Review Summary: “I am no pervert.” *polygraph buzzing*
There is a fine, thick, bootylicious line of adequate when it comes to sexy music. If you waltz confidently with the sexy, you can enrich any music with that risqué flamboyance. If you are not that clear on it, you run the risk of becoming tacky, sounding insecure, like a teenager trying to convince his peers he’s had them sexes already too with like 50 chicks minimum yeah totally like. However, if you overdo it, you can ruin whatever sensual and/or sexual atmosphere you were going for. Tragic Mulatto run full circle on the outrageously overdone, overcoming tacky, destroying the sensual, ridiculing the gentle, cumming all over their audience in a G.G. Allin style performativity, becoming the sexy in its purest form. Brute force!
Any BDSM play should be followed by aftercare, but in Tragic Mulatto’s case it seems like their idea of it is to knock their submissive subject unconscious “so they can sleep” or something. They sound like the worst, most discomfortingly horny dom-sadist you don’t really want to have anything with. Tragic Mulatto is an inconsiderate, domineering, brutish savage who wants nothing less than to inflict pain, push your pain boundaries, and deluge in filth of all sorts. He’s the kind of person who read some Samuel Delany and thought it a nice guide to life for him to aspire to. In Tragic Mulatto’s home library you’ll find bootleg prints of Smut Peddler and countless essays justifying rape and molestation, as well as lots of manga, I imagine. He makes Marcel Proust spin and jerk off in his coffin. He makes people cross the street when they see him coming ahead, only for him to cross it with the people, grinning like an asshole, putting them in a state of devastating discomfort. It’s a character that has weirded out even Jello Biafra, so much so that he immediately signed them to his label Alternative Tentacles. There the character of Tragic Mulatto, played by two disgusting degenerates Flatula Lee Roth and Reverend Elvister Shanksley, burst onto a roster of other likeminded rebels, experimentalists, punk assholes, though not al as perverted as this. Tragic Mulatto is a maniac who craves depravity and by golly he’ll get it.
He's a prick. And he knows it.
Finally, in 1986, after 6 years of random songs, compilation appearances, buzzing live shows that challenged its attendants’ morals, and one sizeable EP, they vomit out an album. The bluntness of its title, Crazy for Sex
, is only obscured by the fact that the band released it in Spanish, Locos por el Sexo
. It kicks off with an expectedly intense and provocative mantra of where not to let the namesake of this opening track, “Freddy”, cum on you; not in your nose, not in your mouth, not on your back, not in your crack, etc. Sound advice if you ask me. It reeks of that good old 1980s low-budget production, recorded in a bucket, fuzzing with low fidelity, flat and sharp like fibreglass, sore-dry, hopelessly revolting. There lies inner beauty in the intensity, but it needs to be revealed in repeated listens, deeper analysis, for the song’s surface is so crude, so hostile, it blasts solar waves and immolates you like a piece of paper.
As far as album breathers go, after the rowdy opener, we are treated to a more traditional 80s lite-punk cut, “Untitled”. The opener’s hidden submerged melodic nature is a much, much more dominant presence. There are still a plethora of leftfield musical turns and twists, from random shrieks mid-song to highly suggestive lyrics. But that detour is quickly squashed by “Underwear Maintenance”. Truly a title oh so typical for Tragic Mulatto. This song presents all the band’s nastiest traits; beginning with sleazy lyrics addressing you “if you wear a tampon,” distorted melody, deconstructed to crude elements like chipped cinderblocks, and ending with a brass screech jazz theorists hear in their nightmares. This kind of structure more or less persists for the rest of the record, with titles like “Sexy Mony” or “Swineheard in the Tenderloin”. With names like these, who needs PR team-enas?
From this point on, only the scuzziest, fuzziest punk dirges proceed, varying in speed, but mostly maintaining their nasty nature. There is little introspection, unless you count lyrics like “Sebum and aftershave/Oh mister let me be your slave/Speed stick and concord sweat/Oh mister let me be your pet.” It sure reads as a sinful plea of an incessant brat slave in need of their master to whip them into shape. A personal confessional, perhaps, but not one that seems particularly vulnerable, only showy and demanding (of cum, that is). And for the sex-obsessed intersectional scholars among you, this will be the perfect gem for dirty talk, sexual deviance channelling (well, nowadays it seems rather benign, actually), and punk-cum-pork excursions.