Nihilistics

Confirmin' the Vermin

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Although only singer Ron Rancid is left from the 1981 New York thrash-era lineup, the Nihilistics continue their reign of inchoate rage, disgust, rancor, and pure hatred -- for you, for me, for themselves, for authority, for society, and for miserable, wretched life itself. Moliere's Misanthrope was an optimist and a Pollyanna compared to these lunks, who repeat, still, on "Lies." Aided by guitarist Ajax Lepinski, bassist Big Daddy, and drummer Karl Bateman, the physically imposing, unrepentant frontman still spews unfiltered venom that's as perfectly repulsive and so extreme and intelligent that it's funny, the direct opposite of worthless losers like the late G.G.. They've forsaken a good chunk of the noise element that set them apart in the old days: I miss Chris T.'s shorting-out vacuum-cleaner sound and incompetence-as-virtue playing, the kind that led Tim Sommer to aptly describe the band's din as "one-third Fall, one-third Discharge, and one-third Crass." But the essentials remain, as Rancid's fuming diatribe against religion on the A-side is enough to tempt the meek to inherit atheism, and his self-loathing is as abrasive as ever, as "Psalm 69" further proves: "I live every day in stagnation and rot/My only place in this world is a six-foot f*cking plot/My life was over before it got to start," he spits with all the bile he can summon. It sure ain't pretty, and it's sure purifying, like the Sex Pistols times two. Don't ever tell them you like what they do, though, or you'll get some kind of earful! This ain't no act. They really do hate you, and all those like you. And they hate this review, too.