Artist: Haha! What The Fuck?
Title: Calculated Monstrosities
Release date: April 2, 2010
Label: DucTape Smile
Keywords: Cybergrind, Death Metal, Electronic, Grindcore, Las Vegas
Reviewer: Alex Spalding
Every once in awhile an album comes around that makes you wish you could hop in a DeLorean, travel back to 1955, and play it live in front of a group of confused teenagers at a high school dance. “Chuck! You know that new sound you’re looking for? Well, listen to this! On second thought, don’t, this will probably scare the shit out of you.” I would make this trek across time and space not just for the weird glory of it, but to create a rip in the continuum that would allow us to hear what Haha! What The Fuck might have to come up with after decades of having retroactively forced music evolution forward to such a large degree.
That’s the power of love. Or the power of grindcore, maybe.
The first track here is ‘Breakdown The Castle Doors’. It’s utter shit and fantastic, lasting only 0:49. Moving on!
Next is much of the same, but better slightly, ‘Calculated Monstrosities: Frankenbaby’. I enjoyed the vocals the most, it sounds like a liquidy goo mass is gurgling at you.
‘Calculated Monstrosities: The Fuck Beast’ is one of the longer tracks, at one whole minute (just kidding, there are longer tracks on the album), and manages to vary it up a little with some space in between blasts of deathdrums and growling. The synth programming is absolutely wankeriffic, like the sequencer is jacking off on speed and is never able to get off.
Almost thought I may have heard a cowbell somewhere toward the beginning of ‘Little Red Riding Cunt’, so I had to play it back a few times to be sure. Oh yeah, it’s in there. Very nice. This also manages to be pretty groovy, for something so thrash-laden. Machine-gun kickdrums galore.
Finally, some lower frequencies, at least for about 4 seconds at the beginning of ‘The Doom Train Just Took Off Into The Ocean’. I don’t know what that means, but I like to imagine the doom train is a train that you take a ride on after you die, and that it regularly visits the ocean so that some of us can get a clue about what’s really going on down there before passing over or something. I’ll bet there are squidmen.
‘Calculated Monstrosities: Vagina Spider’ sounds like something I saw a picture of on the internet once. Not the song itself, that is, just the title. The song is just more squeelpitched grindcore, ribbed for your pleasure.
Hard to say what’s in your neck of the woods, but here it’s ‘Bears, Bears, Under The Log, Over The Frog’, which is the next track on this crazy wild ride. It’s a little slower than previous tracks, though not quite reaching sludge levels.
Afterward is ‘Calculated Monstrosities: Vampyre Teddybear’, which isn’t my favourite, but it isn’t my least favourite… it’s very similar to much of the rest of the material, really.
‘It Had A Name’ had a name, and it is ‘It Had A Name’, which you would be correct in assuming is the name of the next bit of music on the album. It sets the controls for the center of Uranus, full force ahead!
‘Calculated Monstrosities: Black Leprachaun’ is even more filtered sounding somehow than much of what has come before it, interestingly. I had fun imagining a leprechaun dancing a jig and speaking incoherently under a rainbow while listening to it.
Next? ‘Lobotomy’. You might feel like performing a trepanation… naturally, with some trepidation. This track actually does a fade-out at the end. Do we fade out or blink out at death? A curious question that just entered my mind.
‘Miscalculation’. That’s the track after the last one. Much of the same. Thrashing cybernoise shitcore.
Then there’s ‘Taking A Swim On The Freeway’, which doesn’t sound like a good idea unless you’d like to be hit by an automobile. I mean, you’re upping your chances of having that happen, probably. The filterwork on this track makes it my favourite. It kind of sucks in and out, expands, retracts but never really sounds “full”, so to speak. And I can appreciate that.
‘In The Event That The Doom Train Comes By…’ is the longest track on the album. I listened carefully for instructions on what to do should this occur, but it was fruitless. Or, maybe I’m supposed to growl through a bowl of pudding to scare it away. My best guess, laid bare. You can feel free to take your own approach. In fact, it might be better that way, because if my method doesn’t work then you’d be fucked too. I guess you don’t need a ticket to ride the doom train, it’s kind of like we’re all just hitching a ride to whatever doom awaits us. Or maybe, on the way to your eventual doom, you can get off on pitstops, like gloom or mild despair. Anyway…
I was taken aback by ‘Sudanese Death Laser Satellite’… do the Sudanese have these? I wonder to myself if they’d sell me one.
Lastly, we come to ‘Lesser Known Facts About The Ferninator’. It ends in 0:31, and tells us nothing of the Ferninator. But it does rage fiercely into your eardrum.
This is an album in the same spirit as, to go oldschool, D.A.F.’s Produkt… just pure, unadulterated not-giving-a-fuck. The whole thing sounds as if it’s been filtered through a very small wire / telephone bandpass with loads of flange, and it rarely lets up. Every track is a blast of ridiculous double-bass thrashing with cheeseball synths on top – like a pile of shitty spaghetti, probably covered in blood from your ear canal. If that sounds like a winning combination and you want to get your cybergrind on, feel free to traverse the web via hyperlink to it’s location here: