"At War with Decency"

(Choking Hazard)

01. In Violation
02. The White Witch
03. At War with Decency

RATING: 7.5/10

It's all about frame of mind. Not so pissed off as to require high-volume repeats of BLACK FLAG's "Damaged", but hung over and generally agitated enough that anything from ISIS flows right past without notice. Enter SOLLUBI's "At War with Decency", a 53-minute journey through a hypnotic abyss of doom/sludge that resonates with those listeners seeking to come down from the previous evening's night of self-medicated indulgence.

Whereas FISTULA's "Burdened by your Existence" works to get the hate all out there in the open, "At War with Decency" keeps it simmering just beneath the surface, falling short of soothing, yet somehow meditative, in a growing brain tumor sort of way. The FISTULA reference is relevant more so because Ohio sludge lifer Corey Bing keeps the beats through the repetitive motion of the album's three tracks, two of which ("The White Witch" and the title track) clock in at 20 and 28 minutes, respectively. And if he's involved, you know that this one doesn't reach any levels of suckage whatsoever. Jesse (vocals/synth), Wizard (bass), and Griff (guitar) complete the foursome and toy with the listener by beginning the affair with "In Violation", an angrier track with a measly running time of four-and-a-half minutes. As for the precipitous fall from decency, these less-than-subtle lines tell the tale: "She'll force you to throw up / she has stricken us blind / she douched with Listerine to remove all trace, but it came back tenfold". Look for the lyric book in the adults-only section of your friendly public library (if they have one).

And then the brain-corroding hypnosis really begins. "The White Witch" rides one riff/one beat to surprisingly impactive results. The accenting and nuance goes a long way, particularly those trippy synth effects. The offensive odor lingers too: "The white witch she takes hold / she says 'watch all the damage that my pussy can do' / 'it's like a neutron bomb.'" The title track then moves into airier atmospheres guitar-wise for a large chunk of the duration, just in time to coincide with the final welcoming effects of that magic potion called Ibuprofen. A heaviness in the riffs does return, just not jarringly so, as Jesse repeatedly admonishes "Never give up! You lose!" Maybe you do, but at least the headache is gone.


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