Friday, September 11, 2009

Scum System Kill

I think that most astute fans of Japanese crust are familiar with this band: Osaka’s Societic Death Slaughter, more commonly known as SDS. These punk/metal bastards had already been around for ten years by the time they released the Scum System Kill EP, having made their first recorded appearance on the obscure Choice is Mine tape comp in 1987. They’d been longtime students of the Anti-Sect school of crust—check out their split LP with Misery—when Scum System Kill (and the Total Insubordination comp that preceded it) marked a distinct change in their sound. Although SDS did occasionally allow their songs to pick up the pace, Scum System Kill was the first record where they really combined their crusty metal influence with primal hardcore aggression to the maximum effect. The title track sets the pace with a blood-boiling intro that explodes into a spectacular display of guitar pyrotechnics and blazing speed. Although it’s an otherwise good song, the shrieking demon vocals on “Distort Fucking Hope” might grate on some listeners. But the flip side starts with “1000 Million Crying” (what?), a similarly quick-paced number that puts things back on the right path. And where else does it lead but “Straight to Hell.” Although it isn’t as immediately satisfying as “Scum System Kill,” this song is probably the best example of the band’s old/new approach coming together. SDS would expand the sound further with the Ameber 12-inch a year later.

Consensus Reality had Scum System Kill in their distro at the 1998 Slap a Ham Fiesta Grande, and somehow everyone managed to pass it up. Apparently the kids had Spazz records on their minds and forgot to keep their eyes peeled for the kinds of bands that you didn’t always find in the regular local show distros. I knew of the SDS/Misery split LP, so I went for it and just about got my head blown off when I put it on later that night. The kids didn’t know what they were missing that night by not paying better attention to the Consensus Reality distro, but that’s why I still have an SDS record and they probably replaced those Spazz split 7-inches with the Make Up or something equally hideous.

Click here to kill your scum system.

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