The Raunchy Young Lepers

Screw the Establishment

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Piano and "God-awful noise bass," to quote 28086, ended up as part of the Lepers' musical arsenal, such as it was, for Screw the Establishment. So did harmonica, as on "Wenches," another B.S.-sung classic about, well, wenches -- "Wenches, wenches, plenty I need/On their breasts I will feed." And so forth in the Lepers universe, with sex and death around every corner, a Dr. Pain-yelped ode to the joys of unsafe coitus called "Gloved Dick," the Goat-Boy's own magnificent obsessions running rampant, and a further sense of slight musical progression cropping up here and there. "Megabass" in particular, with its Beethoven-biting beginning and end, and 28086's fun falsetto, almost transcends the tuneless weirdness in the middle. As with most Lepers material, things are surprisingly audible, though the non-mix of up-front bass and buried bashing is practically avant-garde (no-wave would be pushing it, probably). The Goat-Boy gets a weird moment of glory with "Long Poke," an unsurprisingly lengthy number that sounds like he wants walls of guitars delivering the lead riffs, but has to make do with two-note basslines and what sounds like drumsticks on varying metal and glass substances. His James Hetfield, Jr. yell remains in place, though, bless him. "Whore Hotel" is another Goat Boy highlight -- sort of -- with his foul rhymes and surprisingly soft guitar strums interrupted by a clunky example of the noise bass mentioned earlier, especially when soloing is attempted. Dr. Pain has a moment of tender loveliness -- for the Lepers -- with the lament "Tapeworm in My Brain" ("...eating up all the grey stuff"), where the piano actually works, just, among everything else around it. An all-time Lepers highlight occurs with "Sex and Violence (Part 3)," a remake of a Live in the Garage number, with barely understandable yells and random noise, interspersed by moments of brilliance. Specifically, a guttural "My brother got blown away by a submachine gun!" followed by lame bass and, shortly afterward, tape-corroding, ear-piercing screams from Dr. Pain and the Goat-Boy.

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