Monday, July 9, 2012

Mission from God LP out now

Order it here

I've seen some internet talk about how this is our death metal record and honestly, if you read that and expect anything beyond one or two harmonised riffs you're going to be spectacularly disappointed.

And if you're a fan of the New Wave of Circus Grind you're definitely going to hate it.

It's now on bandcamp for pay what you want download, though bandcamp has a cap on that stuff, so when the free monthly downloads run out go seek a shit rip from the Bridge Nine board or something.

This record was never supposed to be an LP but it just sort of grew after the Rot in Hell split 7" we were going to do fell apart when they had a line up shuffle.

I wanted to write a record that explored some of the reasons why i'm an unrelenting misanthrope and Mission from God was the result.

In a nutshell i grew up whilst serial killer Peter Sutcliffe was killing women in the part of England i'm originally from; far from being some distant and incomprehensible tabloid tale this was something that seriously affected the social landscape of where i was living that's hard to adequately convey to others.

As a teen a lot of my friends were into dumb shit like reading the book of Revelations and scratching pentagrams in their arms in the late 1980s. Hey, it's what kids did back then, just like how now they post pictures of witches on Tumblr. As a wannabe seventeen year old magician i took a hit of acid and went to Soldiers' Field, where Irene Richardson was killed in 1977, and tried to contact her spirit. It didn't work, at least not in the way i was hoping it would.

We sold an alternate version over the weekend in BC that came with a different cover, a short zine, and a tape called Soldiers' Field which is not a separate release, more of an addendum, mostly, but not entirely, pure noise. I'll put the whole thing up on bandcamp in the next week or two.

Rather than rewrite some stuff i've already gone over here are the two statements that are included in that version of the record, the first by Dave, the second by me:

From 1969 until his arrest in 1981, Peter William Sutcliffe, also known as “The Yorkshire Ripper” attacked and murdered women in Yorkshire, England. The overwhelming majority of his victims were caught in the suffocating poverty that defined much of Yorkshire at the time. Many were involved in the sex trade. All were eventually united by Sutcliffe’s clear and extreme hatred of women which erupted as he bludgeoned, stabbed and beat his victims.

Why write an album about a serial killer? To view this album through such a narrow prism is to miss the point utterly. The absolute last thing we wanted to do with this record was to trot out asinine subgenre clichés; truly, does the world need another grind/noise release that vapidly glorifies sexualized violence? Fuck no. So, then. Why? The answer is primarily catharsis. There are member(s) of this band that experienced life in the time and place of Sutcliffe’s activity. This work is intended to help purge oneself of the poison and unease that comes from growing up in Sutcliffe’s shadow, and to remind oneself of how that environment is inexorably part of our being.

The simpler impetus behind this album is that Sutcliffe’s murders are part of a larger, horrifying landscape… a bleak, ruined vista of grinding poverty, institutionalized racism and sexism, police brutality, pollution and inescapable decay. Quite simply, the Yorkshire of Sutcliffe’s day is probably unimaginable to those who weren’t there. It was a time and place that warrants examination and exploration. The environment of Yorkshire at the time and Sutcliffe’s crimes are deeply interrelated, perhaps even symbiotic. Some of this album is deeply personal, much is intentionally enigmatic and some is completely straight ahead. Our desire is not to decode or spell this album out, but to encourage one to consume it on a level that is deeper than a “fuckin’ grind/noise album about a serial killer, man!”.

In a society that is absolutely saturated in violence, much of it directed towards women by men, it is easy to be unaffected by the truly horrific nature of Sutcliffe’s crimes. Years have passed since then, but the reality is that women violently lost their lives. Some survived attacks by Sutcliffe only to pass their remaining years tormented by trauma, fear and depression. Family members of victims took their own lives. The bureaucratic and police reaction was a disgusting farce: Sutcliffe was interviewed by police nine times and was ultimately caught only by complete accident. The police and powers that be simply didn’t care that someone was murdering poor women. It’s a reprehensible reality that sadly continues today all over the world. It’s a cold, terrible place and will likely always be so.

Kristiansen, Summer 2012

I was born in Leeds, West Yorkshire, England in 1973. Seven years before my birth Ian Brady and Myra Hyndley were convicted of killing children in Greater Manchester, just across the Pennines from West Yorkshire. The bodies were buried on Saddleworth Moor; Keith Bennet, missing since 1964, has never been found.

In 1977 Irene Richardson was beaten to death with a hammer and her corpse mutilated with a knife. The murder took place at Soldiers’ Field, less than a mile from where I lived, and was committed by Peter Sutcliffe, the man this record is superficially about. Between 1975 and 1980 Sutcliffe would kill at least 13 other women, including Jayne MacDonald (1977) and Jacqueline Hill (1980), in areas that would grow to have great significance in my life.

It’s hard to really convey what this record is about succinctly, but for me it’s about how the physical and social landscape shapes us.

My childhood physical landscape prominently featured buried children and murdered women. My childhood social landscape had an inept and brutally racist police force that was both unable and unwilling to protect the women of northern England.

In a way this record is my own exploration of the Greek concept of Pharmakós, the ritual scapegoating of people for sacrifice in times of crisis and upheaval.

The 1970s were a shit time to live in northern England and the first half of the 1980s weren’t that much better. I grew up with garbage strikes, an energy crisis that caused shortages of electricity, economic recession that created a three day working week, mass unemployment, and the gradual nationawide realisation that the days of England’s former colonial glories (add your own sarcastic intonation for the word glories) had finally ebbed away into nothing.

Sutcliffe’s misogynistic rampage across northern England gave us a diversion from all the other shit. It wasn’t until Sutcliffe started making ‘mistakes’ and killing women that weren’t sex workers – and thus disposable – that incompetent police officials like George Oldfield became accountable.

Nolan, June 2012

Further reading:

Derf Backderf – My Friend Dahmer
Michael Bilton – Wicked Beyond Belief: the Hunt for the Yorkshire Ripper
Ian Brady – The Gates of Janus: Serial Killing and its Analysis
David Peace – Red Riding Quartet

Next release is a split 7" with Radioactive Vomit from Vancouver on Feast of Tentacles


Ryan Page said...

I had been wondering what the primary influence behind this release was. I had suspicions, and this post essentially confirmed them. Looking forward to picking up the vinyl version of this, I've been listening to the unmastered version for a bit now, so it will be nice to hear the finished record.

I had similar thoughts when one of my bands wrote on a similar topic. I find that its almost impossible to articulate when it is a justifiable decision to write about misogyny. It seems from your description that this series of killings became associated with or related to or representative of the larger cultural experience at a particular time. Perhaps I am simply applying my particular bias.

Also what is circus grind? Brutal Truth?

Anonymous said...

sometimes I feel like I'm the only person who makes these kinds of connections. I don't know you but I'm glad you exist.

Anonymous said...

I love you Nolan. I love everything I know about you.

Survivalist said...

Ryan, the New Wave of Circus Grind is a scene of bands so shitty that they'd come on stage in a fucking clown car if they thought it would make them more fun. Their singer would be dressed as a lion tamer. Or an olde tyme Russian strongman.

See also Riffless Amplifier Music and Pizza Party Power Violence

Anonymous said...

balls. your motives are no deeper than those of any other grind/whatever band. it's like any "crust" band, yeah world is hell/people dying etc - all it does is give you an excuse to shout "doom" and "death" and "war" and make angry faces and wear black tshirts with "impressive" sounding band names and declarations and "serious" artwork.

your level of involvement is about the same as britney spears or whatever.

Survivalist said...

We'll answer all your accusations on our forthcoming split 7" with The Afternoon Gentlemen

Anonymous said...

Sounds like some asshat from Brutal Truth is mad. I guess this would be a good time for; "You mad bro?"
Go back to writing shitty relapse records grind songs about marijuanaapoocalypse or whatever the kids will eat up

Survivalist said...

Brutal Truth? Why would those dudes be mad?

Anonymous said...

Probably because they're not far from the 'circus grind' bands you were referring to

Survivalist said...

ah, not what's in my head at all when i say New Wave of Circus Grind, but whatever

I figured it was someone from Grind and Laugh All Night Long web label, xBarack Obamax, Brutal Bong Hit, The Campaign for Hella Weed and Fucking Blasting Dude, or that Dutch idiot that perpetually talks shit on everything i do

Ryan Page said...

Is it because I asked if they were circus grind? It wasn't meant as an insult, I thought they looked/sounded a bit like carnies. It was also just a lame joke.

The individual disparaging the record is probably right in some existential-nothing-matters sense, but whatever, there's nothing wrong with striving a bit for something more relevant to you. I'm not going to spend much time dissecting that argument because it is a well-used cliche and has been debated elsewhere numerous times, but I will say I find it odd how afraid some people are bands taking themselves seriously.

Anonymous said...

Jorge said...

guess you ran out of downloads. i have no problem paying 6.85 for it, but i don't have enough cash to get the companion album and want both. any way you could make it free?

Survivalist said...

@Anonymous, well that's unfortunately synchronous as i have no issues with Weekend Nachos.

@Jorge, you'll either have to wait until the 15th when they become free again

or, and this is open to anyone that pays whatever Bandcamp asks you to pay when the free downloads run out.Just e mail me and let me know you've paid and i'll send the other one to you

Anonymous said...

sure. "I grew up in a post 9/11 world", "I grew up in times of mass unemployment", "some guy I know got shot", everyone can come up with some "serious" event that occured near them, place/time-wise.

it's just another album with a wolf on the cover.

Survivalist said...

At Anon, you certainly did and there's been an awful lot of art produced that either specifically commented on those events, alluded to them by allegory, or was just informed by the world and how it was affected after those events.

And yes, it is just another album with a wolf on its cover, in the same way that any image in the world is just a 2 dimensional representation of something else.

Because nothing can mean anything and anything means nothing right?

TheWZAd said...

Why are you feeding anonymous trolls? Come aahhhn.

Survivalist said...

because i don't think that it's trollish (yet). If it said "you're a dick, fuck off" i'd ignore it.

by saying "i made this record, it's about this and this" i'm opening myself up to dissenting opinion, that's fine, people should take people to task if they disagree with something.

But ultimately there's nothing really much more to add at this point; someone believes in signs and signifiers, someone else apparently doesn't.

Did you guys see Prometheus yet? That's an awesome/ terrible (delete as applicable) film about these guys that go to space and then there's an explosion and a space ship rolls over and this guy gets his head ripped off but he's a robot and then they escape from the planet and the end.

Ryan Page said...

The biggest problem I see is the implication that something has to be entirely new to differentiate itself from things that have happened in the past. Carcass (to pick an arbitrary example) may have written songs about serial killers, but their aesthetic and their perspective is going to be very different from someone with a different background/influences. I don't think using it for different reasons invalidates Carcass, but it does admit that the album is conceptually coming from a different culture (at least with regard to when it was released) and a different personal understanding. Serial killers aren't exactly shocking as an aesthetic subject at this point in time, so how we experience/approach the subject is naturally less related to shock value.

Also, despite my regular use of it, I think the word "just" is a means of attacking something without offering justification as to why.

These Seans said...

huh. this thread is surprising.

I always find it interesting when people who are involved in an art scene are so vehemently against the creation of art.

@Anon, do you like the record? like, without any of the background knowledge?

Anonymous said...


this is richard from australia, i interviewed you a few years ago for a shitty zine. the city i grew up in is the 'serial killer capital of the world' (per capita i believe), i can understand people not knowing what the grips of fear//reaction//poverty have on people but it is all encompassing. it isn't comparable to a post 9-11 world at all. i am truly interested to hear this new release. the last cs was great and as someone who has always put a high value on lyrics i always look forward to yours.

Anonymous said...

^ it's not bad. conqueror influence is good. don't care for noise/electronics in general though.

my earlier posts were a bit antagonistic, sorry about that. good of you to reply in an even manner.