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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.