Apparently, no American label will put out Gay For Johnny Depp‘s debut, ‘The Politics of Cruelty.’ Even though they like the band’s music, their very name has put the money-grabbing macho-bastards on hold in investing in the band – what a load of complete cockbags. Oh well, their loss really; thank god Captains of Industry don’t give two fucks about the groups camp-sounding moniker.
After hearing their second ep, ‘Blood: The Natural Lubricant‘ I thought “ok, maybe GFJD will have mellowed a bit, you know, changed direction, maybe made way for a bit more experimentation (hopefully not prog)” Well, I was about as wrong as a big sign that says ‘WRONG’ in bright red flashling 3D letters, which launches explosive barrels of fire that spell out ‘INCORRECT SUCKA!‘ for the whole world to see.
The wondefully titled ‘Cumpassion‘ opens proceedings and already you can feel the razor-like slice of Marty Leppard’s voice, as he cuts deep wounds in your ear canal with his almost sandpaper-meets-broken glass rasp. “Oh compassion, it’s just my passion all over your face” he hollers. Hmm….nice. Guitarist Sid Jagger manages to distort his instrument beyond the recommended safe-listening barrier, creating a slavo of screeching riffs to accompany Fabrizio Coxboi’s rumbling bass and JJ Samanen’s incongruous drumming.
‘You Have A Theory, I Have A Gun‘ is a blantant anti-war song, indicating the futility of the war effort and the pointless waste of human life. It’s all summed up in the 5th line, with vocalist Leppard screeching “when you go, you’ll never come back, never come back…”
‘Lights Out‘ follows this with it’s jagged rock meets bizarre pop stance, as Leppard tries (and fails) to refrain from sounding like he’s rubbed a cheese grater on his voice box. This brings me to a point about the vocals, which are really unsettling. It sounds a bit like the girl from the exorcist chewing on a mouthful of wasps, whilst now-defunct noise terrors, Chariots play at twice their normal speed through a battered microphone.
I won’t go through it all, but as you can expect the rest of this ‘blink-and-you’ll-miss-it’ album features more of the same. The instrumentation is a relentless, caustic attack on the mind; it actually blurs boundaries between the genres of punk rock and noise rock in such a savage way. The lyrics, as you can guess reference that man who played the wimpy Ichabod Crane, as well as heaps of sexual inneundo and implications of fornication with the actor. ‘Very Little Happens Between 3 and 4 In The Morning’ is a good example of the band’s brilliant homoerotic lyrical content (and one in which they ‘out’ a certain member of KISS!)
By the time the warped and slightly perplexing closing track, ‘I hate our Freedom (Fuck You, Gladys, I’m on Vacation)‘ finishes you’re left feeling completed drained, sweaty, horribly violated and wondering what the hell has just happened.
Overall thoughts? It’s not as immediate as the ‘Blood: The Natural Lubricant‘ EP and some of the tracks lack the addictive quality of their older songs, but this is probably down to plain old unfamiliarity with new material that will soon wear off with repeated listens (although I’m still unsure about the ‘filler tracks’ which seem slightly pointless.) To avoid any pointless fence sitting, I’ll say this: I like ‘The Politics of Cruelty‘, it’s a great album, full of intense, abrasive, psychotic songs that well and truly mess with your mind and make you doubt your own sanity. Recommended to fans of The Locust, The Blood Brothers and Tim Burton films. I’m off now to listen to something a bit more manly – got any Queen?
To listen to ‘Lights Out!’ by Gay For Johnny Depp, click on the player below.