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This environmentally themed ‘grind rock’ band from Pennsylvania, USA, was launched in 1994 as a side-project for Brutal Truth bass player Dan Lilker. Joined by Relapse Records co-owner Bill Yurkiewicz (vocals, samples), guitarist Steve O’Donnell and former Brutal Truth drummer Scott Lewis, the band’s debut fused traditional doom metal with blues and jazz. An unlikely combination, it saw the record described in one quarter as mixing ‘ Stevie Ray Vaughan and early Napalm Death’. Yurkiewicz’s lyrics continued to explore desperate themes on Ethos Musick - the opening track, subtly titled ‘Societally Provoked Genocidal Contemplation’, opened with the line ‘This whole world is fucking sick’, before concluding its first verse with ‘Insanity frees my mind to wonder, I gleefully ponder humanity’s murder’. Elsewhere the band ruminated further on the human race’s capacity for self-degradation and cruelty, and the lasting effect of industrial activities on the planet. It certainly provided an intriguing contrast to hear 60s-style idealism braced against some of the 90s most fearsome noise. A follow-up set continued in ‘hemp-fuelled hedonist’ vein, though just as interesting was a further side-project, this time featuring Yurkiewicz, O’Donnell, Lilker, Rich Hoak (drums) and Bliss Blood (Pain Teens). The project, titled Smoking Songs, saw the ensemble recreate jazz and blues standards of the 30s and 40s.

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