‘These are rock songs at war with themselves’ – MacDara Conroy submits to Dethscalator‘s Racial Golf Course, No Bitches

[iframe style=”border: 0; width: 105%; height: 120px;” src=”https://thumped.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/transparent=true1″ seamless Racial Golf Course No Bitches by DETHSCALATOR]

You’ll think you know where this one is going. The feedback builds, the drums wind up, the riff charges to full power and the band launches into the swaggering, hollering noise rock groove of ‘Black Percy’. But talk about being lulled into a false sense of security: less than two minutes in and these East London hovel-dwellers who call themselves Dethscalator stop throwing those shapes they only used to get your attention and give away their true colours, grabbing you by the scruff of the neck and dragging you down into their scuzzy lair. ‘Grotto Crank’ scores that scene perfectly, its siren-sound riff running into a wall of obstinate percussive wallops that suppresses that uncontrollable urge to rock out; even when a tune of sorts does attempt to break free, it’s soon beaten back into submission.

Welcome to Racial Golf Course, No Bitches – a record that seems perfectly content to wallow in its own filth, while you sit there paralysed or maybe tied to your chair, either way unable to free yourself and make a bid for escape. Not that there’s any exit to scramble for. You were fucked from the moment you pressed ‘play’.

And really, you should have seen it coming. That band name, it should have leapt out at you like a Z-grade Troma shocker – ‘Dethscalator: the escalator that kills!’ Then there’s that confrontational, PC-baiting album title, the product of minds that don’t give much in way of a fuck but at the same time know exactly what they’re doing. And that garish, mind-bending cover art, strange creatures loosely assembled in field of pink and green, like something Curt Kirkwood would’ve cooked up for a Meat Puppets sleeve in the ’80s.

But do the contents live up to the presentation? Damn right they do. These are rock songs at war with themselves, stubbornly refusing to do what’s expected of them, whether its the restless shuffle of ‘World War II Hitler Youth Dagger’ or the deliberate, demented pummel of ‘It’s What They Call The Clubhouse, Arsehole’. When they do latch on to a groove, like on the twofer ‘Aids Atlas’ and ‘Shit Village’, they slow things down to doom metal pace, delaying – or denying – that typical gratification. But most of the time they break down heavy rock music into its basic signifiers – the catchy overdriven riff, the pounding drums – and recombine them into something else, something horrible, something worthy of vocalist Dan Chandler’s tuneless street-preacher megaphone rantings.

And it’s all helped by a gelatinous production (So much echo! So many phaser effects!) that’s immediately comparable to the woozy, menacing psychedelic swirl of Racebannon’s weirdo noise rock opera Satan’s Kickin’ Yr Dick In. While it doesn’t quite reach that unimpeachable record’s murky depths, Racial Golf Course makes up for it with sheer hammer-smashing force of will. That’s the same force that’s trapping you in your seat, eventually winning you over to the band’s warped world view. It’s a strange charisma, the kind you’d expect from sociopaths or serial killers. Dethscalator should take that as a compliment.

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