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7000 DYING RATS
"Season In Hell" CD
Release Date: 1/9/07
- Altar of Goat Skulls
- Hack to Bits
- Bigfoot Destroy
- Annihilator the Devastator
- Argument at Your Local Indie Record Store
- Your Studied Indifference is Duly Noted
- Satanium Bloodlust
- We Want Weez-E
- Eddie Money
- Balls of Bigotry
- Death Hammer of the Bearded Ones
- Rock n Roll Weapon
- Baby Crusher
- The Wound (Gapeth Open)
- A Real Kneeslapper
- Jesus Farted
- Forced Boat
- We Had "Dying" in our Name way Before all Those Metalcore Cocksuckers Came Along
- Grind Fluffer
- Funeral March
- Ballad of Chico
"Hopped up on high-octane coffee, high on the herb, drunk on Wild Turkey, shuffling on Thorazine, you can take your pick as each will provide a state of mind at some point during the 28 tracks of grindcore and musical lunacy on 7000 DYING RATS' "Season in Hell". After a relatively long wait, the Detroit/Chicago collective, which counts in its membership Steve Rathbone (LAIR OF THE MINOTAUR) with his demon-toned riffs, unleash another bone-jarring and mind-fucking amalgam of grinding disorientation and compositional schizophrenia. When the boys go for grind they grind with the best of 'em, bashing with abandon. Sometimes said grind is more of a knurled churn, at others a speedball of sonic dementia. And then there are all those other ingredients that give the album its wildly disconcerting aura. Violins scrape the eardrums and keyboards create cosmic chaos. Christ, there is even a loony hip-hop (the faux white boy kind) called "We Want Weez-E". A seemingly heartfelt, yet fully indicting "ballad" called "Your Studied Indifference is Duly Noted" gets thrown into the pit with cock rocker "Rock n Roll Weapon". One must not forget about a techno (with country picking section) version of BLACK SABBATH's "Paranoid" or the raucus 'n' raw (and presumably live) versions of JOURNEY's "Any Way You Want It" and JUDAS PRIEST's "Living After Midnight", both contained on a track called "Hellcatcher". NEUROSIS' Scott Kelly even gets into the act on "A Real Kneeslapper". How about this one for song title of the year: "We Had 'Dying' in our Name Way Before all those Metalcore Cocksuckers came along". It's bedlam I tell ya! So it's not for everyone and the rat patrol wouldn't have it any other way. This thrown-into-a-blender style may no longer be revolutionary, but it sure as hell leaves an impression (as in dents in the skull and bloody stomach ulcers). Look for "Season in Hell" to be released as the soundtrack for the next IMMA (Independent Meth Manufacturers of America) convention."
"Grindcore is one of those genres which causes my wife to ask if I'm ever going to grow up. I tell her that just because I've ended up a middle-class suburbanite doesn't mean I have to act like one. I fully embrace Ian MacKaye's lyric from "Minor Threat": "I might be an adult, I'm a minor at heart." 7000 Dying Rats exists as a studio entity formed by Steve Rathbone and D.J. Baraca who went on to form Lair of the Minotaur after 7KDR (7000 Dying Rats) decided to cease live performances. This musical aggregation has had many members over time, The current lineup consists of D.J. Barraca - guitar; Josh Diebel - lead vocals, samples, shakers, fish, pipes; Steve Rathbone - guitar, keyboards, samples, bass, harmonica, vocals; Derek Swanson - bass; Toney Vast-Binder - lead vocals, bass, keyboards, trombone, air organ, drums; and Weasel Walter - drums, vocals. 7KDR is part of the Hewhocorrupts, Inc. family which is home to such sonic adventurers as Tower of Rome, Holy Roman Empire, and Hewhocorrupts. True to grindcore form, Season in Hell is 28 tracks of musical mayhem with tracks from 21 seconds to 3 minutes and 51 seconds in length. This release reminds me a lot of one of my favorite albums: Todd Rundgren's A Wizard, A True Star. Both albums are careening musical collages of noise and melody, although in 7KDR's case the melody belongs to some charming atonal violins on "Argument at Your Local Indie Record Store." "Altar of Goat Skulls", "Hack to Bits", "Bigfoot Destroy", and the hilariously titled "We had 'Dying' in our Name Way Before all Those Metalcore Cocksuckers Came Along" are blasts of make-your-ears-bleed grind. There is even a weirdly, techno/electronica cover of Black Sabbath's "Paranoid" which somehow works. Some may think the record is too scattered and not focused enough, but I was entertained by the shifts from Pig Destroyer influenced grindcore to moody, mysterious keyboards to a really wacky rap, "We Want Weez-E," and even the brooding, acoustic "Your Studied Indifference is Duly Noted" which segues into the glorious grindcore of "Satanium Bloodlust." This CD is not for everyone but if you're willing to take a chance and give it a listen you won't be disappointed and you might even enjoy it. If you are already familiar with 7KDR, make yourself another pot of coffee, put the headphones on, crank this baby up and get ready to be eviscerated."
"7000 Dying Rats can't seem to make up their collective minds about just about anything. Their lineup has been unstable since their inception with only their vocalist returning for their latest full-length, the first in five years. There also seems to be a bit of confusion about just how seriously these guys take their work in 7000 Dying Rats. Guitarists Steve Rathbone and D.J. Barraca, both of Lair of the Minotaur, seem unsure of whether or not they should be wasting any of their creativity on the albums' riffs and the uneven guitar work is evidence. Even conceptually, these guys can't decide what kind of music they should play, with jokey interludes and assorted covers ending up alongside legitimate metal tracks of various styles and speeds. The band have described themselves as "garbage grind" and while the moniker isn't completely accurate, the two words separately could be used to accurately describe 95% of this album's tracks. Sprinkled amidst the sloppy violin tracks, cheesy raps and miserably simplistic mellow rock ballads, there's about fifteen or twenty minutes of really solid metal on this album. There are even a few tracks that end up interesting despite the band's best intentions, such as the noise instrumental "Alzheimerz." Unfortunately for every really great moment this disc contains, there are two truly miserable ones. The drawn out introduction of "Death Hammer of the Bearded Ones" wouldn't even fly if the band were serious, despite the furious grinding that ensues afterward. The disc's many samples wear increasingly thin on repeated listens. AC/DC & Kiss-styled rocker "Rock N Roll Weapon" isn't altogether terrible but it sticks out like a sore thumb and gets inundated by sampled noises before its cacophonous finale. Even innocuously forgettable tracks like the mercifully brief "Baby Crusher" ended up annoying me because they were simply unnecessary. A terrible techno cover of Black Sabbath's "Paranoid" is followed by one of the disc's best tracks, "The Wound (Gapeth Open)." There's even a four minute track featuring a disappointing contribution from Neurosis' Scott Kelly. Bottom Line: What's the point? There's nothing particularly amusing about 7000 Dying Rats' brand of comedy and there's not a whole lot to genuinely enjoy despite the abundance of talent involved. This is just an all-around misguided attempt at mixing metal and jokes that falls flat at nearly every turn. They may have been around for over ten years, but 7000 Dying Rats need to leave the comedic metal to Crotchduster and focus on making music that someone actually cares about."
"For the first time in five years, and with just the singer left standing, these irony-clad, pantomined and prostituted grindcore riffing metal maniacs return with avant-garde alumni like Gatlin gun drummer Weasel Walters from the Flying Luttenbachers behind the cauldron. From what I understand, their earlier records were sly and “stoopid,” a comedic meld of mountainous metal cliché and post-modern, rusty razor, slice and dice antics. This is perhaps represented on the new album by the retarded rap “We Want Weez-E” or the bells and tinkers space-age jazz meets ambient soundtrack of “Balls of Bigotry,” not to neglect the folk ballad baiting, record store ennui of “Your Studied Indifference is Duly Noted.” In-between those extended jokes are grindstone nightmare maelstroms, like the ice cap melting “Altar of Goat Skulls” and easy prey “Eddie Money,” which line up besides the foaming mouth of rabid hate core “Death Hammer of the Bearded Ones.” It arrives right before the boogie woogie Sunset Strip, slippery slope cock-rock of “Rock n Roll Weapon,” though it ends in a free jazz freakout meets cinematic abomination, nothing less than a cut and paste mindf*ck. Next, its back to bells and tinkers with the children’s anti-lullaby “Baby Crusher,” then the helter skelter sound collage of weird animal sounds and crying babies and drill bit drums of “Horrible.” The new age “Jesus Farted” arrives on a soft, out-of-date electronica cloud, whereas the inverted Blondie rock of “Ballad of Chico” could be anything off of Parallel Lines broken and melted over a whole new body of panic and pummels. It’s a new wave exorcism to segue into the raw live Journey mimicry of “Anyway You Want It,” which might be funny if it wasn’t already sanctified in Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle, a long lesson in irony itself. So, it’s a little too parody too late, but for those of you who need a little more Men’s Recovery Project in your life, then this album might be your best hope."
Left of the Dial
"It’s been six years since The Sound of No Hands Clapping dropped, and Hewhocorrupts made a good decision in picking up 7000 Dying Rats. Their latest – Season in Hell – is an entertaining release even if it’s a tad too scatterbrained for its own good. Stylistically, 7DR play an eviscerating form of grindcore that, honestly, I wish I could’ve heard more of. When they’re not grinding, they put humor to use in true Crotchduster fashion, and that’s why SiH is at least somewhat disjointed. With 28 tracks on tap, there’s quite a bit to digest. The most enjoyable tunes found on this long-player, however, are the grinders – “Altar of Goat Skulls,” “Hack to Bits,” the plodder “Bigfoot Destroy,” “Annihilator the Devastator,” “Satanium Bloodlust,” “Balls of Bigotry,” “Death Hammer of the Bearded Ones,” “Horrible,” “The Wound (Gapeth Open),” “We Had ‘Dying’ in Our Name Before All Those Metalcore Cocksuckers Came Along,” “Grind Fluffer,” etc. There are also several humorous tunes worth noting such as the clean-sung ballad “Your Studied Indifference is Duly Noted,” the pseudo-Candiria rap “We Want Weez-E,” southern rocker “Rock ‘N Roll Weapon,” electronica Black Sabbath cover “Paranoid,” and the Nintendo-esque “Ballad of Chico.” The remainder, I’m afraid, consists of pointless interludes. Selections known as “Argument at Your Local Indie Record Store,” “Eddie Money,” “Alzheimerz,” “Baby Crusher,” “Blondies,” “A Real Kneeslapper,” “Jesus Farted,” “Forced Boat,” “Funeral March,” “Hellcatcher,” and even “Outro” could be left by the wayside and Season in Hell would be better for it. Typically I prefer my grind without humor and my humor without grind – lyrics aside – but 7000 Dying Rats keep each of the above-mentioned separated, which was a wise move on their part. Still, unless you’re a tolerant individual who doesn’t mind sitting through 30-second clips between longer bursts of grind, then you’ll most likely find yourself skipping through much of Season in Hell to get to the real meat. The replay value doesn’t seem to be too high either, though that’s a minor gripe in this case. Despite being a solid unit, I kept hoping 7DR would eventually quit fucking around, and, as they say, grind on. Maybe that’s just their allure, or more precisely, their shtick."
"Well, what I've heard is that this band has been around since 1992 with at least 30 line-up changes; to tell you the truth this is the first time I ever hear this name, this fact annoys me as 7000 Dying Rats is a band that surely will drill your forehead with each musical punch in their record. The band plays (what they call) "Comedy-Grind"; the music is really interesting actually, very similar to what people like Scott Hull would play (Pig Destroyer, Agoraphobic nosebleed etc.) the "Comedy" bit comes with the lyrics and the song-titles…what sucks is that they didn't add the lyrical content in the booklet, so it's more about titles than anything. Musically they are really freaking intense, fast and powerful as a machine-gun and brutally cohered as anything you've heard before. The samples might turn some people off though; those "funny" lines cover almost half of the record and music comes randomly in between…but hell truly unleashes when their music comes, the wait becomes worthwhile in every possible way believe me, when the riffs and beats come, it's time to break your neck with the Punk the Grind and the hostility of the crude, yet powerful, music. This is a very simple album, but the Grinders out there will find in "Season In Hell" a very innovative and interesting piece; it's maybe not the best Grindcore record I've reviewed ever, but I'll surely toss this in my stereo regularly, if not to digest the entire thing at least to hear that Black Sabbath cover which really gives me the creeps, after all, how can I dislike a band who hates Metalcore bands and calls them "Cocksuckers" as I do?"
"If Anal Cunt’s Seth Putnam graduated sophomoric jokecore high school, he might start a band like 7000 Dying Rats. They have ludicrous song titles (“Argument At Your Local Record Store,” “Jesus Farted,” “We Had ‘Dying’ In Our Name Way Before All Those Metalcore Cocksuckers Came Along”). They interpolate their album with hip-hop send-ups and silly butt-rock covers, making good on their promise to churn out “an album full of inside jokes every couple of years,” in lieu of playing live. With 26 members from various Chicagoland and Detroit bands—including Lair Of The Minotaur, Invisible Witch and the lovably named Christpunchers—listed on their website (apparently Celtic Frost’s Tom G. Warrior plays “sword,” yeah right), it’s no wonder they seemingly suffer multiple personalities. (They list only six members in the CD booklet.) Naturally, their “single,” “Hack To Bits,” sounds like a mess. They’ve clearly studied their Napalm Death and Naked City songbooks, and since this is technically full-length number three (they formed around ’92) they’ve perfected the mix. As a result, “Hack To Bits” is 84 seconds of competent blastbeats, incoherent lyrics and sculpted guitar static. It’s not eloquent, it doesn’t break any new ground, and it sounds exactly like what a band called 7000 Dying Rats should sound like. What else would you expect from a band who wrote a song called “Free Jazz (And Mumia)”?"
Paper Thin Walls
"7000 Dying Rats might share two members (guitarists Steve Rathbone and Donald James Barraca) with Hessian destroyers Lair of the Minotaur; they might have conned Neurosis vocalist-guitarist Scott Kelly into a spoken-word guest shot (“A Real Kneeslapper”); they might even rock screwy Sabbath covers (“Paranoid,” with a banjo). Shit, these Chicago-based metal jokesters might even bust out atonal violin interludes (“Arguments at Your Local Indie Record Store,” “Funeral March”) when they’re not embarking upon intentionally goofy instrumental space-prog freakouts (“Ballad of Chico”). But, really, the hilarious song “We Had ‘Dying” in Our Name Way Before All Those Metalcore Cocksuckers Came Along” says it all."
"7000 Dying Rats is a band that offers listeners with a tasty grind/metal formula with tons of extra random clips as well. With the album being 28 tracks long, you can only wonder what kinds of stuff is crammed within this 48 minute journey. The fact is, that 7000 Dying Rats takes their actual songs and then crams random sound clips in between. At first glance, you may be mildly amused with the track titles and the randomness of the tracks themselves but after a while it proves to wear off. This album has a lot of good metallic grind material that'd go perfectly alongside many of Metalblade's bands. But you really can only handle so much nonsense. I mean grind has been known for offensive sound clips and song titles, but I think "Season in Hell" goes a bit above and beyond the point of being humorous. I mean Pig Destroyer and Killwhitneydead are both famous for doing the same thing. But even then it got a tad bit annoying. Especially when you want to just sit down and listen to good old fashioned grind. Tracks such as "Altar of Goat Skulls," "Hack to Bits," "Death Hammer of the Bearded Ones," "Horrible," "Grind Fluffer," and even the ever mocking "We Had Dying in our Name way Before all Those Metalcore Cocksuckers Came Along" proved to be amusing yet enjoyable tracks. But I think you have to cut through too much random shit to get to the bulk of the material. Which is the only major problem with the disc. When 7000 Dying Rats and Hewhocorrupts Inc. decide to come out with an actual album by this band, I want to be the first to know because "Season in Hell" is just too much random nonsense for my likings. It'd be cool if only like 25% of the album was random, but it's not. In fact the band goes overboard with around 75% of it being just stupid humor. If this band released an album with more actual material, I feel as if they could actually fare well. But otherwise I don't see much going on with them."
"Season In Hell" is an enhanced CD with some multimedia videos thrown on for good measure. But that’s not why you’ll buy this record. You’ll purchase this heavy slab of punk insanity because it will fucking turn your brains into banana pudding—rotten bananas mind you. Grindcore that isn’t afraid to be crusty, experimental, and thrashy in the vein of Brutal Truth and Jenny Piccolo. But don’t call them a copycat, indeed they’ve been blistering bodies for over a decade. Some of their members have played in such luminaries as My Lai, Cattle Decapitation, Flying Luttenbachers, and others. Having toured or shared the stage with such bands as Anal Cunt, Brutal Truth, Suffocation, Neurosis, Pelican, Wesley Willis, Motorhead, and Wolf Eyes you see how diverse of a crowd they attract. Tons of samples, keyboards, chainsaw sharp riffs, and slaughtered vocal shreds, “Season In Hell” is the heavy album of the year hands down."
"Anyone versed in metal that comes across an album with 28 tracks, many of them under a minute in length, and several with wacky titles like “Jesus Farted” and “We Had ‘Dying’ in Our Name Way Before All Those Metalcore Cocksuckers Came Along,” knows what they’re in for. Dubbed by the band members as “comedy grind,” Season in Hell exhibits a fun-loving side of grindcore whose main purpose is to scrounge up some laughs. Since over 30 people have performed under the 7000 Dying Rats name, they like to think of themselves as more of a “collective” than a traditional band. All of this adds up to music that isn’t intended to be taken seriously, but to be enjoyed just for the fun of it. Season in Hell opens with a silly “Intro” track that no doubt seeks to lampoon heavy metal’s occasional pretentiousness. This tongue-in-cheek humor is welcomed, and the band revisits it time and time again within the rest of the album’s 26 tracks, before reaching the inevitable “Outro.” With a release like this, one expects some oddball, ridiculously placed instruments, and 7000 Dying Rats couldn’t be happier to oblige. Whether it’s the up-beat xylophone on “Alzheimerz” or the bizarre atmospherics on “Annihilator the Devastator,” Season in Hell sticks to weird musical compositions and often enough so that it becomes rather gimmicky. Sure, a track like “Argument at Your Local Indie Record Store” is funny, but like Seth Putnam before them, 7000 Dying Rats overdo it. When there’s more comedy than grind, the jokes tend to run thin. The biggest disappointment, then, is that actual grindcore tracks like “Satanium Bloodlust” and “Grind Fluffer” are rather favorable, but too few in number. It’s obvious that 7000 Dying Rats are a band that have fun doing what they do. The problem is that, to the average listener, the jokes aren’t always fresh, and halfway through the album the songs stop holding the listener’s interest. Season in Hell isn’t very significant in the grand scheme of things: hopefully the next release by this Chicago sextet will feature more grind and less comedy. Hey, at least they had a blast making it."
"First, let me say, this band totally slays Santa right in the throat, so you better recognize. There is probably some epic, long, drawn out history to 7000 Dying Rats. What I know is this disc seems to be a retrospective with a few new tunes. I am not certain if the band is still active. Two of the members, Steven Rathborne and Donald James Barraca went on to form the now mighty Lair of the Minotaur. Upon listening to this disc I could immediately see the precursor to the Lair. The Thrash/Grind that 7000 Dying Rats pumps out is extreme. But wait, that’s not all this disc has to offer. There are 28 tracks chalk full of all kinds of wacky gooey metal cheese. Keyboard interludes remind me of an “Unsolved Mysteries” / Cold case files atmosphere, goofy lyrics have me splitting my gut, Eagles of Death Metal style rock ‘n’ roll never sounded so killer, and did I mention a unique cover of Paranoid. This all adds up to something super special not found in many bands today. Oh yeah, and there’s a rap about the drummers stinky, sweaty pits."