No Stars

To say that "Fenix Down" offended me would be an outright theft of company funds; the Sun-Times doesn't pay me to make gross understatements, and they certainly don't pay me enough to give this record a second listen. As if its inclusion in a genre called "sludge-core" weren't deterrent enough, let this review serve as your warning that the debut album of Chicago duo The Proscriptions is a greater affront to America's collective sense of decency than any punchline Sarah Silverman could muster.

It's tough to decide what the most offensive element of this record is, but listeners will have no trouble determining the most abrasive; "Fenix Down" is over an hour of buzzsaw guitars, heavily distorted drum beats and dissonant samples culled without authorization from an arbitrary list of copyrighted works. From The Doors to Yo-Yo Ma to National Public Radio, The Proscriptions held nothing sacred as they smashed soundbytes together into a frankensteinian aural aberration of their own twisted design. The obscene nature of this record's sound truly defies description -- imagine a freight train full of pots, pans and vintage video game consoles derailing into an airplane hanger full of dynamite in Taiwan's seediest red-light district and you'll be about halfway there.

The icing on the cake, though, is the vocals: M. Sherwood Brent alternates his barely intelligible machine-gun rap with Timothy O'Connell's throat-shredding screamo hooks. The few lyrics that can be made out glorify alcoholism and nihilism; objectify women; and paint a bleak picture of life as a cold, miserable existence from which death is a welcome reprieve. Perhaps even more chilling than the lyrics is the outfit's slogan, a final slap in the face of good taste: "You come out hard, you come in the butt or you don't come out at all."

One listen to "Fenix Down" and you'll wish, as I did, that The Proscriptions had chosen the latter.

Dennis Schneider
The Chicago Sun-Times
Sunday, Nov. 7, 2010: Migrated Again! has been migrated once again; this time the site moved from a Slicehost server and an apache + mod_python context to a Linode server and an nginx + fastcgi context.

Please report any weirdness/surprises to the usual places. 

Friday, Nov. 20, 2009: Return of Ganon

I just pushed revisions 525 and 526, which re-arrange the homepage to include recent items from the press clippings archive.  Enjoy.

And feel free to contact me if you "discover" any additional press clippings.


Monday, Nov. 16, 2009: QA: Day One

Thanks to the QA volunteers who vetted the release of the new site. Fixes:

  1. RSS feed activated.
  2. RSS link added to the nav bar.
  3. 404 and 500 templates added.


The Proscriptions