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Stylistically cool but rather monotonous - 64%

Noktorn, June 25th, 2011

"Pussysoul" is the very start of Soilent Green's career as one of the oddest line-straddlers in the metal scene. This album must have been one weird fucker when it came out in '95; it was definitely unlike anything else from the same era and displayed a general set of influences and musical ideas that were wholly unique for the time. It's not so much that Soilent Green was a sludge/grind band- combinations of fast and slow were hardly uncommon in the punk or metal scenes even in '95- but it's the particular way these elements were combined that made Soilent Green so unique. "Pussysoul" in particular is a departure from even the very next album, and still stands out as a very pure sort of oddity in the band's catalog.

The dirty little secret of Soilent Green is that hardcore is the glue which ties all the disparate elements of their music together. I'm not talking about hardcore by way of sludge, but actual toughguy Boston-style hardcore. Each of the tracks on "Pussysoul," no matter what direction they go in otherwise, are laced with seething, angry hardcore, most obviously coming out in the Righteous Pigs-style vocal performance that dots the songs. The hoarse, all-engines-forward power violence shout that drives the music propels alongside low death grunts and high, crusty shrieks for a tri-vocal attack that goes a long way towards making this music sound very immediate and visceral. The instruments don't slouch, either. I find the ostensible death metal influences of this music pretty suspect, because all of the riffing on this material essentially sounds like it comes from the Grief catalog or early crust/grinders like Disrupt stripped of their more overt punk rock origins. The riffs are hard, brackish, and sharp- the fast ones are needling and discordant, laced with pinch harmonics like hypodermic needles, while the slow ones are crunching and dissonant takes on a southern sludge sound that at this point in time was still all but firmly established, sitting somewhere between Crowbar and Eyehategod in bluesy, drugged-out misery.

It's the southern aspect of this music which is probably the most immediately incongruous aspect. The sort of sludge combined with extreme metal in this era tended towards the hard-bitten and noisy, and to hear riffs which are so obviously bluesy in nature is a pretty big surprise, especially juxtaposed with the more oppressive elements of the tracks. Still, it adds a welcome dynamic to what's otherwise pretty straightforward music structurally. Most of the tracks on this record are undeniably similar: a couple short passages of uptempo blasting or flurries of bursting, rhythmic chords before "the crawl" starts: that seemingly endless interchange of midpaced, sludgy riffs that bridge into each other with little in the way of dynamics. In truth, it ends up being pretty monotonous by about halfway through this disc, which is one of the main areas Soilent Green ended up improving on later on in their career. While the material here is solid, it's also extremely repetitive, and I defy just about anyone to actually remember one riff or even one song in particular off this record. While the style is cool, the songs are all basically interchangeable with each other, which is one of the main things which prevents this album from being in the upper echelon of the band's discography.

While I would definitely recommend this one to anyone who finds it for cheap used, this isn't really a super important part of the Soilent Green catalog. It feels good to have and it's a great indication of what the '95 metal scene was like and where these guys would later go, but it suffers from a lack of replay value and a fairly one-note character. I think this album is probably best when shuffled with a bunch of other songs from various artists: it allows the impact of the style to be felt more fully on an individual track without even more dulling the edge. Still, worth a look from the underground.