DEATH IS CERTAIN by JIMMY SMACK
|Title||DEATH IS CERTAIN|
|Release||W 14 - 2022|
|Format||Vinyl - EULP|
|€ 24,99||incl. VAT, excl. shipping|
- hating life
- death is certain
- the scarlet beast
- anguish instrumental
(RH Record of the week review at the bottom of this text)
Across two 7”s, Death Or Glory (1982) and Death Rocks (1983) and one 12”, Anguish (1982) Jimmy Smack carved his own bleak chasm amidst the LA Death Rock scene that he inhabited. After decades dormant in the crypt, Knekelhuis compiles Smack’s full recorded output, providing it a lavish place to rest on the Death Is Certain LP.
While his local punk contemporaries pursued aggressive hardcore and political punk, Jimmy Smack donned corpse paint (before it would later become synonymous with the European black metal movement) and found a home performing in venues like the Anti-Club, amongst other subterranean dwellers Christian Death, Dead Hippie and 45 Grave.
Even within this lurid milieu, Jimmy Smack stood alone. Hating Life (from Death Rocks) easily locates Jimmy within the negative-punk and KBD lexicon. However his recordings, consisting of voice, rhythm box and electrified bagpipe drones, otherwise veer closer to other-worldly avant-garde rituals. Jimmy’s background in theatre and performance art helping inform not only his menacing stage presence, but also spawning the singularity of his sound.
Death Is Certain comes housed in a printed inner sleeve featuring rarely seen archival photos, liner notes by Cooper Bowman and excerpts from an interview with Jimmy Smack conducted by Juan Mendez (Silent Servant)
Rush Hour Store Record of the week W14:
Releasing no more than two 7”s (1982’s ‘Death Or Glory’ and 1983’s ‘Death Rocks’) and one 12” (‘Anguish’) during his time, Jimmy Smack was one of the most enigmatic figures on the LA scene of the eighties.
A singular performance artist who donned corpse paint a good decade before Norwegian bands like Mayhem and Emperor turned it into a vital element of early black metal, Smack was a fixture on the LA deathrock/postpunk scene reciting his dark poetry over electric bagpipes and a Dr. Rhythm drum machine, carving his own niche like a Fad Gadget from hell.
Smack’s complete recorded output is now compiled by Knekelhuis as ‘Death is Certain’, a record that shines a new light on Smack’s unique craft. At times sounding suspiciously like a modular synth, Smack’s modified electric bagpipes and relentless rhythm box provide the perfect backdrop for his bleak storytelling like a dystopian drone leading you into a parallel dimension where only one thing’s for sure: death is certain. (RO)