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SHOW REVIEW: Hate Dept. w/Thresher, Village Idiot & Written In Ashes
March 20, 1999 -- Portland, Oregon EJ's

By: Sonya Brown

The touring band, Hate Dept., brought their heavy industrial sound to EJ's on Saturday, March 20th. The lineup also included Written In Ashes, Thresher, and Village Idiot - whose lead singer, by the way, performed an entire song completely naked - which was the main thing I remember about that particular performance!

Anyway, I was quite impressed with Hate Dept., and decided it would be a worthwhile project to learn more about them, so I picked up a copy of their CD "Meat.Your.Maker". This CD was their first release, and was the only one available at the show at that time. Their latest CD is "Technical Difficulties"; however, according to the Hate Dept. Web Page, Restless Records has acquired "Meat.Your.Maker" from 21st Circuitry Records; and their second release "Omnipresent", from Neurotic Records; and plan on re-releasing them under the Restless label, along w/bonus tracks & remixes. The samples used on Meat.Your.Maker are eerie at times, but are backed by heavy, driving electronics and vocals. On a more visual front, I loved the look added by the glow-sticks hanging about the necks of the band members, and the energy and aggressiveness that goes with their sound.

Pictured here (clockwise from front) are Steven Siebold, Marc Greco, Chuck Hunt and Jeff Smith.

Hate Dept.'s front-man, Steven Seibold, is both a producer (Berlin, Information Society) and remixer (Smash Mouth's "Walkin' On The Sun (Love Attacks Mix)," Abra Moore, and others) and he claims to use Hate Dept. as a vehicle to get out his frustrations. That seems to be a rather accurate description not only for Seibold, but for the other members of Hate Dept.; as well as for the people who attend their performances. I can't recall ever standing in front of a band who was pointing out people and yelling "fuck you" to audience members... and having this be a part of the performance (and also following the theme of their songs, such as "Bored and Stupid").

I recall Seibold saying something to the effect that it's not about hating people for the color of their skin, sexual preference, etc.... it's about hating everyone! So welcome to the department of hate...... fuck you......

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