Tuesday, December 19, 2006
“Controversial Hategrind since 1988”
“I love to hate/I hate your love/and I can’t feel affection for people like you!”
That, my friends, is the chorus of the first song on the Cripple Bastards first proper album, 1992’s “Your Lies In Check”. It also sums up the bands mantra and modus operandi. Look on the Cripple Bastard’s website and you will see the word “hate” and “Violence” all over the place (www.cripple-bastards.com) They ain’t lying either. Listening to the Cripple Bastards is somewhat akin to having someone hit you over the head repeatedly with a hammer/and or vomiting glass and bile. There music is fast and ferocious, with machine-gun drumming, and Guilio’s alternating scream/growl, which in practice sounds kind of like “grrrrr grrrr YAAAR YAAAR grr grr YAAR SUFFER!!!”
A lot of the tracks on “Your Lies” are basically unintelligible, but it comes with lyrics/interpretations, so you get something out of it. Basically, they hate people, ex-girlfriends, feminism, war, the government, religion, society, and militant vegans. This is summed up even more explicitly in their second release “Misantropo a senso unico” (One-way misanthrope).
What I like about CB is the fact that they are so extreme, so completely beyond your normal everyday experience. I first started listening to grindcore and hardcore in the late 90’s, when I was broke working a shit job in Pacific Heights, watching everyone around me get rich and stupid and not being able to relate to it at all. Bands like the cripple bastards were the perfect salve, a wave of ugly negativity to drown everything out.
There is also an abstract beauty to their songs. They are so short, so crazy, so non-song like that they become enjoyable just for their abstractness. Anyone can write a pretty ditty with a sweet harmony: Not everyone can write a ten second song where you basically just growl. That takes talent and ART.
When I moved to italy to study in 2000, I ended up being friends with some of the local punk kids, and they invited me to see the cripple bastards play with brazilian hardcore band Ratos de Parao in Milan. The venue was this big open air thing in the middle of a neighborhood, which was a bit chilly as it was November. The cripple bastards came on and played for about 90 minutes, which is impressive as all of their songs are about twenty seconds long. They were incredibly tight, and the lead singer kept bashing his head with the microphone and covering his mouth with his arm ala bela lugosi’s stand in in Plan 9 from Outer space. By the end of the evening he was all bloody. It was pretty freaking awesome. The crowd was full of punkabestie, the Italian word for crusty punks, who all had the same dreads, the same dog on the same rope leash, and were all passed out in their own vomit on the same cheap wine.
We also got stopped by the cops on the way home, which was fucking scary – we were outside of pavia, it was three am, no one was around, we weren’t doing anything illegal…the cops just checked my friend mila’s drivers license and let us go home. What made it so scary was realizing how much power they had at that moment, and how little power we had. There was no one around, no witnesses, and they were the law. What could we have done if they had decided to fuck with us? I could only imagine what it’s like being a young Hispanic or black guy driving on a lonely road at night and seeing those lights flashing behind you.
I don’t necessarily recommend the cripple bastards, unless you like loud, crazy music. I don’t listen to them that much anymore, which is a good thing for my mental health I think. Still, when I’m feeling pissed off at the world and need a good boost of negative energy, I just put them on and rock out to the bad vibes.
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