Scratch Acid
Scratch Acid


4.0
excellent

Review

by MadKungFu USER (16 Reviews)
October 30th, 2017 | 9 replies


Release Date: 1984 | Tracklist

Review Summary: It stinks in my house - it stinks The air is stale and foul in there Blood and juice and pubic hair

The legacy of Scratch Acid resides, unfortunately, in the shadow of their more conventional descendant The Jesus Lizard, for while both groups feature the cacophonous howl of David Yow anchored by the rumbling lurch of David Wm. Sims on bass, The Jesus Lizard was a more mature, focused realization of the sprawling madness of Scratch Acid. Where The Jesus Lizard was slightly more methodical in the expression of their breed of chaos, there’s a youthful kind of energy in Scratch Acid’s output, a willingness to experiment (with varied results) that is much more reigned in on the output of the later band. This isn’t to say that the former band’s output doesn’t match the latters. On the contrary, the fact Yow found much greater success with his later band is possibly a testament to just how ahead of their time Scratch Acid really was.

Their first EP, released in the summer of 1984 finds them already with a unique sound, only slightly reigned in by the rules of conventional punk rock. “Cannibal” opens like a kick to the chest with a pounding 6/4 beat matched to a growling riff as Yow shrieks his guts out to a tale of autocannibalism, quickly followed by the slightly more reigned in “Greatest Gift”, a swaggering country fried number about buried corpses, showing Yow’s early infatuation with themes of morbidity and social transgression.

Yow of course is beholden to no conventional musical standards, his wildeyed banshee screech more unpolished, more wild, more gorgeous than anything he was able to call forth in The Jesus Lizard. When the EP is at its best, despite the wild sound of each member playing almost frantically the band sounds incredibly tight, instrumentals stop-starting on a dime, lurching between pounding fills , roaring noise and breakneck gallops like the songs were spontaneously vomited from the minds of the band fully realized. For the most part Yow performs his minor vocal miracles precisely when it’s most effective, best demonstrated on the breakneck rant of “Monsters” and the rolling thump of “Mess” the voice of the man in the midst of a psychotic break throwing bottles in an empty room, shrieking, gibbering, coughing, howling.

Despite the general clarity of vision and uncompromising attack of most of the EP the middle section is hampered by a couple of minor missteps. The band experiments with a string section in the relatively sedate “Owner’s Lament”, a novel element (for an 80s noise rock tune anyway) that has middling success in a song that adds little to the EP. Added with the somewhat more interesting, but still not quite necessary “El Espectro”, which has some fairly conventional punk riffing saved mostly by yet another unparalleled Yow performance and the EP falls just short of perfection. Overall though, the release is able to stand up with all but the very best of the band that would later make Yow and company famous and is an essential addition to the collection of anyone with even a passing interest in noise rock.



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user ratings (66)
Chart.
4
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
butcherboy
Contributing Reviewer
October 30th 2017


8649 Comments


disagree about the slight dig toward Jesus Lizard, but you're a goddamn saint for reviewing scratch.. Have a pos straight from the garden of buried pleasure!

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MadKungFu
October 30th 2017


522 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Wasn't really trying to dig at JL, I just think Scratch Acid gets the short end of the stick too often when the two are compared. Much thanks for the pos

SandwichBubble
October 30th 2017


7243 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

YEAAA DUDE

Digging: ADULT. - This Behavior

SandwichBubble
October 30th 2017


7243 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

When the EP is at its best, despite the wild sound of each member playing almost frantically the band sounds incredibly tight, instrumentals stop-starting on a dime, lurching between pounding fills , roaring noise and breakneck gallops like the songs were spontaneously vomited from the minds of the band fully realized.



There's a space between "pounding fills" and the comma, but more importantly: should there be a comma after frantically?

Yotimi
October 31st 2017


7454 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah, album rules

Papa Universe
October 31st 2017


17215 Comments


pos of cos

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Pheromone
October 31st 2017


6214 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

gnarly

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BMDrummer
October 31st 2017


14238 Comments


was jamming this band for the first time in years last week

love dis yow pigfuck stuff

polyrhythm
October 31st 2017


1941 Comments


< 3 this band

Digging: Gas - Pop



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