Evolving Ear

Apparently there are still people who think that, in 2010, a drawing depicting a male gay prototype (with horns) grappling at his manhood, a mixed couple having sexual intercourse and other similarly “stimulating” details is not fit to print. That’s what’s written in the press release with regard to Ronaldo Wright’s cover picture, which was refused by “at least one printer”. Unfortunately there’s more than a whiff of the same adolescent transgression in certain parts of Pestilence & Joy, a mixture of studio and live segments recorded between 2006 and 2008. The former are still on the right side of the fence, slow mantras dipped in sickly molasses, inward spiralling guitars and voices that seem (are?) generated by tapes in contrary motion. But, alas, the live sections are to Peeesseye’s higher standards what butchery remnants for stray cats are to Texas Chainsaw Massacre. There’s too much uneducated, futile clangour, a sort of “let’s bash for a while and finish this boring gig”, some clapping interaction with the audience that does not amuse and, towards the end of the first side, the kind of annoying primordial screaming utterly despised by yours truly since as long as I can remember. Messrs Fennelly, Forsyth and Welch should stick to what they do better, “playing with a purpose”.

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