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Drunk Dad: Ripper Killer

One of my favorite Stephen King books,The Shining, is famously about an alcoholic father who becomes violent and abusive when under the influence. When controlled by the undead, his alcohol-infused raging becomes even worse, murderous and destructive. I have no idea what the band means by the name Drunk Dad, but if the music is any indication it has to be closer to King's flawed protagonist than to the sweeter version of dear old affable drunk dad.

The music, by the band's own admission, cannot be described with any label. It's messy, crazy, edgy, and crusty. The band also suggests that they draw on elements of free jazz and noise here. Whatever the genre, the best way to describe this album is in terms of an emotional and physical assault. One of the tracks, "Light a Fire," makes this painfully clear with the repeated use of "idiot," "useless," and "dumb," words that are used here in just the kind of way an enemy would use them. Simply put, this is music from your worst abuse-oriented nightmare, the kind where you are actually close to death and wake up in a cold sweat. And that's the point. There's no reason to assume that an album like this wants listeners to feel emotionally assaulted, as if people needed a soundtrack to match their awful childhoods. No, the point is to attack expectations, to challenge everything one knows—or thinks one knows—about music and about what it means to test the limits. I get that. For better and for worse, this band understands what they're doing. The best thing about them is that they don't pretend to be subtle.

Some listeners may enjoy this album because they've found a way to enjoy these kinds of musical experiments. I've long counted myself as a pretty open-minded listener, but I didn't enjoy this album. I admire challenges to convention and I understand the motivation to push the limits and to create music that drives as hard as possible. What I don't understand is how to enjoy this kind of music over a long period of time. Fans of noise tracks should check out "Worthless." "Five Pack," "Ripper Killer" and "S.O.U." also had some interesting moments.

Call me conventional, but I'm going to move on.

Track Listing:
1. Five Pack
2. Life's Work
3. Fuck in Garbage
4. Light a Fire
5. S. O. U.
6. Ripper Killer
7. Worthless
8. Whiskey Liver

Added: July 15th 2014
Reviewer: Carl Sederholm
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 1606
Language: english

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