The Skull Defekts The Temple

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Styles: (sh)art rock
Others: Liars, The (International) Noise Conspiracy, Velvet Underground

Sweden’s Skull Defekts and their latest, The Temple, are kind of awful in spite of themselves. Though the sonic referents — The Velvet Underground’s rhythmic hypnosis, The (International) Noise Conspiracy’s swaggering psycho-come-ons, and Touch and Go noise rock — as well as their thematic premise — “intense, monotonous, rhythmic and sexual out rock” — are both awesome, the result fails on several counts.

First, for a band to reference greater bands does nothing, of course, to make them at all like their influences. The Skull Defekts possess no Lou Reed, no John Cale, no Dennis Lyxzén, and no Steve Albini. Not even a Neko! This is unfortunate. But even more unfortunate is the band’s failure to deliver on its own self-stated goal; this is not intense, and it is hardly out-minded, unless they mean relative to something as tepid as Rogue Wave.

I will concede, however, that it is monotonous.

Perhaps what bothers me most is the assertion that this music is somehow sexual, as though the declaration in “Knives, Birds, Stones & Pyramids” that “My knives will make you cum” goes beyond merely illustrating a particularly gruesome means of getting off. Does that make Cannibal Corpse ‘sexual,’ too? Dear god, I hope not.

Still, with music so limp, boring, and unpleasant, one would liken it, at best, to idle masturbation. It’s as though the band gets just hot and bothered enough to think this is a good idea, only to realize midway though that they can’t finish what they've started. And heaven forbid this record should fall into the hands of an impressionable virgin, whose reaction would undoubtedly be to wonder why anybody wants have sex in the first place. If this is as good as it gets, then why the hell bother?

1. Knives, Birds, Stones & Pyramids
2. Waving
3. Six Sixes
4. Hydrophobic Baptism
5. Unholy Drums For Psychedelic Africa
6. Habit
7. Skull & Tounge
8. Urban Ritual

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