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Rock 'n' Roll Terrorist

GG Allin

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Albenrezension

G.G. Allin may just have been rock's premier carnival freak. Which is, all freaks considered, saying a lot. But for anyone who caught his act, or saw the documentary Hated, it would not seem such an outlandish claim. And like all great carnival freaks, it's hard to tell where the deformity ended and the cosmetics began. While Rock 'N' Roll Terrorist may not help solve this conundrum, it does provide an excellent — though rather repetitive — sketch of this guttersnipe enigma. Repetitive in that, once you've heard six or eight tracks/rants, you may feel like you've heard them all. And there's good reason for that. Again and again G.G. screeches about how much he hates the world and everyone in it; how he has his own perverse, "revolutionary" agenda; how he is prepared to commit any depraved act against any man, woman, or child; how violent death (preferably suicide) is the ultimate expression of non-conformity. Pretty quickly, one is inclined to believe that Allin's just utterly desperate to go "over the top" but doesn't quite have the vocabulary, or anti-musical smarts, to do it. At the same time, his work is the supreme mangled car wreck that you crane your neck to see. Heightening the experience on Rock 'N' Roll Terrorist is a slew of live cuts (make no mistake, Allin's prime "virtue" was as a live "artist"), and several not-so-obtuse spoken word pieces. Most of the songs of this two-hours-plus, two-disc set are badly recorded, badly played, grating punk — though the playing tends not to be unbearable, genre considered, apart from a few absolutely appalling guitar solos that could not even take the escape hatch of "anti-music." And yet, like the guiltiest of guilty pleasures, there is some allure. Sometimes the lyrics click or the sonics blitz. Occasionally, the themes resonate a little and do indeed "beg the question." And just here and there, one is drawn to wondering to what extent this rock and roll freak/terrorist was for real. (At the end of "My Prison Walls/20645," Allin groans again and again, over howling guitar feedback, "That's not noise/That's just my mind going off in different directions/You see, it doesn't run concurrent with the rest of the world.") Therein lies the titillation and only cerebral stimulation to be had. Hence, G.G. Allin should not be dismissed out of hand. Any performer, however lowbrow, who can stir up so much controversy and critical perplexity, warrants a place in the annals of rock and, in some fashion, respect. Though excessively long, this album is as good a place as any to get your G.G. fix, if so inclined. It covers all the dirty bases, leaving no doubt about the scope (or lack thereof) of Allin's output. If you feel like venting your most serious demons behind closed doors, this will work better than anything as relatively tame as the Sex Pistols' Never Mind the Bollocks. Neither high art nor distinctive low art, Rock 'N' Roll Terrorist is for devotees, voyeurs, dabblers, and loner nihilists. But be warned: If offensive material upsets you, steer clear. This could give you a full-blown coronary.

Rock 'n' Roll Terrorist, GG Allin
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