The Australian goodwill committee(s) keep turnin’ and burnin’, mostly in a garage/punk sorta way, but occasionally in darker recesses, much like what’s found here, with two heretofore unseen acts presenting two unnamed offerings. The cover art sets up some intense expectations – one side depicts a redhaired man about to flog an electric guitar with a length of rusty chain, while the other finds an artist taking an electric drill to a denuded lamb’s skull in front of a bunch of amps and pedals. Cured Pink’s side certainly rattles the chains as expected, a death march of single-chord electric guitar, mournfully strummed amid stormy ambiance and some hard-to-discern, shouted vocals. Seems like more of a mood-setting device than anything else, but it’s effectively creepy. Penguins’ side is a bit more realized, with militaristic drumming and a formidable hedge wall of guitar that is tough enough to withstand the start-stop chug of the track, along with the various menacing bits of brass and shrieking going on around it. It’s reminiscent of Godflesh if they had a chance encounter with a new music ensemble, wanted to focus on a single directive or two, and ran with it. While that animal dome isn’t really spoken for by such sounds, it’s a good piece all the same. White vinyl, black dust sleeve, color jacket. Looks really nice, and for a rando one-man runoff, it’s got a lot of potential.
- Doug Mosurock (Still Single)
The cover photos tell the tale of this split – the Cured Pink guy is bashing a guitar with twelve-feet of rusty chain, while the Penguins guy takes an amplified drill to a bloody animal head, dirtying his denim outfit. I’d need both a helmet and a poncho in order to see these groups live, so this tidy split 7″ makes for a much more sanitary option. It’s pretty killer, too – Cured Pink have a focused, Swans-ish approach; their tune is one big icy stare with an attitude that makes Michael Gira seem like Ben Gibbard. Penguins are an excellent partner: similarly industrial, heavy on the percussion and bass and militaristic repetition (think Test Dept). Not sure I hear any meat being drilled though; maybe next time. Definitely more of an academic approach (think “Wire magazine subscription”) than I had expected, but it’s made for a better record than I had expected, too. There’s gotta be a purpose to the madness of Cured Pink and Penguins, one that I don’t necessarily wish to discover.