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They Have Pulled Down Deep Heaven On Their Heads -Or- Come Hell or High Voltage: An Electromagnetic Rapture-rock Shock-apocalypse In Dramatic Dialogue With Damned Abaddon's Lost Lads And Lasses
Artist: Voice of the Mysterons
Label: Boot to Head Records 
Time: 17 tracks/24:24 minutes

Some of you may remember the band Blaster the Rocket Boy (later Man). They achieved somewhat cult status with the 1997 release of Succulent Space Food for Teething Vampires, which left both the Christian and secular industries collectively scratching their heads. The band combined a strange obsession with old horror films with their Dead Kennedys inspired freak punk and a Christian worldview.

After a couple more records Blaster's lead singer Otto NoBot (Daniel Petersen) moved to Scotland. Of course, one cannot keep him down; soon after the move Voice of the Mysterons was formed. It is very rare to find an album that defies classification-"nothing new under the sun" as Solomon said. However, this band combines various musical and cultural influences, including cheesy sci-fi (refer to the band name), to create the most spastic and original punk I've heard in years.

The music on this album is insane. There is not a single song that reaches three minutes in length and there is not a moment to catch your breath until the (comparatively) pretty one-minute closing secret track. It is super fast, low-fi punk with obvious electronic, hardcore, and indie influences. Otto sounds like a tortured combination of Jello Biafra and Jeff Suffering, ranting invariably verbose lyrics over the music. He sounds truly crazed at times. It blows my mind that he can fit a complete page of lyrics into each 2-minute song. There are enough words to keep a prog band with epic 12-minute opuses happy, but hey, it works in a short punk track too, right? Just don't even try to follow along. This guy sings faster than I can read.

Speaking of verbose, how about the short, catchy song titles: "Something Breathes Beside You In The Darkness -Or- Who Is The Light That Flashed On The All-Horrors Desolate Beach Bash?" Just wow. With the album only reaching 24 minutes, it'll take you just as long to read the titles as it will to listen to the record!

Otto packs a lot of insight into these lyrics though. They are much more evangelical than the majority of Christian punk nowadays. The booklet even includes what could be considered a full-page tract at the very front. However Otto does not write boring and derivative lyrics like so many CCM artists do, the lyrics throughout describe spirituality in a challenging and intelligent way. For example, the first song opens with a description of the creation of humanity:

What Animus to animate us?

See between the sequences.
Feel the invisible hand shape the million minutiae
while you move free within his breath
(His breath within).

This album is an excellent release, proving once again that punk is not dead, it's just mutating. If the world has any justice this will be on everyone's best of lists for the end of the year, unfortunately this band is just too experimental and unique to achieve any more than a cult following-but you should be part of that following.

Noah Salo


 
 
 
 

 
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