Acid Or Blood
by Adam Anonymous
When weighing up the titular option of their fourth LP, deranged Indiana quartet Racebannon resolutely chose blood, signing contracts with new label Southern in their own haemoglobin-spangled red stuff. Richey Manic was putting on a show, people. This is 4 Real.
You might not be familiar the university city of Bloomington’s finest export. Your loss. Over three previous LPs, Racebannon have made the average screamo band look embarrassing blank minded. The most recent, Satan’s Kickin’ Yr Dick In, told the story of a desperado who makes a genital-swapping pact with the dude downstairs in a quest for fame. Read: beyond genius.
Juxtapositions are what make Racebannon so fascinating, though, raged through on Acid Or Blood. Schizophrenic opener ‘Translucent Lifeforce’ has a dozen alone, a six-minute headfuck that jumps around like a scolded child as what seems like several sub-minute songs erupt into each other.
Thick-set, loon-locked singer Mike Anderson’s desperate, instinctive burbles and rants, resplendent with the smallest trace of a lisp, career across guitars so metallic they could smack down Slayer in a riff fight. But whenever, WWE fashion, you have Racebannon pinned, sheets of Sonic Youth-reminiscent noise burst forth across a rhythm section nodding to the down south clunk of early 1990s pig fuck.
Anderson’s timbre immediately dismisses any macho danger, as he rips both literary-level considerations and raw base emotion from his lyric pad. He, much like Racebannon as a whole, isn’t angry; he’s possessed, even when ‘The Hard Way’ belies his love for hip-hop, setting half-scats to an insistent bass-line.
‘Sister Fucker’ is as mean as its title suggests; ‘Awaken’ and ‘Vampyric Solution’ will make the unaware recoil in shock, as will the compressed ear canal assault of ‘Terror & Dread’. The only moments preventing Acid Or Blood from scoring a maximum, in fact, are where Racebannon have previously excelled: lulls (Evidence: Satan’s Kickin’ Yr Dick In’s creepy atmospherics.)
A re-recorded version of old single ‘The Killer’ derails momentum disintegrating into relatively aimless feedback, while unsettling chanting interlude ‘Bella Ciao’ is uniformly un-arousing. Consider this, mind: perhaps it’s a legal requirement. Because 45 minutes of Racebannon on full blast and your tear ducts would probably need surgically reattaching.
Acid Or Blood by Racebannon is released on 25 August 2008 on Southern Records