Thursday, May 19, 2011
HYMNS: Refused - "Worms of the Senses / Faculties of the Skull"
Refused - "Worms of the Senses / Faculties of the Skull"
(from The Shape of Punk to Come: A Chimerical Bombination in 12 Bursts, Burning Heart, 1998)
When I was a youngster, on days when it seemed certain the world was out to get me and I was certain to fight back, my mom had a final desperate move that -- in memory at least -- always worked: we'd read Mean Soup. This book would direct me through a series of screams, scratches, spittings and kickings, and then, at the end... I was okay.
"Worms of the Senses / Faculties of the Skull" kicks off one of two great Mean Soups for my adulthood: The Shape of Punk to Come (the other being Coltrane's Giant Steps). It's much, much more than a great anger management record, but these days I seem to visit it most often after a few hours of storming around pulling my hair, kicking out at the nearest objects and animals, cursing stream-of-consciousness under my breath like Albert in I ♥ Huckabees. Just hearing the quiet carhorns honking in the track's opening seconds slows my breathing down... even before the ripping sheets of filthy-hard guitar bursts come in, before Lyxzén's vicious scream announces the band's bone-shattering intentions.
And then all Hell breaks loose, and I'm airdrumming and screaming and pounding the floor and airguitaring and screaming and jumping and swinging and anything I had felt before the song kicked in is lifting heavenward out of me, just exploded out into the ether. It's one of the most dynamic, perfectly executed blasts in all of late rock music, an incredible, heart-stopping cacophony of guitar-and-vocal violence held together and multiplied by some of the most brilliant drumming ever. Ever. His name is David Sandström. Pay attention.
The song builds to a final, no-holds-barred catharsis ("Let's tAke the first bus outta here / Let's Go DDDAAAAAAAAAAAAAOOOOOOOOOWWWWNNN"), punches the f**king lights out, and then the radio fuzz hits like a bucket of icewater to the face, and you're hooked, you need more immediately, you feel good, thanks, keep it coming -- and it's only a minute or two before the chorus of "Liberation Frequency" is breaking all Hell loose again.
MP3: Refused - "Worms of the Senses / Faculties of the Skull"
and for the parents: Mean Soup