Another email mystery from the AndroidVirus. I never quite know just what will be coming my way when these mysteries arrive. And once again, I’ve been lucky enough to receive a solid slab of far above average, true-to-the-core metalpunk rock-n-roll. ROCK JOHN IL’s DICTATORS OF ROCK Lp is no laughing matter, despite the oddly humorous name of the band that, upon first sight, did in fact give me a bit of a chuckle. Then I put it on and gave it a listen. Mutherfukker, this shit is GOOD! *(Two weeks back in the Philly area and right back comes that damned accent.)
Opening with the straight up punker “Home,” a pummeler about the desert wasteland in which they live *(they happen to be from Albuquerque, New Mexico, and according to the AndroidVirus, “These are actually a bunch of old fuckers our age that have been in the local scene for a while, and they decided to start a band. Here is their monster.” That right there says something.) From the opener on, the albums only grows in it’s intensity and performance-ship, while never getting cocky or too wanky. The second track, “1947,” reminds me, in all aspects, particularly the vocals, of the classic and unheralded ROCKET FROM THE TOMBS *(Cleveland, Ohio’s infamous pre-punk pioneers from the early 70’s, who when split went on to spawn two of underground music’s most important bands: PERE UBU and the DEAD BOYS.) In fact, ROCK JONG IL’s vocalist Bob Beckley sounds so much like PERE UBU’s Crocus Behemoth (aka: David Thomas), I actually went and looked it up, thinking that perhaps this was some rare one off or something. But no, these guys are their own thing, but definitely have the power and general philosophies down to perfection.
Topically, the lyrics cover a wide array of variations on creeping dystopianism, the current and rapid devolution of mankind, Roswell, and the general frustrations and agonies of day-to-day life and it’s isolative, suppressive nature. And of course, the forever painful scar-wounds that certain lovers are sure to leave. Remember, these guys are not some kids acting out some rockstar fantasy. This is the real deal. They are wisened, aware, awake, talented and have been through all the same shit – – – they know what’s up, and have the same question: WHY? The lyrics to the fourth track, “Rock Jong Il,” come across like prophetic poetry. As do most of the lyrics, actually. At no point in any of my several listenings of this did I get bored, look at the clock, daydream – – – it had me from open to close, and I was disappointed when it was finished. Track 6, “Politics Of Fear,” is classic crossover hardcore done to perfection. DICTATORS OF ROCK has a total 1987 style essence *(not a bad thing in the least), not just in production, but also in presentation. And that’s not saying it’s rehash, but that they not only know the old school, but in fact ARE the old school, bringing their own uniquely adrenalin-driven dna to the all-out assault of true metalpunk at hand.
I personally find them quite comparable to Philly’s own THE MOIDALIZERS – – – there’s a similar vibe, and in essence a very similar thing happening between the two: a bunch of good guys who said “fukk it, we’re gonna make music our way.” It’s a shame they’re 2,500 miles apart, as they’d make a great double bill. Even a split with the two would be a pure, unadulterated, underground-magic masterpiece classic of metalpunk rock-n-roll. But, I digress.
And up above, I did indeed did use the word “classic.” ROCK JONG IL’s DICTATORS OF ROCK is a piece of classic music, and to not own this album would only be cheating yourself out of an often pummelling, sometimes crushing, consistently catchy Lp of metalpunk rock-n-roll done right. For a fan of the style, or any punk, or any metalhead, who for whatever reasons still sees some kind of delineation between the styles, the attitudes, the general philosophies of both genres *(eh, fukk it, I’m even going to include the Gothic and Industrial genres in there, as well as all their varying offsprings, though none of that is present here, I’m just on a general rant now) and can’t open their minds enough to develop an appreciation for a little of everything – – – they need to get their head out of their ass and check this stuff out. If it’s not your thing, it’s not your thing, but give it a try.
And ROCK JONG IL’s DICTATORS OF ROCK Lp is in fact a modern-day classic, the kind of thing one *(especially with my particular all-over-the-place tastes in dark underground music and sounds of all varieties, though I do have my personal preferences) almost never hears in most forms of modern music – – – potency, passion, honesty – – – something that stands out from the wannabe’s and overstayers. They play what they want, how they want, give not a fukk, and do it from a place in the heart. Throughout the course of the album you’ll hear bits of punk, crossover, NWOBHM, speed metal, a touch of doom, pre-punk, and straight up fast rock-n-roll, produced with a gritty, dirty, perfectly dystopian and classic *(that damn word again), true rock-n-roll grit. It’s something rare, something special.
Buy ROCK JONG IL’s DICTATORS OF ROCK right now. Support these bands I suggest here amongst the catacombs of the Rosetta Bones, and your local scenes in general These performers work goddamned hard to ultimately entertain YOU, so show a little love back. Without said support, many of these acts will lose faith, and fantastic music will be lost to the recesses of the internet and memory banks of those lucky enough to hear them. Punks Not Dead and Metal Doesn’t Suck, you just haven’t been looking in the right places. Same goes for other underground genres as well.
Remember, if the underground and it’s many great acts were to disappear, all you’d have left is auto-tuned crap written by machines and Katy Perry. That’s the most horrid, dystopian future I can think of. Nobody wants that.
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Vincent Daemon, writer, editor, musician, photgrapher, film/music buff and historian, and rabblerouser, can be found on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/vincent.daemon.1 as well as his spontaneously updated blog of writing news and nonsense THE WRITINGS OF A DEPRAVED MIND http://vincentdaemon.blogspot.com/Some of his music can be painfully experienced at http://www.reverbnation.com/vincentdaemonsageofdesire3 His email is firstname.lastname@example.org