Oh, the power of Lard. 1997’s Pure Chewing Satisfaction was a burrowing larva harassing my ears on a rather routine basis some 20-odd years ago (picture a screaming Chekhov in Star Trek 2… you remember the scene). I. Simply. Couldn’t. Get. Enough. Sadly, releases by this industrial supergroup can only be counted on one hand (with an angry finger to spare), but Pure will always be the gateway drug to a heavily explorable universe of side projects, one-offs, and wasted anticipation. (Cocks head and wonders to self), maybe I should unearth my old mix tapes. Lard was a frequent flier on my sides (laughs to self), much to the dismay of my less-than-understanding friends.
Lots to, let’s say, digest in this collage insert from Lard’s 1997 masterwork, Pure Chewing Satisfaction. Keep in mind, this is just one page (out of 30) that accompanied this album. It would take someone close to a year to read the entire booklet (purely estimating here), which is about par for Jello Biafra-related releases (Plastic Surgery Disasters, and I Blow Minds for A Living come to mind).
I’ve attempted this post from many different angles over the past few days, and I’m conceding. Tricops! provides a very difficult sound to define. Why the need to define is a topic in and of itself, something we’ll reserve for another time. All I can say about Out of Africa, the band’s debut album on Alternative Tentacles Records, is that it’s genre-mashing in the best sense of the term. If you enjoy high-speed journeys through aggressively dangerous terrain, and can stomach the 6+ minute tracks, strap on your bike helmet and check out Out of Africa. It’s an expedition best enjoyed cautiously.
Winston Smith’s, The Money Tree pairs perfectly with Jello Biafra’s anti-military, socially-conscious-Kool-Aid-drinking, leave-no-stone-unturned-rant-machine on Alternative Tentacles’ 1989 release, Last Scream of the Missing Neighbors. One of the two records spun today (the other being The Zombies’ Odessey and Oracle, side 2… twice).
A pleasant surprise was found today whilst digging through the “B” section of the home library. A forgotten purchase (apparently for $10.99 from Amoeba, way back before their prices skyrocketed), Jello Biafra with The Melvins’ 2005 effort, Sieg Howdy! To say I was giddy would be putting it mildly. That, was the upside. The downside… maybe my collection is getting away from me…
While supplies last, or so I’m led to believe based on the discounted price, one, such as you, could adapt your large hole 45s with these stylish, slightly non-conformist plastic adapters. Featuring the classic Alternative Tentacles logo we all know and love, this set of three comes in translucent red, reflective silver, and reflective gold. I ordered two sets myself, because for $3 per set, why the hell not? Adapt your baby records with style, courtesy of Alternative Tentacles Records.
As far as Lard is concerned, it really doesn’t get much better than 1989’s The Power of Lard. “Pity the poor trainer, in the stable when the racehorse farts,” “It’s ok to run out of butter in Zambia, just smear squashed caterpillars on your toast,” and “Poison Oak really is the aphrodisiac of the Gods” are just the red hot tip of the frozen iceberg found within the band’s debut track.
Fast forward to 2000 with the release of the band’s 2nd EP (three tracks). Their fourth and final release, 70’s Rock Must Die unfortunately features more tongue than cheek, and is by far the band’s ill-fated gift. For you see, there really is no bad Lard album, track, phrase, loop, what-have-you, there’s just spitfire Industrial brilliance, and their other stuff.
I’m thinking black… cream and sugar are for half-witted-ninny-poops. No disrespect to the half-witted-ninny-poops. Coffee, like most music, is best served dark. Diluting the base w/ cream makes for chocolate milk, and what self-respecting-half-assed-adult wants chocolate milk? Drink your coffee like a terrorist, established in 1979.
As the long-told, infrequently-forgotten story goes, the sunshine-happy-give-us-your-money band featured on the back cover of Dead Kennedy’s debut, Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables was used without the band’s consent, and resulted in a threatened lawsuit causing variations of the Bay area’s backside cover art. LA-based Sounds of Sunshine (aforementioned sunshine-happy-give-us-your-money band), wasn’t quite satisfied with their work-around beheading, and the Dead Kennedy’s were forced to come up with a new back cover concept altogether (replaced the sunshine-happy-give-us-your-money band sans heads with four vintage living room-dwellers sitting under a framed Alternative Tentacles logo… subsequent lawsuit forthcoming).
If any morals are to be learned from this tug-and-pull fiasco, they are forever silenced by the timeless music contained within.
We could all use a little Jello in our diets. Be it the “from concentrate” blend found in the Dead Kennedys, or the 100%, all-natural, organic pickings from Jello Biafra’s spoken word albums, this political-protein based truth-nutrition is part of a healthy, balanced diet, and it’ll help you shed those conservative love handles with little-to-no effort.
This anti-war, pro-lower & middle/working class, pro-education, pro-environment, pro-urban renewal, anti-mainstream media, anti-racism, promotional works of undivided freedom will be written off by some as terrorist propaganda, but that certainly doesn’t make it wrong, or worse, truthful. An exceptionally dense piece of work, this double LP is Jello’s third spoken word album, and requires repeat listens in order to absorb the steady waves of detailed and cited research that, for reasons that are all too obvious, make him a threat to a system set-up to keep the poor, the mute, and fearful at bay.
This should be required listening material for 6th graders across the nation. Black and white are not the only colors in this uniform spectrum we are all a part of, and what’s frustrating, is that so many will blindly say that black and white aren’t really colors at all. Distraction, the oldest and most powerful guise in maintaining power the world has ever known.
Oh, the power of LARD… three tracks, clocking in at just over 37 minutes, and the feeble-minded, tight-rolled pant leg sporting, baseball card collecting, 9-year-old version of myself would never be the same.
Now, keep in mind that it wasn’t until my college years that I was exposed to the all-star match-up between the repetitious poundings of industrial metal Godfathers, Al Jourgensen and Paul Barker, and the politically motivated snarls of Dead Kennedys’ frontman, Jello Biafra. I chuckle to myself in wondering what my 9-year-old self would have thought of this album upon hearing it back in 1989 when it was first released. I probably would have had a nervous breakdown and gone missing for three or four days. Oh, what could have been?