CHRISTBAIT, Truckin’ (1994, Death Valley)
It’s like The Exploited’s skully dude, except his mohawk is a spine. Or a bony Wendy O (there’s probably another joke to be had there, but I’ll leave it to the reader’s imagination). Usually we at Skull HQ prefer our skulls head-on (as it were), but this from-the-side skull is so proudly big and dumb that we’re happy to welcome him to the Skullection.
Based on this single song from a split with Dirt Clod Fight (whom I will not review), Christbait seem to have started as an industrial-inspired crust metal band, but they gradually took on some “southern” elements. They don’t seem to have gone full Eyehategod, but of course, the less New Orleans in your sound, the better. The industrial bit, at least, is of course not surprising, since they almost certainly took their name from Godflesh. The drums are live, which is a nice surprise (I expected programmed beats), and the playing is solid, sometimes even inventive. Think early Pitchshifter mixed with late 80s Amebix and a hint of southern-fried stoner bullshit (mainly in the form of some bluesy fills) and you’re in the right neighborhood. The singing is not great, mainly just yelling, but that’s typical for the crustier genres, and I can live with it, because the song is more or less okay. I might go back and check out their earlier stuff, because minus the swampy shit, this is pretty good.
— Friar Johnsen