Thursday, April 3, 2014

NEW REVIEW: Mr. Phreek's Anokist Emporium

Revenge, money, desire, jealousy, and rage…. I’ve been watching a lot of Bates Motel as of late, and I’m also completely wrapped up in the horrific beauty of “All the Boys Love Mandy Lane”. High school was a drag for me. Lame state capital city mixed with mediocre kids who only cared about SAT scores, what school would accept them, and if they were receiving special mention in the yearbook. I remember that my teachers always thought I was stoned, but in reality, it was about half of the time. I spent a lot of time sleeping in school because I was bored out of my mind. I wanted to get my own place, scream as loud as I could in a band, and not have to adhere to mindless schedules and structures.

Watching shows with high school as the backdrop makes me wish I‘d had the super cool weird girlfriend instead of the irrelevant relationships I had absolutely nothing in common with. My point is…. from all of this pent up frustration of state capital high school life, my rage was born and my energy ignited once I left that place. I still have a nightmare every now and then… I am there, in this dilapidated auditorium, and they will not let me graduate. I run to my locker to grab my car keys to leave and I can never remember what the fucking combination is. I panic, I am stuck, and I wake up feeling out of sorts. Maybe that’s a bizarre metaphor for my life but it sounds like Mr. Phreek experienced this as well in the transitional summer of 1996.

Mr. Phreek's Anokist Emporium was the creation of rock journalist and screenwriter Chuck Foster. This raw spit in the face is the Grindhouse version of punk. Sometimes we need that musical knockdown like we need that brutal and beautiful woman that teases for eternity. MPAE achieves just that with a 17 year old Mr. Foster playing every instrument on a 30 track album recorded with a classic Fostex XR-11 four-track. Nothing is sacred in this nihilistic brew of Nardcore, NYHC, and Killed by Death noise- extremism. The guitars are distorted beyond hell, the drums shriek like nails down a chalkboard, and the stripped to the bone vocals scream with perfect and pure teenage rage. The fancy trappings of traditional “punk” records are nowhere to be found.

The anger is addictive and the dark humor lets the acid rain fall steadily on your uncombed hair. This is pure deviant art of the highest caliber, spilling its guts all over you. Within the claustrophobic atmosphere is some excellent versing, chorusing, and a swinging syncopation of wild vocal attack. This is the way punk was meant to be. Shortly after recording this time bomb in his bedroom that summer, Foster would move across the country and never look back. The main catalyst of contempt is a strict Catholic prep school upbringing. How punk is that? Life can be cruel, hilarious, indifferent, and a total high. High school anger and boredom is a complex subject in itself, maybe screaming your heart out and taking the next train out of town is the best way out.

-KPM, Fear & Loathing LB