A horrible hack

Amateur Assassins

Pioneer Abnormalities

Year Released: 2009
Format: CD
Label: Owd Ear Recordings
Reviewed by Joe Callaghan on Oct 4, 2009
No matter how tuneful and innocuous your band is, nine times out of ten, your parents are going to think itís a heap of ghastly noise. I canít imagine wanting to bring home this record to my folks, bragging about how proud of it me and the guys are. The melodies are few and far between, and the vocals sound like if Johnny Rotten did an impression of Fred Schneider of the B-52ís, whilst drowning in a flushing toilet. Now, thatís no way to begin what should be a positive review. Perhaps Iím just trying to say that this is probably not for everyone. I like it a lot though. Itís callow and awkward. It takes the brash, twisted structures of The Jesus Lizard, combines it with twangy, minimal post-punk like Gang Of Four, and fronts it with an agonising, torturous vocalist, like if Guy Picciotto, Iggy Pop and Cedric Bixler were to merge into one single being and Quantum Leap into the body of Pee Wee Herman just as he is filming his new picture, Pee Wee On Fire. It is sparse, but it stays very rigid. The rhythm section is disjointed, but it plods along efficiently, whilst the guitar makes outlandish sounds with chord structures one couldnít even imagine. Itís deeply planted in the Noise Rock genre, with avant-garde leanings, but itís rarely loud. Itís just a bit discordant, kooky and gauche. Itís understandable if the vocals were to put anyone off, as they tend to sound like if Joe Pasquali had a stroke, but I guess it all depends on how intolerably peculiar you like your music. Amateur Assassins seem to be getting off on the right foot, evidently not giving a hoot what the ambassadors of popular culture may think, and rightly so. The singingís a bit weird though. Did I mention that?

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