Review Summary: A self-fulfilling prophecy
In spite of my willingness to drop my drawers and be ravaged by even the most cookie-cutter artists on occasion, there still exists music capable of locking my knees together and pushing the word 'no' to the forefront of my lexicon. Today Is The Day's latest release No Good To Anyone
inspired me to put the key to my chastity belt in a lock box, and swallow the lockbox's key for good measure.
Let it be known that I don't mind an obnoxious lyric performed with gusto – I grew up listening to numetal and Nine Inch Nails, so that particular patch of skin is thick and calloused. Let it be known that I have a soft-spot for mind-numbing repetition – I mindlessly fu
ck my fist for hours at a time while listening to Godflesh and Swans, keeping a lazy, listless tempo. Let it be known that I will give shi
t music a pass if its production or even general timbre tickle me enough – Ben Frost could record a dingo eating a baby and chuck some crunchy Moog sounds in behind it and I'd probably end up trying to convince someone in some obscure forum that it has artistic merit. I mean, Christ, I watched The Nightingale
last night and couldn't convince myself to hate it for its meandering story, abundance of rape, and lack of depth just because I liked the way it looked and sounded at large. As a Kiwi, these instances of giving Australians a pass speak volumes of my lack of self-control.
No Good To Anyone
has so many qualities that I would regularly enjoy in an album that my hatred for it is a bonafide miracle. Downtuned guitars throw down fuzzy riffage in stereo, grooves are ridden for the length of tracks in such a mantra-like fashion that they should
become meditative, there's enough nihilism throughout this thing to murder Steve Buscemi in a parking lot, vocals are layered all over the show, and the album as a whole is not, like, confined
by any one genre, man
. Take me now, Daddy.
Unfortunately, each of these qualities lands like a passenger jet flying through diplomatically-challenged European airspace. The lyrics are so woeful that the abundance of techniques and approaches the vocals attempt all fall flat. The repetitive song structures are not given the time or space necessary to construct anything close to a meditative or stifling atmosphere; 50% of the tracks are less than three minutes long. The guitars sound quite lovely all the way through the album, but it's a three-note performance with diminishing returns, making mid-album slow ballad "Callie"- by no means a great song- a very welcome relief from the quickfire monotony on display.
Whether it's the flat and lifeless bass tone in "No Good To Anyone", the listless vocals in "Attacked By An Angel" backed up by two-dollar Tool riffs which, as a whole, begs for far longer than two minutes to develop effectively, “Let me tell you a story / About a thing or two / A real good story/ About me and you
” as the opening lyrics to "Son Of Man", or "Burn In Hell"'s last ditch tempo shift that fails to add anything of value to another way-too-short song, there's always something right around the corner that will send your palm rocketing toward your face. For example:
I wanna hurt you
I'm gonna smash you
You drive me fucking nuts
I wanna shut you up
What's your problem, man?
You're fucking out of line
You drive me fucking nuts
None of the sheep will survive
Only the strong stay alive
What does this build into? Some mindless Sabbathian riffery, of course. Am I missing something here? Is Today Is The Day's tongue so firmly pressed against its cheek that it's burst right on through, spraying giblets of irony all over these recordings that my dulled receptors just can't detect? I don't fu
cking know, man, but there's still three tracks to go.
The ambience that closes the final track's third section (because ideas are on a two minute time limit regardless of track length) is a little nugget of serenity that provides a welcome relief after slogging through the 49 minutes this album lasts for, and as it fades into blissful silence my mind again turns to sinful thoughts. Then a clamorous death rattle in the form of some tinny guitar(s) reciting some melody from an old folk tune emanates from the speakers, and the layered din peels the paint off the walls before you can reach the mute button. After being subjected to this final act of mockery, chastity is no longer a choice; my genitals have retracted and sealed over, and I don't think I'll ever love again.