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Weird Live Review: Cattle Decapitation

Cattle Decapitation

Photo by Vince Edwards/Metal Blade Records

Well, I finally experienced my first Cattle Decapitation show and I must say, they exceeded my expectations. They’re a bit less weird than I was led to believe — the whole extreme vegetarian thing isn’t such a big part of their shtick anymore, as half the band members now eat meat — but they’re a super-intense live act. Especially frontman Travis Ryan, who has a death growl that can peel the paint off the back wall. Listening to him roar, shriek and gibber over Cattle Decap’s deathgrind onslaught is like hearing Mike Patton do vocals for Cannibal Corpse.

My full review is over on LA Weekly, so check it out. And fear not: We’ll have an update on their forthcoming album right here on this here blog as soon as details emerge. (I learned from a label publicist that they begin recording later this month in Denver, but that’s the extent of my knowledge. Well, that and the fact that the new songs they played during last night’s set sounded, at least to my untrained ears, exactly like what you’d expect from Cattle Decapitation.)

You really don’t wanna watch the new Cattle Decapitation video

If you read this blog on any kind of a regular basis, you know we occasionally post some pretty twisted shit on here. We’ve covered bands that jerk off onstage with vacuum cleaners, bands dedicated entirely to songs about feces, and guys who make music by chomping on hunks of broken glass. So when I tell you that I am about to share with you the grossest, gnarliest, most NSFW video I have ever laid eyes on, I hope you’ll appreciate the gravity of the situation.

The video comes from our favorite vegetarian goregrind band, Cattle Decapitation, with the help of director Mitch Massie. Massie shot the band’s last video, the now quaint by comparison “Kingdom of Tyrants,” but he really went off the fucking deep end this time. The song is called “Forced Gender Reassignment” and, well, that’s pretty much what happens to two unfortunate members of the Westboro Baptist Church of “God Hates Fags” fame. And it kinda makes me feel sorry for those two (entirely fictional…relax) members of the Westboro Baptist Church. Yeah, it’s that bad.

To prepare yourself for the eye-raping you are about to receive, you might want to watch these videos of people watching the video first. Actually, you know what? Never mind. They’re kinda boring. Let’s get to the good stuff.

Oh, did I mention you have to be at least 18 years old to watch the video on BloodyDisgusting.com? Sorry, kids. We had to draw the line somewhere. Apparently for us, that line is somewhere slightly past guys jerking off with vacuum cleaners.

In other Cattle news…the band is on the road for most of the next month. Dates below. Anyone wanna join me for the Dec. 7th gig at the Whisky? I’ll be good and ready for something that’s not fucking Christmas music by then.

w/ Six Feet Under, Wretched
11/02 Richmond, VA Kingdom
11/03 Frederick, MD Cafe 611
11/04 Clifton, NJ Dingbatz
11/05 Boston, MA Middle East
11/06 New York, NY The Studio at Webster Hall
11/07 Buffalo, NY Club Infinity
11/08 Reading, PA Reverb
11/09 Amityville, NY Revolution
11/10 Dayton, OH McGuffy’s
11/12 St Paul, MN Station-4
11/13 Joliet, IL Mojoe’s
11/14 Lansing, MI Mac’s Bar
11/15 Peoria, IL The Brass Rail
11/16 Valparaiso, IN Roadie’s Music Venue
11/17 Louisville, KY Phoenix Hill Tavern
11/18 Atlanta, GA Masquerade
End Tour
11/20 Trenton, NJ Backstage at Champs
11/21 Brooklyn, NY Saint Vitus Bar
11/23 Roanoke, VA Coffin House
Tour w/ Dying Fetus, Cerebral Bore
11/24 Atlanta, GA Masquerade *no Cattle Decapitation
11/27 Tampa, FL Brass Mug
11/29 Longview, TX The Levee
11/30 Houston, TX Fitzgerald’s
12/01 Corpus Christi, TX Zero’s
12/02 San Antonio, TX Korova
12/05 El Paso, TX House Of Rock
12/06 Tempe, AZ Rocky Point
12/07 Hollywood, CA The Whisky
12/08 Fullerton, CA Slidebar (Matinee)
12/09 San Francisco, CA DNA Lounge
12/10 Modesto, CA Plea For Peace
12/11 Richland, WA Ray’s Golden Lion

Cattle Decapitation heading out on the Shockwave Festival Tour

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Ever wished one of this summer’s big metal tours came with a vegetarian option? Well, you’re in luck. Pro-veggie deathgrinders Cattle Decapitation are joining the lineup of the 2012 Shockwave Festival, alongside more meat-and-potatoes headbangers like Fear Factory, Voivod and Misery Index. All told, 11 bone-crushing bands should provide quite the endurance test for even the most dedicated of thrash-heads.

Cattle Decap are touring behind their latest album, the recently released Monolith of Inhumanity. After the tour dates, stick around for the extended “minifilm” version of their new sci-fi-themed video, “Kingdom of Tyrants.” It’s like Prometheus, only shorter and way more badass. Lead singer Travis Ryan hasn’t touched meat since he was a kid and he could still kick your burger-eating ass into next week.

Shockwave Festival tour dates:

7/06 – Seattle, WA @ Studio Seven
7/07 – Vancouver, BC, CANADA @ Vogue Theatre
7/09 – Calgary, AB, CANADA @ The Republik
7/11 – Winnipeg, MB, CANADA @ Pyramid Cabaret
7/12 – St Paul, MN @ Station 4
7/13 – Milwaukee, WI @ The Rave
7/14 – Toronto, ON, CANADA @ Kool Haus
7/15 – Windsor, ON, CANADA @ The Armouries
7/17 – Quebec City, QC, CANADA @ Imperial Theater
7/18 – Montreal, QC, CANADA @ Le National
7/20 – Clifton, NY @ Northern Lights
7/21 – Buffalo, NY @ Town Ballroom
7/22 – Reading, PA @ Reverb
7/24 – Amityville, NY @ Revolution
7/25 – Worcester, MA @ Palladium
7/26 – West Springfield, VA @ Empire
7/27 – Columbus, OH @ Alrosa Villa
7/28 – Joliet, IL @ Mojoe’s
7/29 – Rockford, IL @ Tebala Shrine
7/31 – Denver, CO @ Summit Music Hall
8/02 – Window Rock, AZ @ Nakai Hall
8/03 – Tempe, AZ @ The Marqee Theater
8/04 – Hollywood, CA @ House Of Blues

Weirdify Playlist 5: Mental Metal

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What’s up, weirdos? Jake here, ready to melt your face off with our latest Spotify playlist. This week’s theme: Heavy metal, in all its skull-crushing, finger-tapping, demon-growling glory. Plus one sensitive grindcore piano ballad, because we know how those grindcore kids love the lighters-up moments.

Fire up your Spotify and strap in. It’s gonna be a bumpy ride.

1. Sleepytime Gorilla Museum, “Helpless Corpses Enactment.” I’m not letting you people off easy this week. I’m throwing you right into the deep end of weird metal with a track from this sadly defunct San Francisco outfit, who did things to heavy music only a pretentious bunch of Bay Area art freaks could do.

2. Demon Tool, “La Naissance du Mal.” I’ll be honest: I found this track when I was looking for something from Tool. But it turns out Tool has licensed exactly zero of its catalog to Spotify, so you’ll have to settle for this obscure band that just happens to have Tool in their name. Plus, they sing in French, which is kinda weird in this context. It’s hard to sound demonic when you’re growling in the language of love.

3. Mayhem, “Buried by Time and Dust.” The original and greatest Norwegian black metal band. This track is from their classic 1994 album, De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas, which means you’re hearing dead guitarist Euronymous playing alongside the man who murdered him, bassist Varg Vikernes. Creepy, huh?

4. Mr. Bungle, “Everyone I Went to High School With Is Dead.” Even when Mike Patton isn’t breaking out his operatic banshee shrieks, Mr. Bungle’s spin on heavy rock is still pretty out there.

5. Goblin Cock, “Kegrah the Dragon Killer.” Goblin Cock is what happens when indie rock nerds try to do a stoner metal band—they shred, kinda, but in case the band name didn’t tip you off, the whole thing’s pretty tongue-in-cheek. The head indie rock nerd is this case is Rob Crow from Pinback. I also had to include a Goblin Cock track because I ripped off one of their totally awesome album covers as the lead image for this playlist. Hail Satan! And/or the well-endowed, Satan-like figure seen in most Goblin Cock artwork!

6. Powerglove, “Heffalumps and Woozles (Winnie the Pooh).” More nerd-metal, this time from a bunch of dudes from Boston who do heavy instrumental versions of songs from videogames and children’s cartoons. Yes, this really is based on the “Heffalumps” song from Winnie the Pooh—if you don’t believe me, here’s the original. Okay, it’s a loose interpretation, but still. Those Heffalumps will fuck your shit up.

7. Schwarzenator, “Predator.” This is slightly less nerdy than songs about Heffalumps and dragon killers, but not by much. Schwarzenator are one of three, count ’em, three metal bands whose songs are all based on Arnold Schwarzenegger movies. I would include tracks from ArnoCorps and Austrian Death Machine, too, but one Ahh-nuld-themed song per playlist is really my limit. Get to da choppuh!

8. Bang Camaro, “Swallow the Razor.” Pop-metal with a “dude choir” of about 15 singers. If more ’80s hair metal bands had employed dude choirs, maybe we’d all still be listening to Skid Row and Whitesnake to this day. Oh, wait, some of you are still listening to Skid Row and Whitesnake? Well, then maybe you wouldn’t be doing it in your parents’ basement.

9. Dir En Grey, “Lotus.” Japanese prog-metal. Any questions? No? Moving on…

10. Common Grackle, “At the Grindcore Show.” You know how some metal albums have a nice little ballad or acoustic interlude before they return to their regularly scheduled face-melting? This is sorta that track. It also nicely sets up our next few grindcore(ish) tracks.

11. Cattle Decapitation, “Gestation of Smegma.” Technically, I guess these San Diego dudes aren’t true grindcore, but a related genre called goregrind. Whatever. All I know is I’m really glad most of their songs are less than one minute long.

12. The Locust, “We Have Reached an Official Verdict: Nobody Gives a Shit.” Another San Diego band (featuring ex-Cattle Decap drummer Gabe Serbian), The Locust also aren’t technically grindcore, but an even more distantly related genre called powerviolence. And you thought the dance music kids liked to split hairs over genre distinctions.

13. Iwrestledabearonce, “Alaskan Flounder Basket.” Again, not really grindcore…they’re more screamo/experimental…oh, fuck it. Just prepare to be ear-raped.

14. Horse the Band, “A Million Exploding Suns.” I had to throw these guys in here because they play yet another obscure/bizarre subgenre called “nintendocore,” which is basically hardcore + videogame music. I couldn’t make this shit up if I tried, people!

15. GWAR, “Black and Huge.” This one needs no introduction. It’s fucking GWAR! Bow down, human scum.

16. Super Geek League, “Naked Machine.” These Seattle freaks call their very GWAR-like funk-thrash-punk sound “soul metal.” I just call it my soundtrack for breaking stuff.

17. Apocalyptica, “Enter Sandman.” Metallica, played by cellos. This shit cracks me up every time I hear it, but I’m pretty sure they’re serious. They’re from Finland, so it’s hard to tell.

Hope you dug this week’s playlist. Tune in next week (or the week after, we’re not really on any set schedule with these things), when my partner Andy returns with Music for Pussies.

Weirdify Playlist 3: Noise Ordnance

Hi, kids. Jake here, finally delivering y’all a playlist with some balls. Also, some power tools, Tuvan throat singing and field recordings of surgical procedures. That’s how I roll.

ShareMyPlaylists is thwarting me and not recognizing half these tracks, so here’s a direct link to the full playlist on Spotify. You’ll get 20 whole tracks of skull-crushing, ear-diddling insanity:

1. Lightning Bolt, “Assassins”
2. Fantomas, “Page 28”
3. Deerhoof, “The Great Car Tomb”
4. The Locust, “Who Wants a Dose of the Clap?”
5. Nimrod, “Ripsnort”
6. Arrington de Dionyso, “Susu Naga”
7. The Residents, “Smelly Tongues”
8. Captain Beefheart, “Skeleton Makes Good”
9. White Mice, “Passsthefissst”
10. Kylie Minoise, “Corpse Sex Show Outrage!”
11. Genocide Organ, “Genocide”
12. Iwrestledabearonce, “Alaskan Flounder Basket”
13. Yip-Yip, “California Fart”
14. Justice Yeldham, “300104 Hamburg”
15. Einsturzende Neubauten, “Negativ Nein”
16. Cabaret Voltaire, “News From Nowhere”
17. Cattle Decapitation, “Gestation of Smegma”
18. Goatwhore, “Sacrament of Emptiness and Despair”
19. Otto Von Schirach, “Septic Sewer Soup”
20. Matmos, “L.A.S.I.K.”

Management not responsible for lost or damaged hearing. Happy listening!

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Cattle Decapitation

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You think vegetarians are all just a bunch of arugula-eating pussies? Well, meet Cattle Decapitation and prepare to have your brains blown out. Then fed to livestock. That’s how these guys roll.

Cattle Decapitation is a deathgrind band from San Diego. What the fuck, you ask, is deathgrind? A cross between death metal and grindcore. Duh. (Translation: the heaviest, ugliest, most evil-sound music on the face of the earth, which somewhat paradoxically requires a high level of technical proficiency to play. That and a willingness to sound like a really constipated Cookie Monster trying to pinch one out after too much brisket.) They’re also sometimes lumped in with a subgenre of deathgrind called “goregrind,” which is basically any deathgrind band whose lyrics mainly deal with death, gore, rape, gruesome medical procedures, serial killers and anything else that might turn up in an Italian horror movie. We kinda thought that was all deathgrind, but apparently not. Apparently the goregrind kids think the deathgrind kids are kinda soft.

Anyway, enough of this genre crap. Eddie swears you people find it interesting, but I’m not so sure. What I do find interesting is that Cattle Decapitation is an extreme vegetarian deathgrind band who try to put their fans off the bacon-burgers by writing songs about cannibalism, human slaughterhouses, and my personal favorite, cows turning the tables and eating us. A concept expressed on the cover of their Karma Bloody Karma album and a bit more bluntly on the very NSFW cover of Humanure. (Did you click on that link? Threw up in your mouth a little, didn’t you? Sorry, should’ve warned you.)

With song titles like “Testicular Manslaughter,” “Stench From the Dumpster,” and “Colostomy Jigsaw Puzzle,” you might think this whole thing is a joke. And it kind of seems like it might have started that way: At early Cattle Decapitation shows, lead singer Travis Ryan would often wear a mask made out of beef jerky (which you can sort of see here), and most of the band’s songs were under a minute long and almost comicly unintelligible. But they’ve been at this for over ten years now, and the music has gotten a little more sophisticated (guitar solos, verse/chorus structure, etc.) and they’re still on-message with the whole “How would you feel if you were sentenced to a short, brutal life in an industrial feedlot?” thing. So props to them. I’ll probably still hit the Carl’s drive-thru write after I post this, though. Have you tried one of their Philly Cheesesteak Burgers yet? So wrong, yet so right.

Speaking of burgers…Cattle Decapitation is also, as far as we know, the only deathgrind band ever to have a veggie burger named after them. Shut up, I’m serious. You can get one at Hamilton’s Pub and Cafe in San Diego. Comes with something called PCS sauce, which supposedly stands for “Phil Collins Sucks.” That’s almost cool enough to get me to eat black bean paste in patty form. Almost.

Anyway, here’s the official video for “A Body Farm” off CD’s most recent album, The Harvest Floor. The video starts off kinda cleverly with a fake news report about a serial killer who uses his victims to fertilize his vegetable garden, and then just gets weirder from there. We should note that although the lyrics are totally unintelligable, they’re also amazing. Quick sample:  “Ah, the irony in being a killer, yet in the crime-solving community, I am a pillar/A corpse turns to mulch with a good roto-tiller.”

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