Growing up a rabid thrash fanatic, you would assume that Seattle’s foremost (read: only) purveyors of “splatter-rock” would have been part of my daily diet of circle pits, mosh parts and skateboards (okay, I lied: I don’t skateboard)…but you’d be wrong. I was cognizant of them, of course, but, truth be told, I never really heard THE ACCÜSED until somewhat recently, and was left…unimpressed.
Add to this the fact that THE ACCÜSED’s reunion album, The Curse Of Martha Splatterhead, is being released on Southern Lord of all labels, and this humble scribe is even more confused. Known primarily for their doom ’n drone delving, the fact that The Lord is releasing a skate-thrash album of all things led to assume that Curse would just HAVE to be one bad-ass sonofabitch which would bring me back to the SUICIDAL mix tapes and METALLICA tees of my youth.
Again, agitation and confusion rule my world, as The Curse Of Martha Splatterhead--she, the band’s mascot for years now–lends itself to be a tired, uneventful foray of warmed over thrash. First and foremost, Brad Mowen’s vocals are of the nasal hysteric, love them or hate them variety, with yours truly standing in the latter camp. Additionally, Tom Niermeyer’s riff ability never overwhelms or dutifully impresses–apart from brief, shining moments of headbangability–which leads me to question any real relevance THE ACCÜSED’s might possess: I just don’t get it.
Maybe it’s the matter of a meeting place and time, but–even after delving into THE ACCÜSED’s back catalog–this sort of “splatter rock” doesn’t move me, baby. While I commend the band’s longevity, I’m having a difficult time recommending this record to anyone other than staunch fans and defenders from back in the day. (Southern Lord)