Released: 2005, Blackmarket Activities/Metal Blade
Reviewer: Lord of the Wasteland
If the 1976 Robert DeNiro film, TAXI DRIVER, were to be re-made today, Ed Gein’s JUDAS GOATS & DIESELEATERS could very easily be the soundtrack that drives Travis Bickle along into his introspective descent into sociopathic madness. This music is stark, harsh, pissed-off and focused solely on the scum known as humanity. It goes without saying that the chaps in Ed Gein are no fan of the current U.S. government either, as George W. Bush and his policies are skewered endlessly. A mish-mash of grindcore, punk, noise and a slight hint of metal, JUDAS GOATS & DIESELEATERS is not an easy listen and while the 14 tracks (more like bursts of mayhem) average around two-and-a-half-minutes apiece, it would be wise to choose your listening time accordingly and to make sure there are no sharp objects around in which to harm yourself.
Many of the tracks bleed into one another and, in all honesty, it would be hard to pick a favorite since they all sound similar anyway. Ed Gein isn’t a band looking for a “hit.” The music changes time on a dime and is basically devoid of any melody or conventional song structure (forget about a chorus). Lyrically, it is impossible to understand what is being screamed—which doesn’t stop—but a thumb through the lyric booklet shows that the band has a problem with just about anything to do with North American culture. Racism, religion, politics, big business, foreign policy…hell, people in general! You name it, Ed Gein seems to hate it. Musically, the production is garage band noise filtered through an eight track, so don’t expect big expansive sound. Graham Reynolds’ guitar riffs are delivered in a messy, disorganized way and the crashing drums of Jesse Daino will have you reaching for a Tylenol before the album is half over. The add-on cover of Nirvana’s “Breed” followed by thirteen minutes of a dog barking and someone’s voicemail is the fitting end to this disorganized, atonal chaos.
I imagine the boys in Ed Gein are the pseudo-intellectual, ironic type who spew political epithets at anyone within earshot willing to think they have something brilliant to say and I have had the misfortune of being at shows where bands like this draw an audience (*ahem soundsoftheunderground *cough). For me, I hear a bunch of kids who are pissed off at the world but know nothing about it besides what they’ve seen on CNN. The bottom line is that JUDAS GOATS & DIESELEATERS is a bunch of caustic, discordant, stream-of-consciousness thoughts that have been haphazardly strung together and spewed over top of cacophonous, barely competent musicianship. Recommended? I don’t think so. Check out the latest Pig Destroyer or Watchmaker CDs for a taste of how this sort of thing should be done. Ed Gein still has some book-learnin’ to do.