Rudimentary Peni
No More Pain EP

Admittedly, I’ve never been much into punk. Got into metal, stayed put. By the time I finally got around to checking out some of the much-vaunted bands I’d always heard about – The Misfits and Samhain being the two that most piqued my interest, being a horror buff and all – I was kinda disappointed. Yeah, the raw, reckless energy was there, but I expected it to sound more… dangerous. Scarier. Not as, well, fun. I guess if you were getting into them as a kid, it’s all gonna seem fresh and dangerous, but it sure as hell wasn’t Slayer, or anything else that followed in my metal education.

Flash forward to 2008, and there’s not much that disturbs many of us at all these days, not with new depths of musical extremity continually being scraped out of the underworld. So yeah, Rudimentary Peni may have a reputation as being one of the more obscure, cultish outfits to creep out of the 80s UK punk scene. And yeah, lead singer Nick Blinco’s sometime-institutionalized mental anguish inspires his odd, poetic writing (and some damn cool album art). But that doesn’t make them seem nearly as extreme as some of the other stuff on our playlists.

Still, there’s a corrosive, unhinged quality to this EP that delivers on what I thought those other punk bands would’ve sounded like. From the first few words, Blinco’s gravelly snarl on “Handful of Dust” immediately brought to mind the awful mechanized yowl on Aphex Twin‘s “Come to Daddy,” even though the Peni track is just a short burst of escalating chords, nothing more. The title track seems to share the same melody, just slowed down, but there’s an undeniable grooviness, if not mild hypnosis, in its simplicity.

Things get a little more interesting with the next few tracks, as the melodies open up a bit more and the vocals take on more of a mantra-like delivery – see “The Death of the Author,” with its repeated refrain of “Save me from the Grave.” Then, on “Annihilation”, with its more mournful, descending lines and tortured vocals, it hits me – this is basically what it’d sound like if The Sex Pistols covered Darkthrone.

Maybe that’s enough of a hook for some of you. For me, No More Pain amounted to an enjoyable curiosity, but not enough to make me a convert to the genre. However, Rudimentary Peni did release an album (Cacophony) entirely inspired by Lovecraft, with lyrics about Shoggoths and all that good stuff, so I’m not closing that door just yet.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Jordan Itkowitz
October 1st, 2008


  1. Commented by: michael dever

    rudimentary peni shouldnt even be reviewed by nitwits with cheap music sites. they will never be truly understood by most. one of the most amazing and underrated bands in the punk genre.

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