Anger Managers 

Cutthroats 9 slash and burn.

Brutal, ugly and angry are three simple words that can describe Cutthroats 9. Unlike the current wave of nu metal clowns like Slipknot, Mudvayne and Saliva--who undoubtedly assimilated their faux-angst and aggression from watching countless hours of the WWF, proto-gore flicks like Texas Chainsaw Massacre and probably Jerry Springer--this San Francisco-entrenched aggro-noise-core trio, featuring former Unsane singer-guitarist Chris Spencer, produces a teeth-rattling offensive born from the harsh reality of daily residency in vermin-infested squats, rampant drug use, gratuitous debauchery, cold and hunger, unprovoked violence and the general misery of living by the seat of your pants on New York's unsympathetic Lower East Side, where the Unsane thrived chaotically during the early '90s (original drummer Charlie Ondras died of an apparent heroin overdose).

The scarily ferocious music the reinvigorated Spencer disgorges with his latest distortion-ravaged crime scene reflects his ongoing, hard-nosed urban battles and nightmares. Cutthroats 9 don't wear silly masks, paint their faces ridiculously or run commercials every half-hour on MTV to express their terminal rage. The daily issues of boredom, torment and desolation shatter your cranium like a lethal blow to the temple from a sledgehammer-wielding Mike Tyson, a vicious, deadly and unexpected attack that renders one comatose.

And unlike their nu metal brethren, there is absolutely nothing mysterious, theatrical or calculated about their destructive modus operandi, either.

Released on Baltimore-based independent imprint Reptilian Records, Anger Management is the ultra heavy, throat-slashing six-song CD EP follow-up to the bloodcurdling self-titled debut album released last year on Mans Ruin (which recently declared bankruptcy). On sadistically explicit volcanic blasts like "Prey," "Bleed" and "Vacant," Spencer communicates exactly where punk, hardcore, industrial and noise-metal formats fuse to perfection, aggressively embarking on an eardrum-perforating murder spree that is the primeval essence (or evil) of the Cutthroats 9.

Swiping their homicidal moniker from a blood-splattered Spanish Western B-movie, Cutthroats 9 rape, pillage and mutilate purely via the skull-shattering racket they extricate instrumentally and by the sometimes unbearable, bile-spewing screaming Spencer has claimed as his own, and never traded for commercial gain or wider exposure (even when the Unsane was signed to trendy, corporate-affiliated Matador Records).

In fact, Cutthroats 9 serves up a gut-spilling orgy of clamor and destruction here that rises several notches above the precise power-trio butchery of the notorious Unsane, uniting a carnival of fear, indignation, chaos and retribution, with each successive track barely surviving the annihilation and destroyed equipment that crosses their path.

Their celebrated live affairs are also menacing excursions into demon exorcism, where guitars are splintered, drums trashed and the destruction of equipment is a nightly sacrificial ritual. You have been warned.

More by Ron Bally


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