Agoraphobic Nosebleed
Frozen Corpse Stuffed With Dope

Bands like Agoraphobic Nosebleed make or break with me on their willingness and ability to inject a little flava into the whir. Listening to thirty-plus minutes of hypergurgle is no more innately interesting than listening to an electric fan. (I’m weirdly fascinated by the fact that we finally have bands whose music imitates the sounds of appliances; Dark Funeral sounds like a sewing machine, Krisiun sounds like a blender, Mortician sounds like a garbage disposal. Wonder what Chairman Mao would say?).

 Great grind-noise-whatever bands manage to impress a sense of personality, whether it’s fun-lovin (Exit-13), goofy (Ghoul), or legitimately deranged (Pig Destroyer.) And AN does it too, with a worldview that contains greasy helpings of all three above-mentioned categories.

Of course there are the odd slow-downs and break-ups, noise tracks, and samples; but that’s forest-for-the-trees shit. What you really want to grok is the package as a whole. Like all great grind albums, Frozen Corpse Stuffed With Dope is best experienced all at once, so that the total effect can swim on in. And the total effect here is a fucking waster, like being dosed with acid then locked in a Gravitron with your ex-girlfriend. The music is wildly disorienting and almost totally random; it’s hard to believe the rhythm tracks are programmed. It just keeps diving and lurching at you in nuggets of drugged, oily misanthropy. In venom alone, this is like the stoned (therefore human, but no less evil) counterpart to December Wolves’ brilliant Blasterpiece Theatre, but AN seems to actually have an agenda that goes beyond annihilation.

When they talk about dosing water towers and shooting busloads of rich kids, sure, it’s a hoot, but it seems to cut a little deeper, they seem to be giving Charlie Manson an army of bionic she-devils instead of an army of runaway tards. The lyrics and the artwork all project a subtle, self-aware surrealism. The band this most reminds me of is Eyehategod (only in a really big hurry) and it don’t get sweeter’n that. I guess “vibe” is a goddamned ridiculous criteria to use in a review, but it really is the nutmaker here.

 I can’t explain why AN have recorded such a slaughterhouse, and I can’t explain why most other bands suck shit. (Unless they’re French, in which case I believe I can.) But this album instantly has Agoraphobic Nosebleed keeping company with Pig Destroyer and Circle Of Dead Children. This album doesn’t sound like an appliance, it sounds like a fucking gas chamber. Wonder what Chairman Charlie would say?

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Jeff Lamb
June 10th, 2002

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