Cattle Decapitation – Human Jerky

Ahhh, the early beginnings of Cattle Decapitation, a band who’s managed to establish a rabid fanbase due to… some quality I haven’t been quite able to identify with.  And here they are with their illustrious beginnings (minus that demo no one cares about).  ‘Human Jerky’ is the first real release of Cattle Decapitation, which would be followed by the ‘Homovore’ EP and eventually their first terrible full-length, ‘To Serve Man’ (note that I mean terrible as in bad, not terrible as in ‘a terrible and wrathful God’).  On this little disc, just over fifteen minutes long, we get to hear Cattle Decapitation as a decidedly different group, playing what amounts to straightahead grindcore.

Of course, the fact that they were playing a different style of music doesn’t mean that they sucked any less.  Cattle Decapitation didn’t really rise to the level of ‘tolerably mediocre’ until right around ‘Humanure’, so everything before that is more or less a total loss.  But you know, something like ‘Human Jerky’ sucks, but it sucks in a comfortable and familiar way.  I can imagine these guys being a local band and seeing them at a show, and not feeling any animosity, but just thinking “God help ’em, they’re trying so hard.”  The trying never results in a good or interesting song, but they play their little hearts out on these crappy tracks and it’s almost endearing.  But then they’re also really pretentious so I guess I don’t feel so much pity after all.

The production’s awful, it’s very thin and conveys no power, just noisiness.  The songs are about as good.  They’re little sub-minute blasts of stereotypical buzzsaw grind riffing with constantly double-tracked high/low vocals and fast drumming.  It mostly resembles Regurgitate if Regurgitate sucked.  At this stage in their career, Cattle Decapitation didn’t actually know how to ‘write songs’ or ‘play their instruments’ or ‘not be terrible’, but it doesn’t matter because I think that around this time it was still sort of a half-joke project.  Occasionally the band settles into a half-decent groove, but those parts don’t have blast beats so the band feels the need to immediately remedy the situation by sucking again.  Oh well.

The most notable thing about this is that as bad as it is, I’d still rather listen to it than ‘To Serve Man’.  While ‘Human Jerky’ is crappy on a comfortable level, ‘To Serve Man’ is just awful and makes me vaguely angry when I listen to it.  This sucks and I don’t recommend you get it, but if you have to choose between the two, take this, the shorter and more endearing one.

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~ by noktorn on July 28, 2008.

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