The Castrator Album (Six Weeks Records)
VOETSEK is one of the most intense hyper-thrash bands playing and it does a body good to see them finally drop their debut full-length on the planet. This is, of course, somewhat akin to having an atomic bomb dropped on the planet. It seemingly defies the laws of physics to have so much energy and power encased in one tiny piece of plastic. We better hope that George W. or any of his cronies never hears about this CD or they'll bury a case of them in the Iraqi desert, pretend to find them, and finally be able to declare they discovered weapons of mass destruction. Every single one of these 40 tunez is a lip-splitting, tooth-chipping hardcore roundhouse to the face. The anger and frustration displayed by VOETSEK would do any angst ridden teenager proud, so it is that much more impressive that it comes from a band with well-seasoned veterans of the hardcore underground who are 30+ years old. The album title and tray card artwork takes the still-too-prevalent misogyny and male-centric tendencies in the underground (and society at large) and turns them on their head. It isn't that it is anti-male so much as it is an anti-mirror meant to make men sweat a little bit as they contemplate what it feels like for women in the scene to confront violence targeted at them everyday. I'm not sure how effectively it communicates its message, but it is certainly punk. Don't make the mistake, however, of thinking that this album is a solitary message one-trick pony. Quite the opposite. One of the things I like best about VOETSEK is that their lyrics come from every direction other than center. One song will be a generic anti-jock ditty, the next an anti-Bush diatribe, the next a song about minimum wage serfdom, the next a pontification about JUDAS PRIEST vocalist Rob Halford, and the next a tribute to women's rights activist Alice Paul. When all is said and done, this album is one of the best two or three I've heard so far this year. It is a must own, even if you have to sell a kidney to get it. EVEN IF you've already sold one kidney.
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