This is something that was passed onto me from an a friend online. Good thing, too, as I need stuff to review. I’d heard of the act before, and instantly recognized the SLIMY MEMBER moniker as being the title of a song on RUDIMENTARY PENI’S anarcho-deathrock classic, DEATH CHURCH *(as well as a Lovecraft reference). What the band SLIMY MEMBER deliver with UGLY MUSIC FOR UGLY PEOPLE is nothing less than their own version of this particular, deep underground subgenre *(and one of my favorites). This is raw echo-chamber dark punk emotion at its finest, full of all the in your face Nihilism and surreal miseries that one would expect from an act of this nature.
Hailing from Dallas, TX, and forming in late 2013, UGLY MUSIC FOR UGLY PEOPLE, released in 2017, is SLIMY MEMBER’S first full length, and unfortunately their last as well. They initially released DEMO in 2014, followed up by the 7” EP in 2015, sparking up a good bit of word of mouth within certain segments of both the anarcho-punk and deathrock undergrounds *(which evermore frequently intersect and almost always have, since the early days of the aforementioned RUDIMENTARY PENI). This kind of a sound has never been particularly easy to find, even if one knows where to look. To hear a band embracing it with such genuine power and an innate focused clarity of what’s involved, particularly nowadays, is a wonderful thing. It helps that this is an actual musical extension of the genre, and not merely an attempted quick flip-around of nostalgia by a bunch of amped-up hipster wannabes. This is for real.
At a murderous 18 minutes long, each one of these songs hammers home like some kind of warped Lovecraftian nightmare apocalypse-scape, the perfect accompaniment to the sub-arctic and bleary white dead winter wastes outside. “Nightmare World” kicks the album off, a high energy blast of static death reminiscent of a sonic war between early TSOL and the original CHRISTIAN DEATH. Completing its cycle in 1:27, this track lets the listener know right from the get go where the rest of this album stands. “Straight And Upright” bursts in like a battering ram, the RUDIMENTARY PENI influence strong in this one. The album continues to drift and maneuver it’s way around the piles of putrescent, rapidly shifting moods, sounds becoming comfortable only to end abruptly, the heart callously torn out and fed to another bonfire of blue she-flame, uncompromising. The heart-sinking “Oceanic Feeling” represents this noose-knot death-slip in perfect fashion through a fusion of jarring beauty and cold sonic embrace. My personal favorite is the pummeling chaos-catch of the appropriately Will-driven “No God,” all 35 seconds of it, it’s goddamned brilliant. The album ends on the similarly pummeling, deathly serious suicide note of “Always The Victim,” about an hideous mirror being held to an hideous individual.
Absolutely anything one could want from the darkpunk/anarcho/deathrock arenas of sound is here. In a modern sense, it’s most comparable to CROSS STITCHED EYES, and in a classic primarily RUDIMENTARY PENI, early CHRISTIAN DEATH, MIGHTY SPHINCTER, PART 1, THE EXECUTE, TSOL kind of way. It’s a sound like few other things around anymore, and one I’m always looking to hear new variations on. Those that this is recommended for will know almost right from the get go whether UGLY MUSIC FOR UGLY PEOPLE by SLIMY MEMBER is something that they’d be interested in *(which I absolutely guarantee you that it is). It’s beautiful in its ugly, ugly in its beautiful, and something that I’m entirely thankful that I’ve heard. If even one thing I’ve mentioned here rings with you in some way, I urge you to check out the links below and give this a listen. Otherwise, with 11 songs at 18 minutes, there’s not a whole lot else to say. It’s raw, cold, deathlike, unforgiving. It’s good. This is modern day darkpunk/deathrock at its absolute best.
A sad thing they’ve recently disbanded, I’d loved to have heard more or even seen them. That makes this no less valid. Such is the way of this strange and terrible world.
For more on SLIMY MEMBER and their music:
SLIMY MEMBER at Bandcamp: https://slimymember.bandcamp.com/album/ugly-songs-for-ugly-people
VINCENT DAEMON is a writer of the macabre & nonfiction, reviewer, editor, essayist, student of Phenomenology and the Occult, musician, founder of Grave Demand Publishing, social observer, photographer, historian of film/music/literature and the general strange. His Weird Fiction has appeared in over 40 anthologies and periodicals, in both print and digital. He’s also contributed hundreds of film, music, and book reviews to T.I.F. and various other sites. Whatever is not out-of-print can be found at AMAZON and in various dark corners of the internet. For a free sampling of his work, check out his stories at the FREEZINE OF FANTASY & SCIENCE FICTION: http://freezineoffantasyandsciencefiction.blogspot.com/ To sample the multitudes of music he’s recorded over the years, check out VINCENT DAEMON’S AGE OF DESIRE at Reverbnation: https://www.reverbnation.com/vincentdaemonsageofdesire3 He can be found at Facebook, as well. MUSICIANS! WRITERS! FILMMAKERS!: If you would like your work reviewed/covered in the ROSETTA BONES, please send works and materials to firstname.lastname@example.org.