It is Halloween 1995. Barry Viscera is excited about the school Halloween disco because he has been chosen to play the Now 27 cds that everyone will be listening to and some of the girls will probably even dance to. It’s almost like DJ-ing. Wearing his best The Crow costume and make up he sets off, ignoring the people on the bus who call him a knobhead. He has a destiny and a vision and he will play only the best songs on Now 27 and he will do it so well that a girl will probably kiss him. As he nears the school (ignoring the shell suited 11 year olds jeering and pointing at him and calling him a knobhead) he feels like he is going into dramatic slow mo. He can already see a few of the crowd looking at him with anticipation and his heart starts to pump. Tonight is his night. He makes his way through the crowd (ignoring the people who mouth the words “knob head” at him) but as he reaches the school ghetto blaster and prepares to blow the audience apart he notices that there are only two cd cases. There is a cd single of Spice Girls “Wannabe” or there is a copy of PJ and Duncan’s “Let’s Get Ready To Rhumble”. Barry’s eyes flick feverishly through the remixes …Todd Terry, Arman von Helden….even these mighty geniuses can’t save him….but what can he do ? He swallows nervously, pulls a tough looking face and fronts it out. It’s always better to go with the originals, he thinks, and adjusting the EQ’s for maximum bass he breaks open “Wannabe”.
Days pass. The laughter still rings in his ears. The shame. Even the Geography teacher was laughing and he has those weird glasses that change opacity between light and dark places that make anyone who wears them look like a child molester. He is a failure. There and then, in his hour of defeat, he vows to make everyone pay. He will hide away and create a musical masterpiece that will make everyone in his school …. No …everyone IN THE WORLD…respect the name Barry Viscera. So he finds himself a copy of Fruity Loops and a bluffers guide to kitsch horror films and locks himself away for nearly twenty years…re-emerging a “Sociopath”.
Sigh. I wish I could enjoy writing the rest of this review as much as I enjoyed the first bit but I have to provide some actual feedback which means instead of pretending I have never heard this album, I actually have to listen to it AGAIN. It’s horrible. From the clumsy pointless marching drums on the intro to “Children of the Night” to the butchering of “Suspiria” it represents the epitome of pointlessness and redundancy. I’d love to think there was some overriding sense of humour at work here but when you turn “Suspiria” from a memorable horror film theme into a grotesque pantomime house track, then see fit to add a sample from a different film (“If you’re gonna do something…do it well.”) which essentially claps yourself on the back for the crime, then clearly you have no perspective on yourself at all. That’s why I’m being such a cunt about all this.
Wanking away at a shitty drum machine, while inserting clips from horror films of people screaming, and perpetually screeching over the top with heavily flanged vocals has been done to death. I would say it stopped being interesting by the year 2000, if it was ever interesting. Even in the recent past its been done better (Junkie Kut) because he at least had the good grace to give it a spit and polish, not just parade around a load of boring clichés and act like he invented it. Even the good parts of this album are stolen melodies from kitschy horror films (I suspect) and if they’re not, you’ve done such a horrible job that I don’t care if you managed to write the odd catchy melody (“When Mothers Die”….no, really). Oh, and in case you’re wondering, using clips from films that people love doesn’t mean they’ll love your music. It means they will bristle with indignance at your temerity and expect damn high standards, which you clearly are not going to deliver.
Whilst curled up in a ball, trying to find a happy place that this album couldn’t ruin, I did find one positive thing. My reviews tend to be…well, a bit pointless. It’s hard (even for me) to discern a point to it all and while it’s pretty obvious I don’t like this album, I thought it might be a good idea to come up with a rating system that I’m happy with. I don’t like stars because they’re prosaic, and I don’t like half stars because they’re unnatural. I experimented with exploded pie charts and assymetrical quadrilaterals but didn’t really connect with them. So it was with great joy that I woke up laughing the other night after dreaming up the best review system known to man. Dodecahedrons.
The system will work as so; the maximum possible score will be 100,000 dodecahdrons, the minimum score will be -100,000 dodecahedrons. It will not be possible (or practical) to represent 100,000 dodecahedrons on the review page, so I will simply write x dodecahedrons (or –x dodecahedrons) and let you use your imaginations. So it is with great pride that I award this album …
NB – I know you hate me, Barry Viscera. And I know you hate me CRL studios. Let’s just agree that this isn’t working and go our separate ways, eh ?