Review Summary: Lovecraft, baby!
Brilliance often resides comfortably within the confines of madness, and this holds especially true when referencing premier anarcho-punk outfit, Rudimentary Peni. The group’s lead vocalist, guitarist, and lyricist, Nick Blinko, is, in fact, diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder and an “outsider” artist known for his pen-and-ink drawings, including the ones featured on the band’s releases. His dark but often witty lyrics play seamlessly into Rudimentary Peni’s concurrently fun and quirky instrumentals. Cacophony
, arguably the group’s opus, is a wonderfully warped conglomeration of classic British punk and the bizarre and perverse nature of post-punk, all encompassing the life and writings of H. P. Lovecraft.
Thirty songs spanning about forty minutes, Cacophony
boasts energetic riffing alternated with absurd monologues and peculiar noises. So much is packed into each brief track that it’s hard to take it all in, let alone get bored. Every element is engaging, whether it’s catchy hooks or frenzied ranting, and as the curveballs keep coming, it becomes easier just to sit back and expect the unexpected. Cacophony
’s biggest strength is providing a backdrop of deceptively skillful instrumentation amidst the unorthodox vocal assault. As easy as it is to overlook the tight musicianship, there are lots of great guitar licks bass grooves to be had throughout the album.
Rudimentary Peni’s second full-length offering is an underground oddity, a punk classic, and a most fitting tribute to the legacy of Mr. Lovecraft. The unconventionality makes it a much more challenging listen than its predecessor, Death Church
, but the ambition met with the superb execution makes for a more impressive artistic statement and one worth revisiting time and again. The album is exactly as its name suggests– a cacophony, dark, dense, and chaotic, much like Blinko’s cover art or R’lyeh itself. And, well, there’s nothing else out there quite like it.
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn.