever released, following the departure of the band’s unknown vocalist. The mystery surrounding this individual doesn’t really help out this EP, however, as it’s fast paced and heavy, but doesn’t necessarily feature anything too interesting in it’s roughly sixteen minutes.

The EP starts with a sample from the original Ghostbuster film, asking the team if they are gods, which leads to hilarity. Once this forty plus second clip is over, the actual song of “Cloned for Carrion” starts. Of course, all the listener is greeted to is exactly what one would expect. While the music sometimes changes up briefly to add a nice layer of varying sound to the EP, in the end it does become repetitive in the vocals. There is a dual layer vocal style utilized that is absolutely unneccesary. The main layer is a very deep, gargling style that often goes into the croaking, inward gutteral approach. The one behind is a rather harsher, more Black Metal-esque vocal approach that sounds fantastic against the mix. Had this been the main vocal style and the inward gutteral croaking been removed all together, there wouldn’t be much of a problem. Even if they alternated sometimes between tracks. But most of the same time it’s the same dual layer style that has no range and sometimes are performed without any energy. “Gestation of Smegma” features some vocals that simply sound like spoke word, but with a little extra flair added to it with those two styles.

Outside that, Human Jerky isn’t necessarily a terrible EP, as the music is rather enjoyable at times. Sure there becomes a little formula to the music after a while, typically just being blast beats followed by a more Death Metal approach, and then generally ending with more blast beats. Of course, then there are tracks like “Intro to Carnage”, which is mostly just an audio clip at the start, leading into just screaming that has no real point in the song whatsoever, but does bleed into the track “Cream of the Crop”, which winds up being a rather enjoyable track due to the band not abusing the croaking vocal style like they do on plenty of other tracks, blending the two vocal styles together nicely. While there are some tracks on here that don’t necessarily follow that, such as “Mad Cow Conspiracy (Bloated Bovine-Home to the Flies and Anthrax Spores)”, which actually has a slight old-school eighties Hard Rock feel to it the music that is performed. There’s also a bit of a Pantera feel to the music on “Mute Rain”, which makes it stand out, but it really isn’t one of the band’s strongest songs on this release.

Human Jerky features eighteen different tracks, as well as a hidden nineteenth track which is just a hidden phone conversation that was recorded, which is about animal decapitations, and clearly a prank call, adding an extra three minutes and thirty five seconds of time to this EP, keeping it from being under thirteen minutes total. The music is not bad, but the vocals will quickly become repetitive. For a Grindcore release, it’s not bad, but it easily could have been better given the year it was recorded, and the fact that it was originally a vinyl release. It makes a nice piece for the die-hard fans, as well an alright listen on a rainy day, but as far as repeat listens go, it’ll wear thin fast.

Overall Score: 3.5/10

01. Cloned for Carrion – 1:02
02. Parasitic Infwstation (Extracted Pus, Mistaken for Yogurt, and Gargled) – 0:41
03. Unclogged and Ready for Spewage – 0:35
04. Gestation of Smegma – 0:47
05. Mute Rain – 0:45
06. Flesh-Eating Disease (Flu-Like Symptoms of E-Coli with Complete Digestive Shutdown) – 0:48
07. The Decapitation of Cattle – 0:05
08. Constipation Camp – 0:59
09. Intro to Carnage – 0:33
10. Cream of the Crop – 1:00
11. Mad Cow Conspiracy (Bloated Bovine=Home to Flies and Anthrax Spores) – 0:30
12. Veal and the Cult of Torture – 0:40
13. Stench from the Dumpster – 0:44
14. Body Snatcher (Viscera Intact-Ripe for Decourtment) – 0:19
15. Roadkill Removal Technician – 0:46
16. Bovine, Swine, and Human-Rinds – 0:45
17. Bludgeoned, Beaten, and Barbequed – 0:30
18. Colon-Blo (plus Hidden Track) – 4:43