Welcome to the musical meandering insights of Aaron Joy. Here you'll find 600 reviews of CDs & DVDs of rock & metal in all its variations, mainstream & indie. What they all share is that the album or band is unique in some way & not every submission was reviewed. Please share these reviews or link to them if you like what you read. Reviews are no longer being posted here but feel free to e-mail Aaron & post comments. (Formerly the Roman Midnight Music Blog)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

G.G. Allin & Bulge ~ Freaks, Faggots, Drunks & Junkies

(Click on heading to visit official website.)
Style: punk
Label: Homestead
Year: 1988
Home: n/a (deceased/disbanded)


Members: G.G. Allin ~ vocals/guitar
Johnny X ~ guitar/b. vocals
Charlie Infection ~ drums/b. vocals
Ed Lynch ~ bass/b. vocals


Additional: Bill Normal ~ keyboards/bass
Mark Sheehan, Erik Mercier, Greg Gonorea, Beth Burrow ~ b. vocals

To some G.G. Allin, born Jesus Christ Allin following his father's belief that his son was a messianic figure, is a iconic eccentric whose blasphemic & extremely pornographic lyrics say more of social anxiety than the Clash, Nirvana & Sex Pistols could ever get the guts to do, while bringing rock'n'roll back to its non-corporate roots. Allin is famous for declaring himself the real god on the Jerry Springer. These fans don't question this assertion. Further, it's hard to deny that there's legitimacy to his criticism of the corporate world, let alone that he has a right to free speech, though he did take things to far with his physically harmful shows. To others he's a historical freakshow pushing punk boundaries of anti-authoritarianism & general social rebellion ... even in terms of not bathing regularly, let alone becoming probably the most famous homeless junky. It's a historical oddity that rock's greatest heroes are junkies, considering if we discussed junky businessmen or heroin addicted Presidents or any other profession Allin would be seen as he is - a no talent bum. While to others he's just a homeless hack musician, if one can even call him a musician, whose annual threat to kill himself on stage summarizes the weakness of his messianic madness. To these folks he's just a joke & anyone who takes him seriously needs to get a life. Considering so many of Allin's lyrics deal with rape & suicide one does have to question his die-hard fans sanity. Allin is most famous for his drug fuelled performances that would include self-mutilation, defecating on stage, performing naked & mindless destruction of everything in sight, human or machine. The fact that he made music is almost trivial, though he's probably one of the most prolific musicians ever outside of pianist Rick Wakeman. Some might be surprised, who know only his stage antics, that Allin actually recorded a range of music including country (Carnival of Excess), punk (Eat My Fuc), acoustic (The Troubled Troubador) & spoken word ("My Revenge") ... but it all suffers from generally horrible production, dirty playing & Allin's shouting-cum-singing of childish lyrics. Freaks, Faggots, Drunks & Junkies is universally voted the best, including by Allin himself. One music critic famously said that "Allin's entire output ranks as perhaps the worst music ever recorded; this is its clearest expression." Bullseye. Taking away the background information, though the the story of Allin the man is undoubtedly more interesting than Allin the singer, his punk rock ... the musical genre that gained a reputation for lousy musicianship no help from Allin ... essentially sounds no different than the Sex Pistols or some of the Stooges a la "I Wanna Be Your Dog." Actually the Stooges are a apt comparison even in regards to Iggy Pop's equally nude stage antics ... heavily distorted guitars repeating simple & cliched melodies with a rhythm section running through changes that might be more interesting in a different environment. Underneath the bad production a few different styles can be heard including rockabilly ("Dope Money"), hard rock ("Be My Fuckin' Whore") & psychedelic ("Wild Riding"). As for the god himself? "Do what I fucking say or I'm gonna slash your face, you worthless two-faced cunt, put your nose in the air, I'll break your fuckin' nose & shit all over you" cries the first verse of "Be My Fuckin' Whore", demonstrating the extent of Allin's poetic ability and probably some of the most depraved lyrics outside of Satanic death metal. This excerpt is tame compared to some. I will say that Allin does know how to rhyme. Extreme hardcore pornography, that should make Larry Flynt proud, is the name of the lyrical game & so is brainless shallow shock fueled punk rock that has been done far better & with more creativity, for example of the sex Peaches & Wendy O. Williams. Allin does win an award for passionate dedication to a cause even if its to his own detriment. The song titles say it all, besides the aforementioned: "Suck My Ass It Smells", "Sleeping In My Piss", "Anti Social Masterbator", "Last In Line For The Gang Bang", "Die When You Die", "Commit Suicide", "Crash & Burn", "Outlaw Scumfuc", "Cunt Suckin' Cannibal", "Young Little Meat", "I Wanna Kill You" & "My Bloody Mutilation". It's hard not to see Allin as just playing into the brainless stereotype of infantile rock'n'roll where anything goes under the banner of advanced anti-social philosophy. The scary part is seeing interviews of him being normal and polite almost to the point of being taken seriously. It's hard to ignore that he does sometimes have a legitimate point to make against society, while I'll stand by his freedom of speech anyday. Allin's music is best enjoyed for the history of it or the philosophy of it, just don't take him seriously when he recommends rape or suicide as the solution.

(featured on the Roman Midnight Music CD Reviews & Interviews podcast: episode 30 "Rock Messengers Of The Past," September 2011, click here to listen)


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