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Strapping Young Lad –City dlp [silver]


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2021 press. Double album on silver vinyls with gatefold cover

A sense of humor is something that very few artists in underground metal possess — and that’s precisely why Canadian Devin Townsend and his wall-of-noise industrial-thrash outfit Strapping Young Lad stand out amongst the melee. City is a fine example of Townsend’s metal-mad scientist approach (dubbed “Devy metal” by affectionate followers): An absolutely manic cyber-grind propelled by the elephant stampede kicked up by drummer extraordinaire Gene Hoglan (ex-Death, Dark Angel), thickened by frenzied, nigh out of control guitar riffs and existing in a cloudy electro-haze of pulverized circuit boards crushed to dust, shot into the atmosphere, and breathed in by all involved parties. So this album’s predecessor, Heavy as a Really Heavy Thing, was appropriately titled, although City is a smidgen more focused, mature, and, yes, heavy, although Townsend’s subsequent solo projects, Ocean Machine, Infinity, Physicist, and Terria, are less overtly metallic, more fully realized, prog-influenced, and ambitious. What makes Strapping Young Lad most compelling isn’t the band’s capacity for schizoid arrangements, but rather Townsend’s realization that the over the top clichés of the metal genre — which he robustly embraces with a maniacal grin — are innately absurd. So he trots out irony-packed tunes such as “Oh My Fucking God,” “All Hail the New Flesh,” and “AAA” with such ridiculous bombast and bizarre, borderline non sequitur lyrics (a quick sample: “Devy in the corner of his teen year/Born to run away/Children in the middle with the village idiot/So he never made the potty grade” from “AAA”), all used to skewer the inherent ludicrousness of not just metal, but life in general. On the surface, City is a noisy excuse to put yourself in a neck brace, but closer inspection will reveal Townsend’s mentally depraved genius, his mind weighted down with, um, really heavy things.

Track listing:
1. Velvet Kevorkian
2. All Hail The New Flesh
3. Oh My Fucking God
4. Detox
5. Home Nucleonics
6. AAA
7. Underneath The Waves
8. Room 429
9. Spirituality
10. Centipede
11. Home Nucleonics-demo 96
12. Headrhoid-Gunt demo
13. Detox-demo 96
14. AAA-demo 96

Additional information


Listenable Records

Catalogue Number

POSH 565

Release Year