Soul Pollution (Alternative Tentacles)
by Doug Sery
In what I can only assume is a reaction to record-breaking sales and effusive reviews of Logical Nonsense‘s first album on Alternative Tentacles, Expand the Hive, the aged San Francisco record label has chosen to re-release the second album by Santa Fe, N.M.’s very own purveyors of, um, really fast and loud music. Originally released in 1995 on New York’s Tee Pee, the sampling so evident on Expand the Hive is hidden beneath Soul Pollution‘s more straightforward onslaught. And while many compare them to Napalm Death and Extreme Noise Terror, I think a better comparison could be made with Discharge. While quite capable of imitating the guttural belches of Mark Greenway, vocalist Mike Miller leavens the ugly batter with a disturbing juxtaposition of noise that gives new, and worrying insight into the common adage that the human voice is the finest instrument. Leaving the clichés aside for the moment, while Expand the Hive holds greater appeal because of its unrelenting bleakness (having lived in Santa Fe, I found the effort necessary to bring this out particularly worthy of praise), Soul Pollution is a great precursor to a band that, in my mind, deserves a lot more recognition that it’s received.
(PO Box 419092 San Francisco, CA 94141)