This week’s mission was to find the review request with the nerdiest album available in our review pipe. A band so much outside of our already unusually large boundaries that they actually should be banned instead of let in. Folks that should earn the RMR Cringe Award, but not get a free and full review with all of those (questionable) honors.
And the RMR deck crew is (un)happy to announce that we found the culprit. The unsuspecting winner of the current weirdo prize is – Sectlinefor and their new record Kissing Strangers During An Outbreak.
What put us on their track, though, was that cringeworthy clip of two near-naked dudes in frugal outfits – pink or otherwise – that supposedly escaped the dungeons of the Playboy Mansion to roam the fringes of our visceral perception. Boy, even Borat would blush, and he dearly loves those brightly-colored dick holders. But I really got a kick out of the monster that got the broad and had fun doing it. Or was it the other way around? You be the judge, the clip’s below.
To be honest, Sectlinefor hovered about our promo stream for a number of years. But – surprise – they kept setting off the general nutcase alarm, and thus never quite bubbled to the surface. And we thought that Dirty Sound Magnet were the strangest fellows we ever came across. Well, obviously not.
So, let’s unpack what Kissing Strangers During An Outbreak has on offer. Well, their credo – and I quote – “…I believe it’s our duty to do everything we can to piss the metal purists off…” did elicit an evil chuckle or two over here. That’s right up our alley. And case in point, there’s a ton of metal folks out there that will take offense to that madness on offer here.
Well, those brownie points waned some again, once they went on bitching about that bad “…deranged manager…” whom they had to fire1) to “…take control…” and get their artistic freedom back. Sigh, much more to unpack here. But I digress, that would be for a piece on another less misty outfit I run.
Yet, believe it or not, Kissing Strangers is a refreshing record. We thought that we already discovered all types of style breakers, an attribute that we relish over here. Yet with Sectlinefor, you get a band that doesn’t want ‘style’. They actually want to do whatever – and pack the rest full of condoms. Oh, and they somehow jumped onto the metal train only because you need only scream, as singing is not their forte. Fair enough, and yet another occasion for an evil chuckle in the RMR office suite.
At times, their lyrics are so dick-plagued and full of pubic hair, they seem to emerge from John Oliver whenever this guy passionately overheats in his world of sad HBO satire. And on the surface, Sectlinefor seem indeed to prefer the steamy path in their texts, just to piss all over their audience. And true enough, their lines often sound like some crazed LSD-infused fever dream of Eminem on a viagra high.
Yet, under all this satirical and – yes – sometimes trenchant layer of moral debauchery, you’ll encounter very real issues they discuss. And I’m not saying that it’s really a great thing to slather everything in spunk so that somehow it might attract some strange animals, furry or not. But it is sometimes good to make some crude fun of certain topics. Because just plainly talking about them might just set you off.
Now, Jared and Piton (and the drum machine) here don’t only scream words, they also – at least try to – make music. The first two tracks Milk Your Friends and The Saddest Face In All Of Existence2) already do sport some pretty nasty bite on an ever-changing soundscape.
And I let you decide if this is metal, rock, or something entirely different. Even if there is some guitar, sometimes. Hey, perhaps we found ourselves two Einsteins who just invented a new style direction that will amaze the masses. Because – guess what – since rock ‘n’ roll was invented, we see variants of the same, so many variants.
But then, perhaps not – don’t keep your hopes up. Kissing Strangers During An Outbreak contains a crazily tilted alloy of psychedelics on steroids, Hardcore-ish slosh, and loads of hip-hop type interludes that could probably stand up with the best of them.
All of that comes with a sometimes comical rendition of whatever punk stands (stood) for. And that’s actually the band’s best performance of one of the many influences they display. Add to that some hilarious revenge pop that surfs on a dirty wave of hysterical electronica. Stuff we somehow enjoyed around the ’80s and ’90s and that now returned from the dead to haunt us on this record. Damn.
I was ultimately glad that Sectlinefor here condensed all of that chaotic explosive madness into some 35 minutes of airtime. Anything else would undoubtedly have led to sensory overload or a mental breakdown, whatever comes first. So, they have understood that less is more on a record. And it also ensures that you’ll find no fat or fillers on here, only stuff that bores onward full steam ahead.
Finally however, Kissing Strangers During An Outbreak is a wild yet enjoyable ride down a very special rabbit hole that first had to be invented. A new style? Not quite, and they’re not looking for it. Instead, these two guys took whatever element they liked and slammed it on top of a boundless and – yes – manic creative energy.
So, did the album deserve its nomination to nerd nirvana? Absolutely, and then some. A weird jumble of quality tracks for psychos high on ketamine, one would think. But also a record that will make you go for seconds, once you immersed yourself into its colorful and starkly illuminated soundscape.
Consume with moderation, it may prove addictive.
Record Rating: 7/10 | Label: Self-Released | Web: Official Band Site
Release Date: 28 May 2021