Monday, December 21, 2009

Review #10: AIDS Wolf - Cities of Glass (2008)

Year: 2008
Genre: Punk Rock
Sub-Genres: Noise
Label: Skin Graft Records
Tracks: 10
Length: 23 Minutes (Medium-Length)
Style: Weird/Rebellious
My Rating: 6/8

In this day and age, traditional punk rock has become "normal". Like the music that the punk rock heroes of long ago fought against, it too has become formulaic and mainstream-friendly. Yesterday, I had to walk through a Hollister store while doing Christmas shopping with my brother, and I happened to notice that they were selling STUDDED JACKETS. Can you believe that? This was the kind of stuff that kids 30 years ago were nearly getting arrested for, and it's been co-opted to be marketed to the most mainstream, goody-two-shoes, non-rebellious segment of the market there is. There it goes for those idiots who cared more about the fashion aspect than the music aspect.

But anyways, I definitely think it is time for a change in punk rock. We need more bands that actually challenge the status quo like they did until the mid-'90s, when the music slowly started getting more generic sounding and split up into sets of cliches. AIDS Wolf is one of these bands. Abrasive, insane, un-melodic, noisy. Ze music of ze freakz. The band has been together since 2003, and have released about four records, the newest of which was released in this year. Now, I wouldn't really guess this from listening to the music, but the singer, Chloe Lum, has a goofy Canadian accent which I find attractive for some reason. Ahem. Anyways, as many have said before, including the band itself, that they are a very polarizing group. You can either love them or hate them. It is hardly possible to have a different opinion. This band is like the antidote we need to the horrible mainstream garbage that's out there, right now.

On the first listen of the album, I was up very late at night, and it felt like rolling around in broken glass in the garage while having somebody run a drill through the side of your skull. I was literally cackling like a maniac while listening to this. Here iz why:

1. M.T.I.
Starts out with a strange buzz, followed by rolling drums and weird noises out of the vocal chords of Chloe Lum that suddenly make higher pitches. Sort of like you are running and being chased by insane-o bumble-bees of punk rock noize. The beat shifts from one to another throughout the song. Chloe continues to make awesome noises. The song gets more hectic towards the end, the beat speeds up, and the voices get higher and higher pitched. $4 to anybody who can MAKE UP lyrics for these songs!

2. Tied Up in Paper
Aggressive beats, guitar leads that resemble a 5-year-old trying to play a piano, and weird cries from the singer. Try listening to this during sex, 'cause it's actually pretty sexy, I think. I dare ya!

3. Cities of Glass
You can actually hear a few intelligible words here, which are: "Cities of Glass". Buzz-saw guitar noise and screams ensue. This music seriously makes me want to have sex. I dunno why. It's just legit, especially in the middle onwards. Gotta love the occasional fast tempo that they inject into the song.

4. Ch-Ch-Ch-Chatter
Chloe sounds like a chipmunk or somethin', here. This song feels like somebody is grabbing you by the ears and shaking you around while screaming at you, telling you to do a bunch of stuff in a strange language that you do not quite understand. The song gets slow, in the middle, and then at the end, it gets all fast again.

5. Down Holy Ground
Immediate crazy noise. Total chaos. Am I really supposed to even be ABLE to explain these songs in words? It's sort of hard to.

6. Gnarly Tooth
This one is fast. Chloe moans and groans in a high-pitched voice. The bass is very throbbing, and the guitar makes weird awesome noises. The song ends with just Chloe singing with the shaky rhythm guitar. Maybe the rhythm guitarist was nervous because he was afraid that he would mess up and have to re-do the song again! Heh-heh!

7. General
General Chaos? General Foods? General Weiners? Something like that. The song starts with guitar-noise that resembles a motor-engine or something, and then there comes the crashing percussion. I could have sworn I heard the singer say something about "throwing the cows". If she did, then that is fucking awesome!!

8. A Sacrificial Drone
Another fast song. It's like a motorcycle is doing continuous burn-outs on your face and there's nothing you can do but listen to the insane voices in yer head that you usually ignore.

9. Relevant Issues
The song begins like it's almost going to be a NORMAL-sounding song... NOT!! Right when you hear the beat roll in, it turns into a psycho, unstructured, anarchic scream-fest, and then Chloe starts saying "ow". I'd say it's the best song on the album. It's got the energy of a family of rednecks fighting eachother amidst a very loud earthquake in a rusty old trailor with barking dogs with rabies to make matters noisier. The song ends with a nice bass beat.

10. So Many Plastic Pearls
Another song that begins sounding like a guitar engine. I agree with Chloe on this one, though. There are SO MANY PLASTIC PEARLS! I personally don't know if they should be called pearls if they're actually not pearls. Well, who knows? A particularly deep line I've personally felt like I can relate to in this song was the lines, "Soooowaaaachhh cowwww, blllaghadgsdgsd tiiiinyyyyy steeeeeoooo waaaayyyyyzzzz, wwwwyyyy zzzz muuuuheeen, wwwwyyy zzzz cowwwwtzzzzzz".
(that's the end)

Y'know, I don't have much luck finding the type of woman I am looking for. But I think I seriously could at an AIDS Wolf concert. I think they would appeal to a certain type of freak-savage that attracts me. But even if not, I simply MUST see this band LIVE before they break up!! Can you imagine how awesome the experience must be? The lamers quickly get scared and leave, and the fans just go crazy there, for just a few moments of chaos? I hear that the band doesn't even play on a stage! If you love noise, you should get this album. 'Cause, like, it makes noises. And it's pretty damn noizy.



  1. Hi ,
    General is meant to be General ____ _____. The blanks would be Greg Ginn. It's inspired by a line in "Get In The Van" where Henry Rollins calls touring w/ Black Flag "a long march to the sea". That quote is the first line in the lyrics and the song builds around the idea of going into battle with only SOUND as a weapon and shield.

  2. Whoa, that's awesome. I haven't read that book yet. And Chloe Lum, I am honored to have you actually comment on my review of your band! AGHHH



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