Cunts don’t care what you think about them
The name of the band, accompanied by the album art, should give the listener a pretty good indication of what they’re in for with this album. This L.A. punk rock supergroup, comprised of members from Qui, Retox, Virginia Kill and Dead Cross, has been generating buzz in the underground scene since its inception. In their relatively brief lifespan, they’ve already cultivated quite a bit of notoriety from their frenetic and often violent live shows. Their self-titled debut, released on November 1st, offers an exciting glimpse of that energy to those of us who haven’t had the privilege of experiencing that chaos firsthand. Citing noise rock outfits Cows, Jesus Lizard and Die Kruezen, Cunts take the unapologetic confrontational attitudes and aesthetics of those bands and push them to their absolute limits.
This is the politically-charged punk rock that everyone has been waiting for since the 2016 election. Cunts delivers a much-needed kick in the head to this bizarre breed of conservative punks who think blind adherence to an authoritarian establishment is somehow synonymous with patriotism. “A Hero’s Welcome,” Cunts debut single, is one of the most powerful and engaging tracks on the album. The intro is truly something to behold; berzerk drum fills turn into blast beats as guitarists Sterling Riley and Micheal Crain strangle repulsive blasts of atonal phrases and feedback out of their instruments.
There are plenty of socio-political statements throughout this album, but the most scathing indictment of jingoism has to be “Fuck You for Your Service.” This track doesn’t pull any punches, and it’s rife with lyrical gems like, “there’s a name for what you do/ they got a place for people like you”
The closing track “The Greater Good,” continues to rail against hyper-nationalism and the collectivist mindset inherent in the armed forces. Songs like these are just as powerful, yet infinitely more articulate than some of the more prevalent protest tracks like “F.T.D.”
Political statements aside, there aren’t any overarching concepts on this album, but all the tracks are unified by one theme: Cunts don’t give a fuck what you think about them, and they make it abundantly clear. Between the vaguely nationalist themes present in “Cholos on Acid” as well as its sister song, “Cholos on PCP,” and the apparent transphobia of “He’s a Lady,” it seems that they’re inviting as much controversy as possible. The generally incoherent lyrics make it hard to discern exactly what their message is, but given the fact that the rest of the album takes a hardline stance against xenophobic sentiments, it becomes pretty clear after a point that these songs, in particular, are engineered to offend as many people as humanly possible. They named their band Cunts, what did you expect?
The only vaguely critical thing that can be said about this album is its relatively slow start, but that’s only when compared to the rest of the record. “Ass to Grind” lays a solid groundwork for things to come, kicking the album off with an intense primal drumbeat soon accompanied by and chunky guitar riffage and a domineering bassline. It’s better-than-average hardcore punk cut to be sure but doesn’t give the listener any hints for what is yet to come.
Cunts is an unforgiving slab of noise rock that absolutely holds its own against the classics. This is the type of album that demands the listener to turn the volume up. Their unpretentious approach to noise is a refreshing throwback to the genesis of noise rock, and their music would fit right in with anything from the legendary Dope, Guns N’ Fucking in the Streets compilations. As exciting and dynamic as the modern noise scene can be, it would be nice to see a resurgence of this “back to basics” mindset.