With a name like Anal Cunt, there are only a few genres that you can belong to. Noise and grindcore are two solid options, and from 1988 (with a couple of timeouts for various reasons) to frontman Seth Putnam’s death in June 2011, the group blended the two into an aggressive, abrasive, confrontational mess that influenced countless bands. Releases like 110 Song CD are really nothing more than walls of screeching, howling sound with occasional ecstatic bursts of silence. There’s a more song-oriented side to Anal Cunt (as seen on 2010’s Fuckin’ A), but the early demos and rarities collected on The Old Testament are certainly not that.
“1st Demo” wreaks its share of havoc for the first seven and a half minutes of the collection, complete with a few laugh-friendly moments. Putnam’s snide “take two” after a prolonged exhalation of screeching seems ironic, as do the repeated drumstick click-ins from Tim Morse. There’s nothing controlled or clearly rhythmic about the guitars roaring or the drums shuddering, but there Morse is, counting everyone back in. The quality is brutal, and the brief riff three minutes in leaves as quickly as it came.
The incredibly lo-fi recording on tracks like “47 Song Demo” are proof that this really is something aimed more at longtime fans than the uninitiated. Morse’s kit sounds like it’s made out of cardboard, and the guitars sound like they’re somewhere down the hall. That said, there’s an undeniable primal intensity that few bands can match, even though this is just a low-quality demo. In terms of quality, the takes from split singles are logically much higher and represent a more polished sound in the band’s history.
Late in the second disc, there’s a brief instrumental called the “Anal Cunt Themesong”, a little gem that betrays its own name. There are real riffs on that track, and the thing’s only about a minute long: two things that the majority of Anal Cunt would refuse to live up to. Despite that, this collection captures so much of what made them the legendary, sort-of listenable noisecore band they were.
Essential Tracks: “AC Side of Split 7″ with Seven Minutes of Nausea”, “AC Side of Split 7″ with Meat Shits”