Cunts – Cunts


SEX! Now I’ve got your attention, here’s a review about a band called Cunts. Yes, Cunts. That’s the name of their band, and their album. Are you terrified yet? Has the system come undone? I do hope so. Oh, and their album cover (their album is called “Cunts” by the way, did I mention that the band Cunts have a self-titled album called “Cunts”?) is a picture of a goat headed Satan type getting noshed by Jesus. My goodness. (Oh, and they are made up of members of Qui, Retox, Dead Cross, Virginia Reed and Hepa. Titus, respectively).

Of course, I reviewed the album on the basis of the band name alone so I can hardly make fun of them for using a name and album artwork that is meant to provoke interest through vulgarity. After all, no band calls themselves something shite. They think the name is interesting or enticing or evocative. OK, except for Sack. Or Level 42. Or Gene. Or Oasis. OK, most bands name themselves something interesting etc. The big question is whether a band can survive beyond the initial interest they stir up with their name (Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs) or whether the name is the only thing to talk about (Gay Dad).

I almost felt regret when I heard the lead track from the album “Ass To Grind”, a fairly ordinary hardcore punk tune which isn’t much different from the kind of stuff any hardcore punk fan would usually listen to. Initially I felt like that was it. It’s a funny name but an album of standard punky nonsense you’d hear for free on a Thursday night at JBs (this is a Midlands based website after all. Although I admit many of you may not have even been born when it was open). However, I changed my mind entirely by track 2. While the out-and-out punk moments are scattered throughout, the real beef of the album comes from the chunks of filth in between. Numerous nods can be found to Jesus Lizard and Scratch Acid (“Cholos on PCP”, “Cholos on Acid”), and even some of the noisier, nastier pre-Red Medicine Fugazi material (see “Fuck You For Your Service”).

For fans of modern noise, songs such as “Dying to Hit” would sit beautifully alongside something from the first Metz album. The band are precisely at their best when they’re not just doing straight-up punk. It’s a shame the lead track isn’t representative of the inventiveness lurking within the album itself. They even manage to do a successful cover of Tom Waits, which few people manage. Taking a track from his first foray into the perverse Americana of his 90s/noughties period – Bone Machine – “Goin’ Out West” not only has a new layer of dirt added to it, they also adjust the bassline towards the end so that it skews the original into something menacing and even more Ed Gein-like.

This album is remarkable for so much more than its title, its artwork or the name of the band that produce it. It’s a startling onslaught of blistering speed switching to swinging sludge (and back again) with howling guitars and barking vocals that leaves you with the sensation of someone’s spit running down your face (in a good way). In a sense, it’s better than all of the stuff that draws you to it. That’s either a smart move on their part, or a sad oversight. By any other name, Cunts still smell as sweet.

Track list:

  1. Ass To Grind
  2. Dying To Hit
  3. A Hero’s Welcome
  4. Cholos on Acid
  5. Seagulls
  6. Cholos on PCP
  7. Goin’ Out West
  8. He’s A Lady
  9. Supervised Visits
  10. You Should See My Dad’s
  11. Fail At Failure
  12. Fuck You For Your Service
  13. The Greater Good