Australian post-punkers Primitive Calculators spent more time disbanded than active, taking a few decades off between an initial fizzling out in the early '80s and re-forming in 2009 to play a Nick Cave-curated All Tomorrow's Parties. Part of the brash, brutal, belligerent, Melbourne punk scene in the late '70s and early '80s, Primitive Calculators served as the Australian foil for Stateside acts like the Screamers and Suicide, with possibly even more angst. The World Is Fucked surfaced as the band's proper debut, following mostly live recordings and collections of singles, EPs, and other collected scraps from their shambling early days. Some songs here have been in the works since the late '70s, but the recordings have been updated from those early days of young bile, with a sheen that renders the band's synthy post-punk more industrial. Rather than the jagged keyboard punk of the Units or the Screamers, The World Is Fucked leans more on the distorted vocals and eternal howling of early-'90s industrial acts like Skinny Puppy or Ministry, delivered with a self-aware punk sneer by vocalist Stuart Grant. Despite the intense waiting period for this debut, The World Is Fucked reeks of all the disaffection and searing anger of any youthful upstarts. Single-word song titles like "Why," "Kill," and "Nothing" don't give much of a window into their lyrical intentions, but when the band kicks in with their bombast of power-tool rhythms and mournful screams, it's more than apparent they have all the aggression and spite to burn as they did in their younger days, if not more.
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AllMusic Review by Fred Thomas