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Boomkat Product Review:
Moody post-punk distortion and electric bagpipe drone weirdness from LA deathrock outsider Jimmy Smack.
'Death is Certain' is assembled from two 7"s (1982's "Death or Glory and 1983's "Death Rocks") and a single 12" (1982's "Anguish"), over which Los Angeles weirdo Jimmy Smack carved out his legend. Smack was notorious for performing in a kilt and boots - with his electrified bagpipes of course - in full corpse paint, a few years before that style would become co-opted by Euro black metal bands. He was a regular on LA's hardcore punk circuit, but his music sits alone from pretty much all else on the scene.
The set showcases Smack's bizarre sound, which he built around machine-gun drum machine rattles, bizarre bagpipe drones, and of course his horror movie-ready voice. It's hard to describe exactly what it sounds like - maybe Suicide crossed with The Damned, remixed by Container. Smack's drum machine parts are the most unexpected element; it sounds as if he's using a regular cheap rhythm box, but he abuses it wildly to vary the rhythm, turning it into an industrial power drill or a malfunctioning A/M radio.
Bizarre, invigorating aces.