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Review: Hewhocorrupts, The Smell of Money (Eugenics, 2005)

From what I can tell this material was recorded way back in 2003, but this quick five-track EP just recently hit the streets and contains five tracks of the kind of dissonant, grinding, frenzied material you'd expect from these guys. The recording's a little thicker than usual this time around, and that's actually a strong benefit with regards to the bass tone and most of the drumming, but something still sounds off in the mix. For one thing the snare tends to be the most prominent element of the entire end result - followed closely by the yelping, snarling, barking vocals. But the way the massive low-end pulse of the bass and the dirty density of the guitars blends together, a lot of the guitar riffs are getting lost in the shuffle. I'm not sure if simply turning the guitars up would help matters or not, but finding a way to tweak this kind of sound in order to achieve a better balance between the individual elements would be great, because this is one of the better sounding releases I've heard from these dudes to date. No track hits two minutes, so it's a pretty quick listen from the blasting intensity of "Your Mama on the Rocks" to the blistering disharmonic chord phrasings and guitar textures of "Grinding for Jesus". There are a lot of really cool little midpaced dissonant breaks thrown in to keep things interesting though, and actually the faster, more chaotic playing seems tighter this time around, which is also a plus. Some of the production issues suppress the total power of the songs, but you can still get a feel for what's going on musically, and there are indeed some cool riffs. "Pain in the Tight Pants" especially has some really memorable midpaced rhythms at the start (with an unexpected chugga break at the end). The constantly shifting vocals can get irritating at times because some of the weird cackling/half-spoken stuff just sounds annoying, and portions of the performance sound overly strained at times, but… what can you do? The disc is housed in a slick looking digipack printed on matte brown chipboard with images of robotic businessmen chasing raining money or whatever - of course in line with many of the band's past exploits. Though, unfortunately, no lyrics are included here, so… figure 'em out for yourself, I guess! Also included is some CD-Rom content such as the "Master of Profits" video (which I've seen before but I can't remember where for some reason) and a rather hilarious "interview" with the band - complete with a stock ticker and loads of questions about money and general corporate behavior. Trust me, while these guys aren't my favorite band or anything on a musical level, they're fuckin' hilarious, and I've always totally appreciated that about 'em. So all in all there's about 10 minutes of video content here as well. Good stuff. They still haven't totally won me over, but fans can't lose for a mere $8 "investment". The "interview" footage "pays for itself"!

[Eugenics]
Running time - 7:56, Tracks: 5
[Notable tracks: Pain in the Tight Pants, Grinding for Jesus]
Eugenics Record Label - http://www.eugenicsrecordlabel.com