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Notes From The Underground

[whitespace] zine This Is a Cry for Help: Edmund McMillen's zine walks on the disturbed side.

Disturbing Behavior:
Edmund McMillen evokes sick and twisted imagery in 'This Is a Cry for Help'

THIS IS SICK, this is an outrage, this doesn't have any life-redeeming qualities. Aside from those big pluses, the art work throughout Edmund McMillen's collection of comics, This Is a Cry for Help zine, is undeniably some of the greatest around. Let's open it up and see what bleeds inside the cerebellum of a madman. Why, there are Thanksgiving turkeys who talk dirty at the dinner table (yes, that should appeal to the kids in the valley); things to do with dead babies (far more disturbing than the baby from Eraserhead); the adventures of a vindictive penis. Yep, this is Tipper Gore's inferno.

The exceptional detail McMillen puts into mastering these visions of gore completely fulfills the vicious ride to the forbidden. The self-deprecating "A Day in the Life of Me" is like Holden Caulfield making a ghoulish cameo in Dead Alive. "Things That Are Not Funny" is another boot in the crotch of morality and shows the pendulum strongly swinging to the perverse side. The Hyper Masturbation Machine ad, with its strong selling point of starting your own sperm bank, is McMillen at his taboo best. The sketch of a certain pious icon commenting, "Hey, it's not a sin if a machine does it for you," made working the 9-5 shift selling Kirby vacuum products a breeze.

Fans of Andrew Dice Clay, GWAR and Geek Love, I'd like to introduce you to the new freak in town. You can find this at Streetlight Records or write directly to Edmund McMillen, P.O. Box 661, Soquel, CA 95073

Demo Derby

When they're not doing wacky Screeching Weasel detention rock, Abhorrance has the ability to create celestial tapestries much like Reliance did but with introspective lyrics. On its Empty Inside demo, Abhorrance's juvenile leanings get my vote, but people will always rent Terms of Endearment over Cabin Boy (see Blockbuster, America's Rental Habits, 1998).

Guitarists Pat and Brandon must not have paid any attention to the red warning lights on the inputs during recording--their guitar work is grinding. "AOL Girl" is the highlight here--D.H. Lawrence couldn't have penned cyber-angst better. I can't get enough of the surfy, Weasel-like string guitar riffs overlapping the churning chord progressions. "MTV Lied to Me" begins like a stoic, fingernail-picked Metallica lullaby but progresses into a satisfying rock experiment with luscious dual guitar harmonies. That song's rad opening lyrics, "I joined this little band, but guess what? Chicks still think I suck" reveals the shocking truth that no musician wants to fess up to. Overall, the vocals are too low and the songs could be more concise, but this demo secretes orbs of promise.


On Thursday, the Lonely Kings, with reported Fearless record contract in tow, will play the Catalyst. On Friday, Vincent's Ear, Dilligaf and Chaos Lounge play Skinny's (21 and up).
Matt Koumaras

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From the March 10-17, 1999 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

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