Friday, August 10, 2012


Two seconds in to the record the Lollipop Guild welcomes you CACOFONIA land.  Yup, two seconds in to a noise grind  song there is a munchkin voice mocking the guitar riff.  I suppose that is to set the platform for blast beats and dog growling vocals that come next???  This is some of the best grind growl vocals ever.  Completely indecipherable.  I started to think this whole thing was just a joke.  CACOFONIA is nothing more than a parody of grind noise, right?  Farther down the yellow brick road the munchkin voice comes back, sounding like a little man doing a white knuckle job on the shitter this time, while they are playing Darth Vader's theme song (The Imperial March)!  The first mock gindcore/noise band in history, maybe?  A little Google Translate of the lyrics say otherwise.  I think the case is CACOFONIA didn't check their humor at the door while still covering topics of censorship, religion, environment, the human condition and the media portrayal of minority groups needing a good beatdown by authority like police and military.  I have some respect for knowing there is some bad, fucked up shit in the world but not having an unmovable stick up your ass all the time.  CACOFONIA are raging lucha libre fans too, posing as headbanging luchadores on stage.
Forming in Mexico City, CACOFONIA seems to have had two constant members since their inception in 1988, Thrasher and Pancho.  They started as side project by members of ATOXXXICO, HISTERIA, AK-47, MASSACRE 68 and ANARCHUS with various stand ins on vocals at live shows because the singer (pancho) didn't really give a crap about live performances.  The band has remained active since, in 2007 with a big to do about their 19 years together as a band and just this May they were playing out.  Now just sit back and see if they can hit a quarter century of noise making.
On a more serious note, PUTRID SCUM's side is not so comical.  Primitive grindcore and more melodic than their CACOFONIA pals.  There is a lot of gorilla drum abusing.  Beauty is in those minimalist Thonk Thonk Thonk Thonk drum beats.  The first time behind a kit sounds like that for everybody.  Anybody can play that, it's punk as fuck.  Singing lyrics in English, PUTRID SCUM is easier to understand vocally, only if you are following along with the bouncing ball in the lyric sheet.  Even then those grumbling barks are hard to follow.  Two songs are dated topically, "Courage For Peace" and "Post Nuclear" are the last of their kind.  (A quick history lesson for all that didn't experience this first hand.)  At the end of 1989 the Berlin Wall came down,  a few months prior the Tiananmen Square protest had happened, two years later the USSR was completely dissolved and this record came out in 1990.  Communism took a severe beating.  With the Iron Curtain and the USSR gone so were the Cold War, the nuclear arms race did a 180° turn, mutually assured destruction wasn't at the front every persons mind and because I mentioned Star Wars once...  why not slip it in again (wacka wacka)  Then they have a wily stoning of Catholicism, now that's a timeless one.  Toxic waste disposal is lamented and for good reason.  Mexico's brilliant maquiladora idea was jumped on by American companies.  It was a win win for them.  Cheap labor and Mexico's virtually non existent environmental laws made toxic waste disposal a breeze.  Anencephalic babies wasn't a trend anybody wanted.  For good measure they incant Mahatma Gandhi and dedicate their side of the record to him.  Courage for peace man.
There doesn't seem to be a lot of information on PUTRID SCUM.  They are from Mexico City and I assume they started playing around '88/'89.  They did a demo in 1990 called "New Songs" implying there was previous demo but I can't find any record of one.  There is discography cd, Premonitions Of War, that includes some live tracks.  The most recent activity I can find by the band is they logged into their Myspace page last in 2009.


Puro Pinche Ruido records (PPR) in Mexico put this out in 1990.  The cover is printed on some of the thinnest paper.  It's basically tissue paper.  I bet a lot of these copies have the cover just wrecked.  The insert is printed on regular card stock though, go figure.  Roughly translated on CACOPHONIA's side of the insert this record had a pressing error and was junked.  When the new ones came in the center labels were on the wrong sides.  This was released with the labels reversed.  Reading that sooner would have saved me some time putting two and two together and getting 5.  "PUTRID SCUM is all about Gandhi, their side is the Gandhi label...  uhhh wait a minute, something's wrong here."

Two interviews with Thrasher and Pancho

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