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Burritos are my favorite food - 87%

raspberrysoda, May 19th, 2017

Before...and After has to be one of the most fucked up (in a good way) metal albums ever created. It will make you piss in your goddamn pants. It has influences from thrash, grindcore, crossover, hardcore punk, and RUDOLPH THE FUCKING RED NOSED REINDEER, among others.

The album starts with one of the best intros in all of the history of heavy metal. Forget Battery, Fight Fire With Fire, Angel of Death, Holy Wars, or Crystal Ann, because they don't have an entire minute of a high pitched something saying "mememememeeeeeeeeee mememememeeeeee" with a guy in the background mumbling in gibberish. After the weird violin part ends, the really weird part of the album starts. Non-stop riffing, soloing, super tight drumming, time changes, and intense bass work are mixed together with the super eccentric atmosphere of the album and the endless influences that are fused with the music that will make your brain blow up. The music progresses from pure thrash mayhem, to grind-influenced parts, to Mexican-sounding clean parts, and to just pure fucking Armageddon.

"Tape Head" Tito is a very versatile vocalist. He can do some great growls, screams, "evil" vocals, and hardcore shouts, but most of the time he sounds like a really lazy hungover dude, which after an intense night of drinking and smoking pot that resulted in writing the most fucked up songs ever, his friends woke him up and said "GOD DAMMIT TITO WHILE WE WERE DRUNK WE GOT SIGNED TO FUCKING EARACHE AND WE'RE GONNA RECORD VOCALS TODAY". They perfectly fit the album's chaotic and avantgarde atmosphere which immediately brings bands such as Butthole Surfers and Faith No More to mind.

Although the songs themselves seem to chaotic at first, once you get into the theme and atmosphere of the album they all "make sense" in some way and their overly chaotic manner suddenly seems very organized and planned ahead. The song "Mexicali" (which is the best in the album" is the best example for this- it features six whole minutes of inside (and outside) jokes, a thousand style changes, and a thousand more tons of pure goof but it all works out in the end with all of the song's parts being super memorable- especially the Rudolph the Reindeer part which is really surprising, even for Before...and After.

One of the most important things in this album is, guess what, the lyrics. They are downright epic, amazing, and very VERY humorous. They mostly consist of inside jokes, the band members' names, parody, and more funny stuff. No single paragraph/line can be quoted in order to prove this fact, because no lyric in this album can be picked as one that fully describes the album.

If this album was recorded when the band members were sober and clean, it just proves that this album is a crowning achievement in a history of music- and if they were drunk and high, the album still kicks ass. Very highly recommended.

Bipolar simulator - 50%

PorcupineOfDoom, May 18th, 2017

This is a hard album to review. Frankly it's a bizarre trip through a catalogue of bad jokes accompanied by a backing track that sometimes enhances and sometimes kills the weird ideas that are discussed. I'll listen to this one day and snigger the whole way through at the sheer ridiculousness of it, then replay it the next and find myself detesting every moment I waste listening to this piece of crap. Maybe 'Before... and After' has turned me bipolar or maybe it's just the nature of this record, who knows.

As far as instrumentation goes, it's clear that it was secondary to the lyrics. It's quite punky so of course chaos is almost to be expected, but far too often the whole thing simply collapses into a mess of, well, just noise. The drumming consists of either nothingness or full-on snare-bashing, cymbal-crashing destruction. If there's an in-between it's so brief that I never register it. The guitars really aren't that much better either, with a complete mess of furious riffing comprising a great deal of this record. The ten second snippets of shredding are actually not bad, at least providing a break from the intense grindcore-esque mayhem that precedes it, but the further on in the record you get the more you realise that it's the same every time and it becomes unimpressive the sixth time you hear it. The bass might actually be the strongest part of the band, I like the thump it has and it provides a solid rhythm section that can be heard alongside the guitars, which is a decent plus. Strangely enough the only parts of the instrumentation that provide some decent entertainment are the non-aggressive parts, of which thankfully there are many. There are influences from all over the place, be it jazz, surf or even the surprisingly funny rendition of 'Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer' on 'Mexicali'. Most of the time these little breaks are better executed than you would imagine, and they flow quite nicely considering the randomness and complete lack of structure of the whole project. Go figure.

Honestly speaking the vocals are crap. It's the kind of stuff you would expect to find on a pizza thrash album, that is to say depth-less hardcore yelling that's barely understandable without taking a peek at the lyrics. Considering that the jokes are central to Spazztic Blurr's entire getup it's daft to present them in a way that they can't be easily understood. Not only that, but they're so weak that the bass, guitar and drums drown them out half the time.

The thing with Spazztic Blurr is that they're not meant to be taken seriously, so writing a serious review seems almost counterproductive. Ultimately this is just one bad joke after another, and whether you find it funny or not is what will make or break 'Before... and After' for you. Technically they're not the worst musicians, but the format they've chosen really doesn't allow them to showcase what they've got to offer us, and all that's left is their lame sense of humour. Maybe you'll like it, maybe you won't, or maybe you'll be like me and find it depends on the day of the week and whether the stars have aligned with Jupiter.

.....And God Said: Let There Be Blurr - 100%

RRMustaineRR, November 17th, 2014
Written based on this version: 1988, 12" vinyl, Earache Records (First pressing)

I'll never forget the day I got Wehrmacht's Shark Attack and after many repeated listens, I took a closer look at the album cover. Spray painted behind the drunkass shark-riding zombie's head was the name SPAZZTIC BLURR. This was an exploration well worth my time.

Building upon their obvious influences from their own band, Wehrmacht, Spazztic Blurr are incredibly significant because they use a heavy amalgamation of influences in their music. Tito, Marco, Eric, and Dave seriously created a band with no equal when it came to originality, chops, and a sense of humor. To call them grindcore, thrash, crossover, surf metal, etc. it would not suffice. You will hear anywhere from pure grind blasts (Bedrock Blurr, Call in Sick), surf epics/lounge music (Mexicalli, Fuck Yeah, Def Metal), soft ballads (He Not a Home, Bouge Jonzin), and even a Christmas Carol or the ABCs. If Frank Zappa is the king of virtuoso comedic "rock" music, then Spazztic Blurr are the Burger Kings of "heavy/metal rock" music. Notice how I use the term "rock" in the loosest of terms here. The music is obviously heavy and totally spazztic, but a debate on genres here is a moot point.

Following up where they left off from the Bedrock Blurr demo, the song structures are even more insane and the speed is near unrivaled for the time this was released. With the boys securing a contract with Earache and Dig, you can bet your ass this release would be different in the sense the ideas were incredibly original and pushed the boundaries of what the term "music" means. I have read the guys created the band to attempt to be the fastest, most extreme band they had ever seen and not take themselves too seriously while doing it. I can honestly say they succeeded in both the extreme and comedic departments. In their fledgling years, the Bedrock Blurr demo keeps pace with Napalm Death's Scum and Repulsion. Why Burger King Eric French doesn't get more credit for utilizing the blast beat as early as 1986 I'll never know. His drumming is admittedly better than Brian Lehfeldt's. Eric has more consistent blast beats and his fills feel less strained, almost effortlessly executing busy spectacles that a jazz drummer might have to read a few times to get it just right. Marco and Dave play in their usual speedy style with the chops of trained musicians. Dave's basslines interweave between Marco's and Eric's uncommon approach to playing. If you really listen, it's Dave leading the band forward. He's the stability when the songs go in a totally bizarre direction or stop on a dime from fast to slow. Dave is an incredibly fast picker and throws in some real funky fills like in Images, Fuck Yeah, and Bedrock Blurr. As usual, Marco is a fucking wiz kid on guitar. From the surf ideas, to the pure grind surges, to the slow, mellow ballad-like sections, Marco always has a twist to his playing. He is obviously a guitar player whose tastes branch beyond just rock and metal influences. Marco also employs 12 string guitars, phasers, and surf tremolo sounds to great effect. Tito is also a tour de force using his signature voice and ripping through lyrics at amazing speeds, but also shows a lot of versatility with some death growls, raps, and soulful singing on select tracks. It totally blows my mind, they were just barely 20 years old when they made the LP. These are not your run of the mill garage kids playing crazy music. The band plays like a well oiled machine and everything is incredibly cohesive and tight. As you can imagine Dig/Earache obviously saw potential in their act and here we have Before....and After. Truly amazing this was just two releases after the Scum album release on Earache.

Before and After is an incredibly unique album musically and in terms of subject matter covered too. Describing every nuance heard on the tracks just cannot be done justice, however it is important to note each member brings something to the platter. It seems Eric, Marco, Tito, and Dave's influences are all encapsulated on this one holy mother of an album. Either that, or each member is represented in some fashion with their respective influences evident in either the music or theme. I think we can all agree the band as a whole incorporates their love of cartoons like Flintstones, Popeye, Speedy Gonzales, etc. and the endless Wehrmacht/beer/party/puke worship. Spazztic Blurr also use faithful allusions to their hometown of Portland, using typical Westcoast eateries such as Shakeys, Arctic Circle, and Skippers. They even dedicate a song (Bouge Jonzin) to their mutual friend Bub Johnson who has been referenced in Crazy Ways People Die on Shark Attack and got a callout on the Bedrock Blurr version of Call in Sick. As for the individual players, Marco obviously brings in the whole Ace Frehley/KISS schtick and has a song referencing his Italian mom's He-Not-a-Home dialect. Marco also has a talent for introducing classical sounding elements into some song breaks too. Eric shows his love of Burger King and uses many incredibly complex blasts on the skins (LIKE A PROWLING BEAST!) being totally on the forefront of the whole grindcore/blast beat explosion that germinated around 1986-1988. Tito's rapid fire vocals and joking use of rapping Christmas carols on Mexicalli show he was most likely influenced by early rap groups like Public Enemy and others. Dave is credited with writing much of the music on the album, which makes me believe he (and probably the other guys) was heavily into hardcore, metal, funk, jazz fusion, and even surf . Without question, Before and After has a personality to it that cannot be ignored. Every member contributes something special to the album therefore adding more charm and perhaps makes the listener identify with at least one thing in common with these wild dudes.

It's also interesting to note the originality of this band was not hampered by the "Earache influence" of the late 80s/early 90s death metal/grind craze. I think most people would agree that in the late 80s, the extreme metal world began to revolve around Napalm Death and the close comrades of Napalm Death. Earache's early roster of bands signed from c. 1987-1989 were recommended by members of Napalm Death (Terrorizer, Morbid Angel) or included members of Napalm Death (Unseen Terror, Carcass). Spazztic Blurr have some similarities to these bands, the music is arguably "extreme," however it seems they were clearly in a league of their own and had something that set them apart from their contemporary labelmates. This album and Old Lady Drivers have that comedic but also genre-less allure that only seemed to exist in the Earache catalog in the very early days. I'm sure Spazztic Blurr were influenced to some degree by their contemporaries, but their tastes reached far beyond just punk or just metal. They chose to BE CREATIVE, funny, and extreme in one package. Their geographic location may also have kept them at bay from the death metal scene growing in Florida and the grind scene in England. This makes them a weird outlier in the entire Earache catalog, having more in common with their neighbors like Wehrmacht, Excel, and Cryptic Slaughter.

The music, notwithstanding the many sound effects and improvised skits, is sure to turn heads, nearly ready to snap in a new direction guaranteed. The seemingly limitless inspirations and genre breaking themes can be found on just about any track here. Not to mention, the sense of humor here is perfectly entwined in the manic song choices. My favs on the album are Blurr Hogs, Fuck Yeah, He Not a Home, and Mexicalli. The skits with "Ace Frehley" and the ABC's are also pretty funny. There are very few bands that can even hold a candle to the cleverness and innovation found on this LP. There is a reason why this Earache album was voted #1 by the great Fenriz of Darkthrone. Fans of Wehrmacht, Cryptic Slaughter, Lawnmower Deth, Spinal Tap, Napalm Death, O.L.D., Frank Zappa, KISS, Adrenalin O.D., (Life of Dreams era) Crumbsuckers, early grindcore, and masterfully played crossover simply need this album. It is quintessentially the most unorthodox extreme metal record ever put to vinyl. As of 2014, Spazztic Blurr's future looks very bright, reuniting with two new whacky members to live out more days of Burger King, beers, Flintstones, surf, and Ace Frehley worship. If you value yourself as a music listener who seeks the "Whoa, what the fuck was that?" appeal in a song, this is your holy grail. This is cartoon-funk-mariachi-Christmas carol-grind-ballad-surf-metal-puke-punk at its absolute pinnacle. If you look up the word "original" in the dictionary this album should be embossed in the description.

If you listen to one song on this album, listen to Mexicalli, it is the summation of all that is the BLURR. Spazztic Blurr prove that humor does belong in music, and most importantly.......IF YER SERIOUS, YOU LOSE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Greatness Beyond Words - 99%

polemikterrorist, September 1st, 2009

If you don't like this album then you're deaf. The creativity is through the fucking roof. With a catchphrase like "If you're serious, you lose" it's fairly obvious that Spazztic Blurr are not exactly the type to write ballads about death, which is why I love them so much.

Spazztic Blurr was a side project of the great Wehrmacht that singer Tito Matos and guitarist Marco Zorich formed. Their songs are weird, fast, whacky, random and always real fucking talented. Every song has something amazing about it. Opener "Blurr Hogs" has to be one of the most catchy songs in existence and "Images" is just simply great, especially how it ends with the Popeye the Sailor theme. Closer "Mexicali" is a long insane song that fucks with pretty much every genre of music, you can't get much better than that. Lots of hilarious dialogue ("Ace" in particular), 12 stringed guitars thrown in every which where, lyrics about Burger King and speed beyond belief.

I'm curious to know what a second album would have sounded like from Spazztic Blurr, but considering how great this one is it probably wouldn't compare. Albums like this go to show that you don't need a bucket of face paint, 10 minute songs, "thrashing"/"dying" lyrics and the usual verse-chorus-verse-middle part-verse-chorus-end song structure in order to be great.

Crazy, Childish and Innovative - 80%

CHRISTI_NS_ANITY8, August 12th, 2008

These guys are crazy. I cannot find another adjective for their personality that is a direct reflex on the music. It’s 1988 and few bands played this fast. The grindcore explosion contaminated all the panorama and lots of bands contributed in creating such a violent genre. Beside the most famous ones, we can consider these Spazztic Blurr as another brick in the wall to create the church of speed and violence.

They took everything that was coming from hardcore at the time, so S.O.D., D.R.I. and lots of other violent bands to mix the influences with furious blast beats. The vocals, anyway, are not in growl or scream style but they are pure hardcore/skatecore style with a childish tonality. The various intros between some songs like in “Ace” for example are truly old style and if now they could seem a bit abused and over listened, at the time they were quite funny with lots of spoken parts as extracts of the daily life of these guys.

“Def Metal” and “Blurr Hogs” are just two of many examples of demented grindcore/crossover with lots of spoken parts and totally insane music. The guitars can be once so brutal and the other time completely dissonant and uncontrollable. The punk influences are always heavily present, especially during the up tempo parts while we can also meet out of the blue arpeggios on the echoing distortion of the electric guitars.

Puke, laughs, noise and parties. These are Spazztic Blurr in this mythical album. I really cannot describe every single song because it’s a mess. They were quite innovative at the time and still nowadays, listening to this LP, I laugh so often…forget the technical side and enjoy the pure madness that lies here. The mark for albums like this one is always very difficult because it’s a way between the musical importance, the real music inside and the taste.

At the end, I can say that I can recommend this album to all the lovers of the very first, embryonic extreme mixtures of more extreme genres. This album is also enjoyable for the quite good production. Have fun!


TheForgotton, September 12th, 2005

I happened upon this unique recording at a flea market for the price of one dollar. I was about to pass the on this CD, because of its goofy cover art and misspelled band name, but once I saw the Earache Records insignia on the back cover, I figured it was worth a buck. Also encouraging was a tiny Wehrmacht logo written on a decrepit Volkswagen bus.
This is quickly becoming one of my favorite joke band releases. Spazztic Blurr happily plow through any and every genre or classification; effortlessly and more important, seamlessly running the gamut of metal, punk, jazz, grind, early hardcore and thrash. Song subjects vary from the superiority of Burger King to making fun of hardcore, and of course, boner time. Furthermore, the album is educational: the Blurr Hogs will teach you the importance of seeing through the images we all try to project to fit in, the plot line of an episode of the Flintstones, and even your ABC's!
The songs on this release are varied in style and substance, and kooky enough to keep me interested throughout. True enough to their name, there are moments on this album that degenerate into tremelo picking, blast beats, and the occasional Spazztic puke.
There a couple of moments where it falls flat, such as the sketch where Ace Frehly comes in and lays down a Space-Ace solo, as well as the classroom intro to ABC's. There is a mildly annoying phaser experiment that starts off the album; fortunately is on its own track and thus is easily skipped.
I wouldn't listen to the CD every day, but for the occasional road trip or shindig, I'm sure that Spazztic Blurr will help a good time to be had by all. Like the band's motto says: "if 'yer serious, you lose!".

Tracks to blast at full volume on your stereo system: Blurr Hogs, Spazztic Puke, He-Not-a-Home, Let There Be Blurr.
Tracks to skip over if someone else is in the room: Bouge Jonzin, Bedrock Blurr, Ace.