Porcelain gOD - "Your Insane (A Concept)"
(Slutfish Records 2003, SLUT 037)
Uploaded to Aural Innovations: December 2003
Porcelain gOD was one of many projects devised by Slutfish Records mainstays Billy Syndrome and Evil Jim, with this being a trio of those two plus The Eggman. Just to avoid confusion... Your Insane (A Concept) was originally released on Savage Smut cassettes in 1984... but despite the title and cover art of this album, this is actually a reissue of the next two Porcelain gOD albums, Living Sin (1984) and Be True To Your School (1985).
The CD plays like a continually morphing collage of songs, samples of activity from everyday life, and playful sound experiments. The set opens with readings from a Russian language instructional tape, and then transitions to a slab of strangeness called "Dance Pt.4", which mashes together rants, dogs barking and the general freeform chaos that characterizes much of the album. The gODs incorporate a fair amount of anything goes free-improv into the music, resulting in a lot of difficult to describe but fun and intriguing songs. "There's A Place In The Field Where The Cows Like To Die" conjures up images of Sun Ra meets garage-soul at the sound art gallery. "Riding Sandy's Car" is similar but Ra has moved on to a surreal street corner rappin Revolution #9 landscape. I really dig the sound experimental space-punk-thrash of "Life Is What You Make It". "Ghouls" has it's share of space freakiness too.
"Hair Peace" and "Africa" are lo-fi songs that Billy would probably classify as anti-folk. And there's an experimental edge to the music that keeps things delightfully strange and always interesting. "Love" and "Suneye" (an old T-Rex song) are folk styled songs with catchy melodies, and the former is propelled by happy feet percussion that gave an extra kick to the music. "Cowboy Funk" is a standout track with a destroy-all-music attitude that runs a stream of musical forms through the grinder and comes out as a fucked up but perfectly structured song. Finally, we've got "Politics/Tuesday Night In Suburbia/With Me Tonight", the 25 minute stew of craziness recorded during a party at Billy's house in 1984 when his parents went on vacation. (He's a good boy. They knew they could trust him.) Listen to this and you might start to suspect that there was alcohol and other substances being consumed at this gathering.
As with most things that Billy and Evil Jim are involved with, a sense of fun and whimsy pervades throughout. I like the mixture of freeform exploration that somehow seems to result in songs. In a lot of ways this is a lot like the more experimental collage zaniness heard on Billy Syndrome albums. If you haven't heard any of those then start there. But seasoned Syndrome fans will find much fun and enjoyment here. Note that in 2003 Porcelain gOD reunited for their first recordings since 1986, the results of which appear on the 10 Years Of Slutfish compilation (see review this issue).
For more information you can visit the Slutfish Records web site at: http://www.slutfishrecords.com.
Contact via snail mail c/o Slutfish Worldwide; 327 Bedford Ave #A2; Brooklyn, NY 11211.
Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz