Slogun – Murder U.S.A.

murderusaAs always, the LSD Organisation comes through on packaging (although I’m not sure that John didn’t design this himself – it looks like his work), with a lovely gatefold reminiscent of Jackson Pollock. The gatefold has the lyrics to each of the four sides, and, in a heroic display of redundancy, beautiful hi-gloss postcards bearing the lyrics on one side and similar abstract paintings are included for each song. The 7″ records are in aesthetically pleasing colors, one smoky gray, one a salmon orange, and helpfully (ahem) bear the speed 33 rpm. The songs themselves are: West – These Voices, South – Revisited (apparently a new take on the song Moments and Mine from the Sounds of Sadism compilation) , North – Just Perfect, and East – The Lords. And, as always, Slogun roars off its own peculiar style for as long as you’ll listen. These Voices is like a serial killer’s dramatic monologue to an attentive audience, pleading the strength of his motivations and their founding in the voices haunting him – that the full story is more complicated than it appears in the bit that they’ve witnessed. It plods along in a soldierly but entertaining way over a bed of softly humming, scraping noise. Revisited, on the other hand, sounds like a B-side from Kill to Forget, which may be appropriate given that the original version was released at about the same time as that breakthrough record. It seethes quietly, with John’s voice buried and kept at a non-threatening volume, until it finally simply ends. Given the fact that the song ends with a question, “Just what am I gonna do?” – this seems appropriate, but it’s not terribly satisfying. Just Perfect, on the other hand, peels back the meaty noise leaving only strong but hollow rhythms and John’s frantic screams. It’s definitely the standout track, with a proper and perfect combination of rhythm, texture, images, and mania. Finally, The Lords closes the set with a flourish. A poisonous rant directed at a captured streetwalker, it closes with a similar (but much more satisfying) silence as Revisited. The entire song drips with the immediacy of imminent violence. All in all, there’s nothing particularly new here – I think John’s settled into a niche, and a damned good one, for the foreseeable future – but his writing and texturework alway seem to form an eminently complementary whole. Neither as grippingly attention-grabbing as Kill to Forget, nor possessed of the same bitterness and defiance of as How It Ends, nor even the outstanding flashes (like “Glory Hallelujah”) characteristic of The Pleasures of Death, this is a strong, but uneven release. Or rather, it’s even, but lopsided.The West/South 7″ is standard Slogun, but just not very interesting overall. The North/East 7″ is excellent! I’d recommend this either to a Slogun fan who’s happy/willing to pay for the first 7″ to get the second or to a record collector who dies for beautiful packaging. If you’re one of the latter, though, perhaps you should wait for the limited edition box set, which will supposedly include a t-shirt and a few other goodies as well!


01 – West – These Voices
02 – South – Revisited
03 – North – Just Perfect
04 – East – The Lords

Murder U.S.A.


~ by heavyelectronics on July 9, 2009.

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