It communicates the dysfunction well
Right now people live in a particular time. For most, it’s an overwhelming fiery trash heap with seemingly no end in sight. The anxiety is palpable—one of the only avenues of solace and mild enjoyment has been the ways this unease has manifested creatively. This is especially true regarding instrumentation that mirrors this collective sense of dread people all share. Look at the latest by Brutal Truth and Napalm Death (who also have a new one coming out) adjacent band Venomous Concept, called Politics Versus the Erection, for example. Outside of its particularly cheeky title and lyrics that carry that same energy, Politics Versus the Erection pulls sonic similarities from the legends who encompass it, resulting in a solidly accurate compositional manifestation of what this whole year has been like so far.
Politics Versus the Erection is pretty raucous from the start. “Simian Flu” opens the floodgates of arduous vigor, slapping listeners in the face with rapid drumming, underlying groovy bass tones and gnarly riffing from the Napalm contributors, Danny Herrera and Shane Embury respectively, along with John Cooke. Venomous Concept as a whole, much like the ways its individual parts operate in their other projects, can pack an incredible amount of force into quite the compact of packages. “Hole in the Ground” is but a mere 53 seconds, yet there’s enough grindcore might within it for an entire album. “Colossal Failure,” “Dementia Degeneration” and “Mantis Toboggan” are other moments of note, each leaning harshly into fierce punk or boisterous hardcore at differing times. The shrillness of vocalist Kevin Sharp (Brutal Truth) elevates them even further.
Ending with the title track, Politics Versus the Erection rumbles to a close at a considerably slower pace than the rest of the album. Driven by a barreling, bassy and low tempo, “Politics Versus the Erection” is like the final embers of a fire burning out—even Sharp seems to be giving his cords a bit of a rest as well. It’s as if they’re rolling into an extended interlude, only to come back with gut-wrenching strength on the next record.
After what they just listened to, people will certainly be waiting.