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Boomkat Product Review:
You’ve got to hand it to the folks over at Southern Lord, they take risks and they ain’t afraid to do exactly what they want. Where else would you find black metal placed against Oren Ambarchi, or drone-heavy doom placed next to, well, this album – Southern Lord are able to do something that so much of the metal scene has been unable to; actually look further than the confines of the incestuous scene and get past genre limitations. They might get a lot of mud hurled at them for being so ‘hip’ right now, but the guys are keeping it real, releasing music that they’re really into and for the most part the only connecting thread is that they just love it. Often that translates, and for me it’s frankly a pleasure to hear this record which was originally released in 1986 and has become legendary in the US hardcore scene. With a band featuring future Melvins members Mark Deutrom and Lori Black (who incidentally is the daughter of Shirley Temple…) you know you’re in for something truly spectacular, and ‘Circus of Chaos’ doesn’t disappoint. It takes the technical hardcore template and turns it on it’s head, experimenting with form in the way that made fans so rabid for the Melvins ’86 classic ‘Gluey Porch Treatments’. However these guys also experimented with the monotonous drones that the Melvins would only latch onto later in their career, and there are even proto-grunge leanings which give a lot of clues to where that whole scene sprung from. A devastating record for hardcore, and just a damn good rock record for the rest of us – turn it up, crack open a beer (depending on whether or not you’ve gone straight-edge) and rebel.