Songwriting is hard. Think about how many different notes there are to play on a guitar or whatever and the endless different orders that you can play them in while keeping in mind important qualities like flow and form and originality and if you're like me you might have to sit down and take a few deep breaths about the overwhelming hopeless impossibility of so many possibilities. Perhaps then it is with this ever present in mind that the brand of irreverent anti-songwriting that cerebral terrorists Brainbombs play becomes so compelling.
What these crude Swedish hell blues merchants do is write a really good riff and keep playing it for the entirety of a song until the listener is beaten into a submissive trance and then the whole thing just crumbles apart of its own accord. Repetitive this music is, without a doubt, but there is enough variation in the alternate guitar and trumpet leads and the pacing of each song that each riff presents itself as a kind of noxious mantra for the listener to blissfully detach themselves from the real world and enter the visceral morbid fantasy of Brainbombs. Even compared to the bands three previous albums, the production on Urge to Kill is particularly abrasive, the guitar tone thin and vitriolic, the vocals even more distant, and the grounding presence of their trademark trumpet licks is diminished.
The best thing about this style though is that the riffs actually help tell the story of each song, depicting one incredibly intense feeling that threads together the psychopathological patchwork of disjointed narrative in the lyrics. Who can deny the feeling of swaggering delusion embodied in the riff of "Stupid and Weak" vindicated by that inspiring refrain of "TOO MANY IDIOTS", or the hazy delirium of Salome's crawling riff through a bizarre and incoherent reprimand, or the compulsive thrusting depravity in "Ass Fu
cking Murder", or the gleefully strummed Stoogian party-sadism of "Slutmaster" with its hoarse dehumanising shouts of "CHEAP FU
CKING MEAT", or the appalling precipice of indecision featured in the dirge-like "Maybe", or the grating slither halfway between inebriation and withdrawal through abject squalor and wilful self-destruction in the riff of "Down in the Gutter", or the simultaneous apex and nadir of depravity in the grimy remorseless groove of closer "Filthy Fu
ck". Each riff is oozing with the kind of personality that gets you put on government lists, splattering imagery of murder, rape, and torture in triumphant smears across the canvas of the listener's guilty conscience.
But let's address the apparently important notion of the ultimate point of Brainbombs' transgressive lyrical content. Whether choice lines like "maybe I should fu
ck you and your baby" are a deliberately crude commentary on the repercussions of a sex-as-commodity society, ramblings like "don't need any surrogate // wife cu
nt flesh" all stem from the mind of one cartoonishly disturbed character, sentiments such as "the smell of discharge // makes me hard" are actually the kind of wacky insane shi
t that the members of Brainbombs advocate or admire, or it's all exactly what it seems to be: a big stupid childish joke, it doesn't really matter. Anything that evokes an emotive response should be considered art, no matter what that response is. And when the riffs are this well written, who cares.