Not to be outright agitating from the start, but it should be clear by now that this site stands in defiance of the current person called the president and his administration’s legacy of horrors that has done and potentially will do irreparable damage to everyone here who isn’t white, male, and in the very upper crust. Everyone else is flesh to be consumed by the gears of the machine.
Sections of metal and hardcore have risen up specifically against these terrible times, one of those being Oregon-based mashers Cliterati. The band is steamrolling back with “Ugly Truths/Beautiful Lies” that encompasses all of their anger and frustration and spreads it thick and mightily over 15 tracks that rage through 32 minutes. The band has professed they are comprised of a mix of queer, straight, white, and people of color, making them a diverse set of individuals and perfect folks to express their level of discontent. The band—vocalist Ami Lawless, guitarist Melissa White, bassist Maika Brummett, drummer Coleman Hamilton—storms the gate and delivers a sound that mixes hardcore, punk, death metal, and grind that absolutely destroys everything in sight and sends a vicious message to anyone who would see that their rights, and those of their people, are trampled. If you dare stand in front of them, you deserve whatever comes your way.
“Slow Burn” is an opening instrumental that’s grounded in metallic hardcore and does a great job getting the heart started, then it’s into “Tribal Politics,” bursting from the gates practically on fire. Lawless’ vocals smother while the band backs them with a slaying that hammers home their points. “Trans Is Beautiful” is an explosive anthem of support for transgender folks, and its speedy, thrashy crunch should have blood surging in veins while fists are pumped. “Unfuck the System” has thick bass and a trudging pace that urges trying to fix a social and political structure that has been dealing unfair blows for too long. Lawless torches the “injustice waged against us all” as the band lands hammer shots. “Silence = Death” rips apart the notion of staying in your lane instead of questioning what everyone knows is wrong. “Nothing said, nothing done,” Lawless wails as the track storms ahead, and hardcore thunder rips a hole in everything. “Breakup Song” has a bit of a rock n roll feel before Lawless throws barbs against shitty partners screaming, “I don’t want you anymore,” as the band tosses buckets of acid. “Scars Are What Hold Me Together” has a volcanic approach, a fast blast of power that has Lawless howling, “My name is nothing, and that is fine.”
“Latinx Taken” is a show of defiance and support for all of the Latino people who have been treated like animals under the current, uh, administration. “They take our hearts, they take our talent, our best ideas,” Lawless stabs, “Break up our families, call us illegals.” The track is just devastating both musically and in the pain in the words. “Footprints on the Moon” has a stunning punk burst with leads scorching, a hardcore assault sprinting toward madness, and a blazing big finish. “GPCL” is fast as fuck, lashing out against those who prevent equality in the workplace and fair wages, with Lawless belting that the system is “lining the pockets of the 1 percent, creating desperation for the rest.” The title track has the bass crushing and the band firing on all cylinders, as Lawless sings angrily about race relations and shitty dudes holding tiki torches, pounding away forcefully and never giving an inch. “Remnants of War” is a fast one with gnarly growls and the band showing its massive might. “Redneck White and Blue” has one of the best lyrics of the year as Lawless shreds, “Fox News, self-abuse,” which should be that channel’s slogan. The scathing punk assault leaves deep brush burns and some personal gashes as well, as Lawless jabs, “Let these colors run.” “In Crust We Trust” is fast and massive as riffs destroy and things boil in total hell. “Shapeshift Away” ends the album with raucous energy and devastating thrash as the track is off to the races, Lawless’ words carve away, and everything is absorbed into a cloud of noise.
This country has a lot for which to atone, which I’m not holding my breath for by any means, so until we sober up, we need forces such as Cliterati to call out the bullshit. “Ugly Truths/Beautiful Lies” is a fire-breathing, directly-in-your-face assault that declares they see the transgressions, and they’re not afraid to call them out at the top of their lungs. As long as we have forces such as these to hammer sense into people, our system of checks and balances that withers away at least has this music to make it know that we fucking see you.
For more on the band, go here: https://www.facebook.com/slimepriestess
To buy the album, go here: https://tankcrimes.merchtable.com
For more on the label, go here: https://www.tankcrimes.com/