I was able to see this group perform at the Mangos show the other day with the Aqua-Eroticum tour bill, RU-486, and Future Blondes. Theyre set was the most overbearing and relentless set of the night. I met one of the members after their set (pretty drunk) and bought their dvd/lp/book bundle and gave him my info for future trades.
I am finally back home to review some shit so i decided to start with this.
Since I hardly watch dvds, I decided to start here. This is called "Macular Edema/Occular Oilpool"
The artwork is nothing but black and white icebergs. "Macular Edema" is nothing but clips of different icebergs and mountains with the group walking around or perhaps even performing. I get a very gross feeling watching this.
"Occular Oilpool" is a performance only clip of what the group is like live. With everything in black and white, the performance looks ominous and downright spooky. Every member has a specific role and everything meshes (or doesn't) really well. Oh, and they also wear suits when playing. This is perfect for someone who cannot see the 3-piece live themselves. There are also clips of the group walking around in public with others donning similar masks.
The booklet is a cross between an oversized lyric booklet and comic book. There are hand-drawn pics with lyrics that almost tells a story that revolves around an underwater world. A lot of the artwork/lyrics have social political undertones as well.
And finally, the the LP entitled "Empire Underwater".
Again, the imagery holds true to the overall package which are distorted black and white photos of glaciers in an almost-collage fashion. The insert inside has the credits for the vinyl material on one side and the dvd on the opposite.
Side A begins with murky recycled sounds such as feedback and screeching sounds that makes the listener recoil. This side pics up momentarily and very clear vocals can be heard if listening carefully. I am almost certain the words in the booklet can go along with the music. Just when the listener gets used to a specific composition, one is shoved into another over and over. There are a lot of drum beats giving the sound a much more industrial vibe. This is most definitely a soundtrack to the end of the world or perhaps a daily event at Trash Island (where album was recorded).
Side B sounds like something straight out of John Carpenter's worst nightmare. There appears to be much more structure on this side (even though it may be submerged). There are many dirges throughout the random piercing sounds and distorted vocals. It They Live was remade and needed a soundtrack, this would be perfect.
While this bundle is amazing, I do not recommend taking everything in all at once. I have a problem doing that myself, but its safe to say I will be keeping a close eye on further releases.
I recommend this to anyone into the gross and disgusting or to any industrial fan.
For more info on their upcoming shows and for releases, visit www.ratskin.org.