Saturday, April 14, 2012
'Why You Do This' - a documentary of life on the road as an extreme musician.
Car Bomb. For those of you unprevy to this one-albumed loogie of hate, know that they are a musical force to be reckoned with. Spawned in the wake of the emergence of the ridiculously pigeon-holed genre-term "Math Metal", this four piece created an albums worth of controlled yet spasmatic ferocity the likes of which raises them above the visionless 'Calculating Infinity' Clones pissing all over the creative original sound. Sure the influence can be heard, but Car Bomb abandons anything even close to resembling a hook or rhythm and instead comes off as a very jagged, very large pill to swallow, arguably more difficult to absorb then even some of the most unhinged Grindcore - arguably. The sound is so sharp, and so combustible, that instead of resembling 11 different tracks it's almost just one long compilation of fits and seizures. A soundtrack to the spewing forth of schizophrenic hate.
How does a band like this survive? Well, seeing as how they hadn't released anything in over 5 years I wasn't sure that they had, until I stumbled upon a documentary titled 'Why You Do This'. Just over an hour long, this short little film (put together by Car Bomb vocalist Michael Dafferner) follows the band on the road as they tread on and continue playing their undigestible brand of music despite what seems to be only a continuing series of disenchanting pit-falls and realizations. It's the usual run-of-the-mill kind of things any underground band has to deal with - playing to crowds of three or four people, automotive difficulties, being ripped off by club owners, continuously losing more money than you make - but for those who've never had the experience it makes for an interesting watch. The narraration throughout the film is mostly pessimistic, as though the whole project itself came to fruition as a result of half a decades worth of being jaded. If you don't take it as tongue-in-cheek halfway thru the doc you may find yourself telling your monitor to "just fuckin' quit then", but by the end you'll see it's not the answer that you're sticking around for but really the search for the answer. The film also uses Lamb of God and Gojira as examples of two groups who were able to claw their way 'tooth and nail' out of the underground to headline their own tour and earn an opening slot playing for Metallica. Poor examples in my opinion as both those bands earn their living on the other side of extreme music's line in the sand due to their sound being so accessible in comparison to a group like Carbomb. Lamb Of God is par for the course with a band like Slipknot, damn good at what they do, but still just a rehash of riffs and ideas that worked years before when Meshuggah, Sepultura and Slayer carved their paths (Phil Anselmo called and said he wants his tough-mumblings-over-tougher-riffs act back Mr. Blythe), but I digress. They were probably the only ones willing or available to contribute interviews and without them there would be an air of hoplessness throughout the film. The doc also includes interviews with members of Bella Morte, The Chariot, and Soilent Green, not to mention a spot-on 'why I do this' summarization about playing extreme music from ex-Death/current Charred Walls of the Damned drummer Richard Christy. The film is an eye opener for anybody that hasn't tried traveling across the country in a shit-box van w/trailer, and makes you thankful that groups like this don't toss their gear into the Ol' Miss while driving over it and call it a day. Can you imagine a world without violent basement shows where the fuse blows every song and Hepatitis C creeps like grave moss through bloody knuckes and abrased skin in mock-jungle temperatures? As I type this from the comfort of the home I own and live in comfortably I tell you that I cannot. So god bless those cursed with the passion for playing extreme music, and sacrificing their own comfort to tread across this country and scrape by with no expectations of ever seeing a light at the end of a tunnel or a multi-million dollar record contract not to mention even a mere 2 minutes on the radio. The film doesn't break any new ground, nor does it necessarily draw you in - but much like the Discordance Axis novella 'Compiling Autumn', the fact that it exists is a bonus. Fans of the scene and the band should consider themselves fortunate that someone was passionate enough about what they do to compile the resources and take the time needed to create it and make it available without profiting. So you should take the time to watch the doc if you're into the scene at all. Check it out below and order yourself a copy here.