Todd: Purity Pledge LP
As you fall to your knees, head in hands, you finally realise that nothing in the world means so much, rocks so much, or breathes life so much as Todd! Egads! "Purity Pledge" is Todd's full length debut and their first release for Southern. It kicks ass. Somehow, the band's incredible onstage verve and energy is captured and nailed into a forty minute-long assault on the senses. Todd are fueled by more than the desire to act deranged and play powerchords - there's a restless intelligence at work, shown in the black humour forcefully delivered in those lyrics: "I write about prostitutes, drug-addicts, alcoholics, wife-beaters, all the typical rock 'n' roll shit... I don't know why I write about that stuff, just dark lyrics to suit the dark music, I guess. I'm not saying anything about myself, these are all characters." - Craig Clouse. A whole range of influences can be picked out in the righteous wall of distortion. They owe a debt to Black Sabbath, but what decent rock band worth listening to doesn't? The thrift-store keyboards played by Clouse's wife Fifi and singer/percussionist Emmylou Sunshine, deliver the same relentless unease that you get from the first Suicide album. The no-wave, hardcore Jesus Lizard and Killdozer influences punch through in the menacing and insistent churning of John Webb and Craig Clouse's guitars. Drummer Francis Axe Handel binds the outfit tightly together. Black vinyl in full colour sleeve with insert.