Various Artists – Can You Supercharge Your Baby?

Absurd isn’t usually a word used to describe the worlds of noisecore and harsh noise. Even though you have your groups like the Gerogerigegege and Kazumoto Endo who use noise in a way that feels jovial and strangely humorous, most noise groups take themselves deathly seriously. Still, taken seriously or not, taking a step back from what is going on reveals just how bizarre the whole thing is. Focusing in on noisecore specifically, you have a genre so dedicated to bastardizing and radicalizing the sound of hardcore punk that they turn it into a sea of inseparable distortion. Case in point – Can You Supercharge Your Baby? is a noisecore compilation out on Delaware’s ESTRANGED COMMUNICATIONS label. This 4-way split is a self-explanatory showcase of what can only be described as absurdist anti-music.

Any recognizable elements from hardcore, save for the seemingly improvisational drum beats, are distorted and bastardized to the point of near incomprehensibility. The batshit performances, when mixed with band names like SHAME HOLE and K9 Hemorrhoids and the left in bits of youthful banter, come across much less like GG Allien-esque danger and much more like some bored dudes playing the least ear-friendly sounds they can make with traditional rock instruments (and then some, assumedly). They reach the speed and chaos that a lot of early noisecore/grind bands were able to hit (especially on the Beggin’ For Oxys segment), which proves that this ensemble isn’t devoid of talent, but – be honest – who really cares. If you’re on board with some auditory fuckery that would make Seth Putnam proud, do you really give two shits about whether or not the bands playing are “skilled.” 

Really, isn’t that what the anti-music scene/movement/what-have-you is all about? The whole point is about sticking a middle finger to those stuck up, stuffy “musicians” who made all those bullshit rules about who could and could not make noise, right? Anti-music conjures similar ideas to the same kind of modern art that raises ire from affluent armchair connoisseurs. The point is that anyone can have fun breaking rules without studying them down to every single word. Anyone can do it, yeah, but some people have the balls (and hearing tolerance (in this case)) to do so.

And, while I always love ranting about anti-traditionalist art, that’s only half the point I wanted to use Can You Supercharge Your Baby? to make. Absurdism links very well to anti-art because it spits in the face of normality as well. This goes for not only art snobs who try to debate that noisecore/harsh-noise is not music (it definitely is), but self-congratulating, overserious pricks, like William Bennett, who lost the sense of weird humor that noise is all about. In a way, the joke/humor of a pasty white man screaming over mechanical whirrs about killing prostitutes is lost on them. Maybe it’s a bit too harsh to lump serious noise into the same obnoxious category as Whitehouse’s Bird Seed, as there is a place for your ultra angry, super-serious stuff, but it’s important to remember the genre’s general oddity (and the oddity in normalizing vile crimes). 

I’m painfully aware of the fact that I haven’t addressed much of the way this album sounds – let’s do that real quick. It’s loud. It’s silly. It’s absurd. I wouldn’t have it any other way (depending on my mood).


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