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Rambling and Stumbling All Over Itself - 38%

psychoticnicholai, June 27th, 2017
Written based on this version: 1987, 12" vinyl, Silent Explosions Records

If you came here expecting the catchy sounds and pounding grooves of later White Zombie, you've come to the wrong place. This album is still heavy as fuck without being metal, and it's definitely as crazy as White Zombie ever got, there's just one problem, NOTHING IS COHERENT AT ALL! This is a noise rock album that sounds more like the Butthole Surfers, Sonic Youth, and early Ween if one band had met somewhere and done as much drugs as all three of them at once and stepped into a recording studio to lay out all of their depraved ideas onto a record. The main problem being that those bands had more coherence and more enthusiasm than White Zombie had here. Soul Crusher is some of the sloppiest rock you could try to make.

Everything is out of whack on Soul Crusher. The songs run together and have little semblance of structure. It's about as amateurish and as noisy as you can get. There's no stimulating atmosphere to be had, just a thick haze of meandering guitars and scattered drums with occasional riffs interjecting like a kid blurting out the answers during a test. They often sound like barely coherent guitar striking rather than a fully formed attempt at rhythm. Rob himself just sounds inebriated and mostly spouts off nonsense that's just... weird, and not the fun kind of weird either. The structure of the songs is often meandering and does nothing to hold your attention, only to go do something for a little bit and then spazz on over towards something different. Soul Crusher is rock with severe ADHD and not in the good way like the other noise rock bands such as Butthole Surfers or early Ween who can actually make a maniacal, crazy song still sound coherent. This is just frantic, runny slop that's nothing short of confusing and headache-inducing.

If there's anything positive to say about this, it's that this is heavy and punchy, but that's about the only compliment I can pay this. The production is very bassy and makes this incoherent slurry sound dense and thick. Honestly, if Sexorcisto or even Make Them Die Slowly had production like this, I'd probably enjoy them more. Too bad it's wasted on this gobbledygook. When riffs do appear, they hit like slugs from a shotgun, too bad they're often disjointed and nonsensical, hardly tying in to what little song structure there is. It's as heavy as a bag of cement hitting you on the head. It also gives you a similar headache. It also hardly changes, turning this album into a slog and a chore.

Soul Crusher is a difficult album, without much form or intelligence. It's a painful, boring, and confusing affair that hits us with all its got and is pretty intense all throughout. There's just nothing to get excited about. It's musical slop that blends together and stumbles all over itself while having no real purpose or direction feeling the same and dragging on the whole way through.