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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.)

Weird of the Day: Deathgrind violin with Joey Molinaro

Joey Molinaro

Our buddy Folkicide told us to check out this guy Joey Molinaro who does something called “acoustic grind violin.” Intrigued, we clicked over to one of his YouTube and yep, this dude basically plays grindcore/death metal by himself with a just a violin, foot-stomp percussion and the occasional strangled vocal. The results sound like a cross between a mosh pit and a hootenanny, or maybe something you could call Appalachian folk metal. Check it out.

If, like us, you can’t get enough of this shit, there’s plenty more where that came from on Joey’s Bandcamp page.

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

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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