Uncompromising War on Art Under the Dictatorship of the Proletariat

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After nearly half a decade of silence on the recording front, Killdozer returned with a new guitarist, Paul Zagoras, a new producer, Brian Paulson (unsurprising given Butch Vig's overstuffed schedule at the time), and the same bad attitude. Treating the triumph of the alternative rock empire with all the respect it deserved in the end -- not much -- Killdozer stuck to its guns with Uncompromising War, designed and marketed as a piece of Soviet propaganda. Not just with the great, hilarious cover art -- Gerald (or Michael "Che" Gerald, as the liner notes say) thoughtfully explains every song in the context of radical Marxist analysis, making for a hilarious sucker punch against critics always searching for "meaning" in everything. All that and the other trappings of the album aside, not to mention a love song of sorts, "Peach Pie," Uncompromising War doesn't really offer much in terms of honest surprise -- if one is already a fan, this will be enjoyed, if not, this won't convince the listener otherwise. Gerald's growled, barked singing stays strong, as the overall rhythm rumbles and blasts, while Zagoras, if not quite as inspired as Bill Hobson, keeps up the fractured blues/hard rock feedback sludge end well. Indeed, he and Hobson appear to have similar post-punk roots -- a core guitar melody on "Knuckles the Dog" specifically sounds like the Sisters of Mercy's "Some Kind of Stranger," and there are similar spidery touches at other points. Best song of the bunch was the pre-album single, "The Pig Was Cool," a witty series of tales about cops letting the misbehaving narrator and friends off the hook for their misdeeds (and in the case of one pot bust, smoking out with them). A pity the group's contemporaneous demolition of EMF's "Unbelievable" didn't make the cut here, but a battering of Black Oak Arkansas' "Hot N' Nasty" does; the CD version includes the Burl EP from some years back as a bonus.

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