I had once said to a friend, as we sat on opposite sides of the city, passing our latest music videos addictions back and forth over the net, “Anal Cunt has a song for every moment in my life.” Be it the time a boyfriend sent me “I Respect Your Feelings as a Woman and a Human”, which was the most suitably bizarrely representation of him and I, or the lines in “Pottery’s Gay,” Seth screams “You couldn’t afford college, you took a night class. You made a clay dildo and…..” (Let’s not finish that sentence and hold it at that.)
Let’s have a show of hands. Who honestly took such notice of a band member’s facial hair before “Kyle from Incantation Has a Mustache”? Anyone? Ok, possibly not every moment in my life but at least anything too ludicrous and over the top to believe that there’s still people in the world taking this shit seriously. For a band that’s spent their entire career trying to offend as many people as humanly possible, one would be silly to argue that their career’s not been a completely successful. “If you’re offended by us you deserve it – if you’re not we haven’t found something about you gay enough to expose yet.” Seth was quoted in The Guardian.
Anal Cunt sums up their derailed train of corruptive musical chaos with “The Old Testament ’88-’91” released on Relapse Records in late 2011, containing no shortage of blast-beats and noise encrusted grind reminders of their “fuck you” attitudes in music before the passing of lead singer and founding member Seth Putnam in June of 2011.
In an era where cash is tight, the economy is collapsing upon the unstable structure we’ve created and bound it to and the people are taking to the streets in rebellion, a resurgence in reunion tours, compilations and any form of refurbished marketing tactics possible to get the ball rolling sparks question to bands motives, leaving devoted fans to wonder whether it’s still about the music or just a cash grab. Despite the speculation that this record might have just been a way to cash in on Putnam’s death, evidence seems to point in the other direction or at least that’s what I’ve come to conclude. The fact that Seth had been a part of compiling this record before his passing makes it seem as though, even if the band was looking for some extra dough, it could have as easily been another way to give their fans an extra few morsels to grizzle on.
Presented upon this buffet table of stale and nauseating delights is their “1st Demo”, a defining moment of noisegrind at its core; seven and a half minutes of simply inaudible lyrics smothered in thick layers of noise and shrieking. “AC’s 47 Song Demo”, the “5,643 Song E.P” as well as the “88 Song EP”, both split up into two parts; “A.C. side of split 7” with Seven Minutes of Nausea”, “A.C. songs from Apocalyptic Convulsions 10” Comp.,” both parts of “Another E.P.” Then there are some live recordings; just fewer than two minutes of their set in Berlin, Germany on April 20, 1990, 6:22 of a set in Indiana and seven minutes of their show in Schwabisch Hall, Germany on April 3, 1990.
Some of my favorites on this compilation were Anal Cunt’s sides on both their split 7” with Meat Shits and the other 7” with Psycho; 19 untitled songs sent through the wood chipper with a little bit of hammer time and hillbilly moments, resulting in a big gulp of grindcore bliss. Continuing on, Anal Cunt’s contributions to “The Master of Noise 12” Comp.” and the puzzling “Unplugged E.P.” which I suppose was a must have for every band of their era, even if this was probably just another example of the band poking and prodding a comical soft underbelly of their surroundings. There’s their “Live E.P.,” “Riverbottom Nightmare Band” which is a minimalistic 1:35 minutes of spastic groans as if Seth’s lungs were being guzzled in gasoline; purely bad ass.
If you don’t already know who Boy George is, I’d be damned if you don’t go look it up after hearing his name over and over again; repeatedly nipping at the heels of the listener at the end of every sludgy, metallic riff on the singers titled track. Anal Cunt throws in their theme song, “Even Newest H.C. Song #1,” the instrumental “Precursor to Song #6” and “Song #5” with its sludgy bass and drums, vibrational guitar riffs and guttural vocals to seal the deal.
Chances are, if “The Old Testament ’88-’91” would mean anything to you, you probably already have it. This record could easily be considered god awful; a complete waste of space. To those who start of their breakfast with a bowl of daily grind, conversely, this slimy gem of opal like beauty, with its tones and talent that can only be heard if you perk your ears up just so, will take you back to where the noise began.