Vile Ent
Road Rash EP

Vancouver butcher Graham MacSkimming has crafted a pretty impressive underground resume.  As a vocalist he channels Reagers’ era Vitus with an eerie tonality and violent vocal schizophrenia in sludge/doom overlords Witchsnake and he’s had his hands in seminal death/thrash/punk cultists Violent Christ, Ligeia and several other projects that are well-worth a listen.  Vile Ent is his solo project in which he sings, plays percussion and programs; a sleazy headed mix of industrial, dub, metal and punk with some absolutely insane lyrics.  He’s joined by Mr. Bump who laces the madness with noisy, acidic guitar freakouts that give the music some glorious multiple personalities.  There’s touches here of everything from the Buttholes Surfers to Ministry to Slayer to Lemmy to The Stooges to Front Line Assembly…you name it.

The title track is a blast of stalker bass lines welded to piston-pressed beats and drugged out guitars riffs that unleash a factory like machine grind of crunching grooves as well as some ugly solos.  Graham’s voice goes from a roughed up yell/scream to animalistic howls to his deeper, doomier croon that is all authority while delivering excellent lyrical bits such as “Stay up all night smoking cocaine, my mom and dad think I’ve gone insane,” and “All I want is a home sweet home, but now I sleep with the garden gnome.”  It’s some pissed off shit with a snarling sense of humor.  Not too much heavy industrial lights me up these days but this stuff is just a damn good rowdy time that makes me went to get hammered drunk and go chop up my neighbors’ patio furniture with a hatchet.  Dank, pungent dungeon grown dub beats and a greasy low pulse drive “Fresh Pussy Lazer” over the edge.  There’s some early Surfers’ style sickness all over this including the Leary-esque guitar solo in the second half, whacko vocal layering that’s Gibbyish for certain and pretty hard-edged programming that sounds like Electriclarryland and Weird Revolution if they were ten times drunker on piss and vinegar than anything the Buttholes were producing during that time period.

Bleak darkwave/coldwave influences screech and squeal on the booming “I live for Sound” which sounds like it would be on the overheads at Satan’s rave.  It’s full on digital psychosis that feels like Front Line Assembly’s mid-90s work sucked through a blackhole and turned inside out; oozing sarcasm, snot and slime from every single pore and it’s all the better for it.  Closer “Fuck it” was originally a straight-up crusty thrash song from the Violent Christ catalog and it’s the most straightforward tune of the bunch…sticking to the guns from which it was bred.  Scraping, programmed debauchery collides with a dirty wall of fuzzy Motörhead riffs, bluesy twists, thrash-y eagle scream guitar soloing that’s like a stoner version of 80s thrash thanks to the wah-filter and some absolute “I don’t give a fuck, fuck you” lyrics that are catchy and infectious as hell.  MacSkimming’s melodies are angry, nihilistic and run the gamut of shouts, screams and deep, throaty singing that again sounds like a thicker, denser take on Reagers.  This song is a total killer.

If you want some neurotic, nasty industrial that’s not afraid to have a good time and take all of your drugs, fuck your wife and throw up on your Persian rug, Road Rash is an out and out blast.  The variety is welcome and the range of influences doesn’t make it feel like the umpteenth band just taking the classics and doing them verbatim.  It’s original, aggressive and ain’t afraid of showing a little wit.  Graham’s work needs to be more known and I’ll be looking forward to when the Ent creeps forth from the forest with future releases.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Jay S
September 29th, 2017

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