I don’t think it’s going to shatter anyone’s illusions to point out that the music business is a hackneyed ol’ magic show full of tired misdirection and even more tired tricks. Of course, the majority of bands still seem happy to play along and embrace the gods of hollow hype. But then there are those bands that make their utter contempt of the music biz abundantly clear: New Zealand punk band Spiteful Urinator are one of those rare groups.
The Hamilton-based four-piece don’t abide fools or flunkies, and I think it’s also safe to say that music media minions, like me, would sit right near the top of Spiteful Urinator’s shit list too.
No question, the band’s latest album, Absurdities and Death Rites, is 100% hostile — right to its rotten core. But Spiteful Urinator’s palpable disdain of all and sundry is like a breath of… well, not fresh air, because the band’s too surly and sour for that… it’s more like a welcome reminder that genuinely confrontational punk rock isn’t dead yet.
Maybe that sounds a bit hokey. Like an old man yelling
about ye olde punk rock at the clouds. But it’s great when you run into a band like Spiteful Urinator. They keep it simple. Old school. CD-fucking-R. And there’s no manipulative marketing schemes or misdirects at work here.
Spiteful Urinator just wrap chaotic noise around a scathing attitude, and serve that up with a giant helping of fuck you. But the fact the band are so belligerent — and often irreverent — isn’t that surprising.
Spiteful Urinator started out as a side-project (now apparently the main project) for members from the doom/sludge group Open Tomb. And Open Tomb took enormous delight in delivering slow and über-torturous songs on their punishing releases: see, for a start, their spirit-crushing full-length, Dead Weight.
Spiteful Urinator clearly love making misanthropic music and an obnoxious racket as well. Although, unlike Open Tomb’s lengthy, monolithic songs, Spiteful Urinator’s tracks deal in short, barbed, and high-speed bursts of crusty D-beat.
There’s metal in Spiteful Urinator’s sound too — with buzz-sawing black metal gnawing at the edges of tracks. And it’s worth pointing out that the band’s guitarist, Sean Carmichael, and vocalist, Dane Bailey, have musical roots that go right back to the birth of extreme metal in NZ via formative black/death metal bands like Enshrine or Intorment.
Clearly, Spiteful Urinator’s members have a lot of experience in making ill-tempered and ear-splitting music, and Absurdities and Death Rites is certainly abrasive and strident. It features bristling songs. And blistering songs. Ten of them being unruly Spiteful Urinator originals. Plus two equally riotous covers of “The Rampton Song” (Disorder), and “Do You Think I Care” (Moment Maniacs).
(Sidenote: I’d never heard of Moment Maniacs before Spiteful Urinator covered one of their songs. But the death/crust band featured members of Marduk and Wolfbrigade, and Moment Maniacs’ only album, 98’s formidableTwo Fuckin Pieces…, is well worth checking out.)
Only one of Spiteful Urinator’s songs on Absurdities and Death Rites passes the two-minute mark — and then it’s only by a single second. So if you’re on the hunt for a whirlwind of primitive and filthy punk rock, Absurdities and Death Rites awaits.
Tracks like “Nuisance Plight”, “Light the Corpse”, and “I Don’t Think So” begin with bassist Tonamu (the band’s not-so-secret weapon) providing all the dirty low-end propulsion. Then the noise-drenched guitar and maelstrom percussion arrives. Before the caustic vocals kick in.
Essentially, all of Absurdities and Death Rites is adissonant cacophony where barely glimpsed melodies get trampled to death by walls of noise on tracks like “Slaves to Death”, “Speed Is a Drill”, and “Praise Throttles Everything”. Spiteful Urinator don’t step off the gas either. The same red-lining levels of sonic savagery + velocity hold fast on the album’s later tracks, like “Everyday Mauling” and “The Payout Continues”, and Absurdities and Death Rites remains burly and bludgeoning throughout.
There’s a lot of weight and thus force to the album’s production, which adds tensile strength to songs. Tracks hit hard, and leave a mark. And if I was a punk rock musicologist, I’d probably start unpacking how X, Y, and Z bands have influenced the A, B, and C of Spiteful Urinator’s sound. But I’m not any kind of punk rock pundit.
All I really care about is whether Spiteful Urinator’s music is as ferocious as Disclose or Framtid. Or whether it crushes like Kriegshög or System Fucker. Or whether it’s as intense as Zyanose or D-Clone. And yeah… I have been listening to a lot of Japanese punk this week. But you get the point, right? I’m interested in impact, and Absurdities and Death Rites definitely delivers a knockout punch.
Spiteful Urinator have released multiple full-lengths, EPs, splits and compilations, and if you’re a fan of raw, uncompromising, and abrasive punk, I’d recommend every one of them. Absurdities and Death Rites is harsh, heavy, and horrible too. And it fits right in with the band’s vitriolic vein of creativity, and underscores their ill-natured attitude all over again.
Spiteful Urinator are masters at making vile noise. And if you’re looking for music that sounds and feels like it actively fucking hates you, Absurdities and Death Rites is the perfect place to start.