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There is a good chance you found us accidentally by using the word “taint” in your search (If you found us on purpose, you deserve our accolades). Of course we don’t know what you were looking for, but you stumbled on a damn cool project. Look around; let us help send you on a musical journey. Here you will find a number of album reviews from the strange and extreme to the tame and mainstream. Our reviewers are a bunch of obsessive miscreants. Most of us are avid music collectors and have been involved in the music world for decades. A couple of us have been in or are still in bands.

There are no rules on Tickle Your Taint Blog. Our reviewers might make you laugh, or piss you off; both results are legitimate. One reviewer might write a glowing review of an album another might tear it apart. We may end up adopting a single review system, such as five stars, or each reviewer may use his own or none at all. We may have a new review every week or we could end up with one every six months. This blog exists as a social experiment to build community among a diverse group of music maniacs – our reviewers and hopefully you. Pull down your knickers, lube up and join us in tickling yours and our taints.

If you are in a band, have released a physical (rather than an MP3) CD or record, and would like us to review your efforts, contact us at tickleyourtaint@yahoo.com

Monday, April 6, 2015

Skull Drug, Hard Times EP (Liver Die Records, release April 18, 2015)

By Beert

Oddly enough, Tickle Your Taint has presented an opportunity, and I’m somewhat shocked and yet flattered that I was asked to do a review of a new EP from a band from Arizona—Skull Drug. Who am I to turn down the opportunity to listen to new music? So, through a mutual friend between Skull Drug and myself, I was sent links to the songs of the upcoming, 4-song EP, Hard Times. The EP will be available in CD format and downloadable. As it stands, the band is working on getting a website/store together to make things available. But, if you Google the band name, you’ll find links to their Facebook page, Dying Scene page, Reverbnation.com/skulldrug, etc.

The EP starts off with the song “No I Didn’t.” Lyrically, the song is simple and straightforward. There’s an attitude of living your own life and not needing anyone’s opinion or approval, and that’s appreciated. “No I Didn’t” is quick, with a couple instances of some hot licks on guitar, which take away a little from the song. But, I’ve never been a fan of upfront guitar noodling. The backbone behind “No I Didn’t” is very solid. The whole thing comes across well. It is like an updated version of some great late 80s hardcore and thrash.

“Destructive Design” is the follow up song. The sing-a-long “whoahs” are a very nice touch, giving it a bit of street punk feel. The guitar sound takes me back to How To Clean Everything-era Propagandhi. The song has a serious lyrical bent about self-destructive behavior, which seems to be aimed outward instead of inward. Lyrics like this make me think that the writer has lost someone close to something he or she couldn’t control.

“Disoriented” is the first song on side 2, if they turn this release into vinyl (hint, hint). This song I liked and disliked. For anyone who has dealt with depression, I think the lyrics are relatable. They come across as questions, mostly. And, being someone who visits the state of depression more than I would like, they are the kind of questions you ask yourself. The music that holds the song together is very good. The off-putting element is the guitar wank and volume. There is a lot of string play, and it overpowers the rest of the song, instead of complimenting it. I think there is a time and place to showcase fret board skills, but this song shouldn’t be the one. And it is a bit much.

The EP concludes with “Delusions.” Before I even finish listening to the song, I have to say, this is a great song. Vocally, it is total Conflict style. Musically, it is straight ahead and driving. I wouldn’t call it crust, but there’s some ass-flap wearing and charged hair influence for sure. Lyrically this song is right on. It is against wage-slavery and religion-dictated life.

The ties we wear are strangleholds
The clocks we punch keep us controlled
For a life we live so dreadfully
We sell our souls and think we’re free

Beautifully said. There is some overlay of guitar on this one, and it works. It does not drown out the rhythm of the song, and accentuates it, moving as one.

The recording on this EP is a bit too polished for me. It seems to be missing some of the grit that I’m sure you could catch in a live show from Skull Drug. But Hard Times is definitely not a bad EP at all. The musical style is varied, which is nice. And, although the band labels themselves as thrash punk, I don’t think they can be pigeonholed into that category. I get a sense of throwback to late 80s hardcore and some punk, catching some minor bits of Bad Religion and some DRI. Hell, to be obscure, I caught some Butt Lynt from this recording. And I had flashbacks to those great late 80s/early 90s shows when I’d go see Butt Lynt play live.

All in all, this is a good solid release from these cats from Arizona. There are just a few personal things I would like to see cleaned up, but that’s just my opinion. And they didn’t ask for my opinion, “no they didn’t, no they, no they, no they didn’t!”