Two Ton Boa
(Kill Rock Stars)
by Jamie Kiffel
Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. Nowhere is this so obvious as in Sherry Fraser’s man-eating lyrics for Two Ton Boa. What at first sounds like minor-key horrorshow Goth with sometimes catchy hooks, at closer listen reveals roaring hellfire for unlucky male souls. “Comin’ Up From Behind,” a freaky circus march, introduces a woman who is “losing all her leeches like a stonewall,” lumbering in frightening vocal syncopation toward the unfortunate subject, an unsuspecting big-shot with “Wall Street pockets jangling.” Fraser’s clever buildup to the chorus produces all the anxious anticipation of a monster approaching… approaching… and finally striking. “Bleeding Heart” combines Fraser’s powdery, soft whispers of love, made chilling with tinniness and static, with hellraising alto condemnations. Like a female Charles Baudelaire, the French poet who dipped his fountain pen into the Inferno and drew demons into literature, Fraser fills her music with all the curses of the depths that she can summon. “My heart is floating in a seasick bag of meat,” she sings, and bacterial maggots float into view. She conjures sex into Hieronymous Bosch-like demon copulation: “I liked you my pet draped around my fragile neck/ Your serpent tail was flailing inside my velvet oven/ One slip times twenty and we exploded into Nothing.” Filth-filled with songs of junkies, corpses, sick strippers, and blood, Two Ton Boa ornately details the most repulsive parts of the hole of rot. The noteworthy part is that the music is actually active, rather than merely explorative. Fraser harnesses images of horror to torture the men who deserve it. She thrusts rich cheats into Hell, and shows us insects clicking their wings in their nostrils. She doesn’t sighingly sacrifice herself to anguish, as Rasputina or Dead Can Dance do; she revels in the mud and slings it where it’s due, musically and enjoyably. As the title implies, this is no creepy, quiet snake with a flicking tongue. It’s a behemoth thrashing, tearing at souls and eating heads.
(PMB 418 120 N.E. State St. Olympia, WA 98501)