Friday, 7 December 2012

URUK HAI / CRUCIFIXXX SODOMY split

Band: URUK HAI
Title: Uruk Hai / Crucifixxx Sodomy split release
Format: Cassette release on the SkullFuckingMetal label (Canada), released in 2012, catalogue reference SFM-047. The split includes the band Crucifixxx Sodomy, in which Keegan 'Khaos' of the SFM label plays. The tape comes in a photocopied inlay and is of a standard C60 style.
Edition: No indication, presumed to be unlimited

Track Listing:
Side A: Crucifixxx Sodomy
01. I Am The Highest Power (GG Allin cover)
02. Hell House
03. Swine Slaughter Annihilation
04. Cannibal Girls Wanna Eat My Dick
05. Swine
06. Untitled
07. Bite It You Scum (GG Allin cover)
08. In His World

Side B: Uruk Hai
01. Lebensende: Winter (different version)
02. Over Old Hills (Summoning cover)
03. Northhammer

Let's not beat around the bush: Crucifixxx Sodomy are simply an insane Canadian band, formed in Toronto in 2007 and playing what is probably best described as a blend of punk-ish black metal. Featuring our old friend Keegan Khaos on guitars, the band seems to have generated a notorious local reputation for wild live shows, which are reflected on some of their demo tapes (all available via Keegan's SFM website). Their portion of this split release features songs that will be familiar to owners of tapes such as "Live At Duffy's Tavern" and "Banned From The Hard Luck Bar", but if you've not yet had the 'pleasure' then this split release with Uruk Hai could be just the eye-opening start that you need! Rob Halford once sang about "pounding the world with a battering ram" - Crucifixxx Sodomy attempt a similar feat except their weapon of choice is a rusty meat hook and it's destination is straight up your jacksy!

The inclusion of a pair of GG Allin covers also tells you a lot about the influences of the band: the very mention of this artist's name invokes fear and outrage.  GG Allin is best remembered for his notorious live performances, which often featured transgressive acts, including coprophagia, self-mutilation, and attacking audience members. AllMusic and G4TV's That's Tough have called him "the most spectacular degenerate in rock & roll history" and the "toughest rock star in the world", respectively.

Although more notorious for his stage antics than for his music, he recorded prolifically, not only in the punk rock genre, but also in spoken word, country, and more traditional-style rock. His extremely politically incorrect lyrics, which often covered subjects such as misogyny, paedophilia and racism, polarised listeners and created varied opinions of him within the highly politicised punk community. When questioned about his music and concerts, Allin often replied that he was trying to make rock music "dangerous" again.

Allin's music was often poorly recorded and produced, given limited distribution, and was met with mostly negative reviews from critics. Despite (or perhaps because of) these factors, Allin maintained a cult following throughout his career, and a fan base that has greatly expanded since his death. Though Allin promised for several years before his death that he would commit suicide onstage during one of his concerts, he died June 28, 1993 of an accidental heroin overdose.

It's a lot to live up to, but give them time....
 

The second part of this split could hardly be more different, short of including a couple of Bee Gees songs. The cultured keyboard tapestries of Uruk Hai aren't an obvious bedfellow for the obscenities of Crucifixxx Sodomy to sit alongside, and the degree of crossover between fan bases would be interesting to understand. One imagines that more people will buy this tape for the Uruk Hai content -thus exposing Crucifixxx Sodomy to a wider and potentially interested audience- than the reverse scenario, but quite what one set of fans will make of the others' music remains to be seen!

And what of the Uruk Hai songs on offer? The three on offer represent an interesting mix drawn from demos of various vintages between 2005-2010, and whilst they are generally available across a number of other releases they make for a very acceptable listening experience, particularly on a cold, wintry day such as today. First up, the alternate version of 'Lebensende: Winter', originally on the Depressive Illusions tape demo of the same name released in 2010. A bleak landscape of cold synthesisers and frosty melody, perfect for midnight walks through dark, snowy forests. Just remember to wrap up warmly before you venture out, you don't want your extremities to blacken and shrivel. 'Over Old Hills' remains a galloping romp of a cover version, and if you managed to miss it on either of its two previous outings ("The Song Never Remains The Same" or "In Durin's Halls (Return To The Mines Of Moria)") then shame on you, and here's your chance for redemption. Finally, the saga that is 'Northhammer' makes a welcome return, having been originally issued on the "Northern Lights" demo and subsequently included on both the "Blutreich" and "Angband" compilations.

Full marks, incidentally, if you've spotted that the cover artwork on this release is a reversed copy of the blooded face featured on "The Truth" by Bleeding Through.

It has to be said that SFM have made huge efforts over the years to bring underground releases to the masses at an affordable price, and their distro stock is always interesting and varied. Anyone looking for bootleg live releases of some classic bands would do well to check out their stock too, and whilst you're there spending your loot say "hi" to Keegan for Nazgul, and ask for a copy of this tape as part of your order. You may end up shell-shocked and ravaged by his half of it, but rest assured the Uruk Hai side will calm you down again afterwards.

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