Rudimentary Peni

This could set a dangerous precedent - if a questionable word like "peni" is allowed to be printed on my site, what's to stop me from progressing to even filthier language, like "buttock"?
*special introductory paragraph!
*Rudimentary Peni EP
*Farce EP
*The E.P.'s Of R.P.
*Death Church
*Cacophony
*Pope Adrian 37th Psychristiatric
*Echoes Of Anguish
*The Underclass 7"
*Archaic EP
*No More Pain

So I'm sittin' at home mindin' my own beeswax, just watchin' a little Ernest Borgnine on the pictogram, when along comes an email makin' a beep-boop-happy-day noise at me like I'm some kinda fruity pebble. So's I read the fuckin' email and it's all this bullshit about round like, "Hey man, you should be reviewing the Rudimentary Penis." And I'm all like you know, I don't review male strippers - I mean besides in my bed when I'm fuckin up the dipstick, dig? But then some more keeps tricklins on in like a waterbed being made love upon by two pointy ass people. So's they keeps requesting Rudimentary Peni. And I'm like hey I like Crass and I think they have something in common with Rudimentar Peni so I says, "Fuck, I'll buy all their records, what the sh-beep." So I DOES! And I looks em up on the Intronet and it says all this weirdass shit like the singer dude spent time in an instutionalization (crazy) and the bassist used to has cancer (deadly) and they never does concerts or interviews (pretentious). And I'm interested, perturbed and enjoyable all at the same occasion! And the best thing about all this is - girls with big tits!


Rudimentary Peni EP - Outer Himalayan 1981.
Rating = 8

From the getgo, even with basically a straightforward British punk sound (think Subhumans, early Crass with less military drums), Rudimentary Peni were a little bit odd. First of all, the artwork is anything but politico-punk, showcasing a sort of alien/skull/fetus-type creature surrounded by Edgar Allan Poe-creepy letters spelling out the band's inscrutable name. And this wasn't just some "neat" drawing that they'd commissioned Hipgnosis to design for them. The main guy in the band drew it. His name is Nick Blinko and he is credited with vocals/guitar/artwork. And fellow (or lady! Please understand that I meant no offense!), his black and white etchings are morbid, mad mayhem.

Next up on the Weirdsville Direkt is the lyrics. At this point, I believe they were all written by the bassist Grant Matthews, who makes socio-political statements but with very oft icky images (e.g. "We're strung up again umbilical cord around the neck and pain is sane crazy crazy chain gagged & bound inane crazy crazy chain"). So that's what's next.

And finally on my short list of things that made Rudimentary Peni a little bit odd, even though they at the beginning of their career had basically a straightforward distorted guitar/bass/fast drums British punk sound: Nick Blinko's vocal delivery. In most, he screams like a possessed child - a little too fast and high-pitched to be comfortable. In others, he sings lower and slower, like a dying drunk with blood draining through a knife wound out of his body. Occasionally, a third voice will pop up all of a sudden (i.e. a little girl speaks one word in the middle of a song). Sometimes there will be a blast of high-pitched guitar feedback in the middle of a OH, THAT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE VOCALS! NEW PARAGRAPH!

The coolest thing about the vocals is the guitar feedback.

Add your thoughts?


Farce EP - Crass 1982.
Rating = 8

Reverbed, doomy, stereophonic drums backing dark buzzsaw punk guitar riffs. Not quite as weird as the last one, but Nick is still doing his petulant, tortured screaming vocals and most of the riffs are unhappy enough to feel like Slayer riffs played slower and punky. And unhappiness is where it's at, Jack! And that ain't no flack, Mac! You dig, Stig? I hope so, Blow!

Which reminds me - a few weeks ago, my 58-pound nine-month-old German Shepherd mix puppy Henry and I were gallivanting down the sidewalk on our way to the Carl Schurz Dog Run, enjoying a delightful game of "Abba!" as we galloped. "Abba!" is essentially just a wrestling/biting game, but earned its name because of the hilarious open-mouthed growl/bark noises my pup makes when we play. (As an aside, did I ever mention to you that my puppy can say the word "Kibble" on command? I'll give you that he can't pronounce the "K," but you hold up a piece of kibble and say to him, "What's it called?" and he'll answer you loud and clear! "IBBLE!" he'll shout. Sometimes he gets stage fright in front of strangers - why I have no idea - but he always manages to spit out the right word when a treat is involved. His other commands include "sit," "Stay," "lie down," "leave it," "look at me" and "shake hands." My fiancee likes to pretend he also knows "drop it," but I'm fairly certain he doesn't, judging from how many times a week I have to chase him around the apartment to get a sock back.). So, as I was telling you, we were playing "Abba!" as we walked and his teeth were a-snappin' and voice a-growlin' when I noticed two teenaged girls walking up the sidewalk towards us. Not wanting to impede their progress, I ceased the game for a moment as they walked past. But Henry didn't want to stop playing.

So he bit one of the girls in the ass.

Now I'm just lucky that she wasn't pissed off - I half expected her to accuse me of pinching her buttock, so I pointed at the dog and admonished, "Henry!" She giggled and continued on her way. I of course couldn't wait to tell my fiancee when Henry and I returned home that evening. We enjoyed a hearty laugh and retired to our separate sleeping chambers.

From that point on, I began grabbing every titty I saw, always blaming it on the dog, even when he wasn't around. This escalated and before you know it, my fiancee was finding "Henry" in bed with a naked cheerleader four or five times a week! Finally my balls fell off and I threw them out the window, where they fell down the throat of Old Man McGillicudy as he stretched before his morning stroll. He choked to death on my hairy balls and his body decayed in the street over the course of the next five months.

So in essence you're saying I should have stopped the story before I started just making shit up.

Add your thoughts?


The E.P.'s Of R.P. - Outer Himalayan.
Rating = 8

This is a CD reissue of the two EPs that I just "reviewed" (and I use that term with a lightly grain of salt). But don't think you're not getting screwed because there are 23 songs. You're getting screwed alright! It's only 27 minutes long!

But what's wrong with getting screwed? People who have sex get screwed all the time, as far as I can tell.

Have you ever had sex? Was it smelly?

Reader Comments

Garrett
I picked up "ep's of RP" yesterday, and tried to listen to it at work. All of a sudden, my cd player starts making a hard, mechanical clicking sound, and refuses to play the disc, or any disc for that matter. Damn that Rudimentary Peni.. I want a refund!

Add your thoughts?


Death Church - Corpus Christi 1983.
Rating = 8

They slowed it down on this one, but without making their songs any more complicated (at least melodically). Musically speaking, this is pretty much just a bunch of midtempo buzzsaw three-chord riffs. So what makes it so special? Is it the ungodlily weird Blinko cover art? (The man draws like he's insane - way too much obsessive attention to the smallest, most bent b/w detail). Yes. Is it the way Nick continues to shout but also adds in different voices for different creepy characters? Yes. Is it the way the lyrics tackle everything from religion ("Blissful Myth") to hypocritical punk rockers ("Rotten To The Core") to meat-eaters ("Flesh Crucifix") to complete nonsense ("When You Are A Martian Church"), all with striking imagery and clever wordsmithery? Yes. Is it the way the guitar and drums are reverbed like a tomb gymnasium while the bass carries the steady ready melody? Yes. But more than anything else, it's the riffs themselves. Simple? Absolutely? A child could play them? Oh, no question. But are they happy? NO. Angry? NO. Sad? NO. What are they? Weird. Sick. A little off. The chord sequences just seem unresolved and icky. But great!

Was it annoying the way I wrote this whole review as a series of questions? Yes. Have I heard this CD more than three times? No. Do I have any clue what I'm talking about? Sure, why not.

Reader Comments

Adzandleif@aol.com
some bastards nicked my copy of this, i miss it

"when you are a martian church, aaaaaghhhhh"

genius

"floating round the universe, fucking in my cosmic hearse"

pure genius

vampire state building
etc

pjure@bigpond.net.au (Mark Tiller)
I would consider this the most complete album of the last 30 years. Yes, we have to wade through what at first appears to be a bit of ranting, but I challenge any fucker to throw better poetry and angst through a 3 piece.

By the way...I'm sure PENI is an acronym for "People for Equality not Institutionalisation" Not anything to do with our disturbed sexuality ha ha.

Add your thoughts?


* Cacophony - Outer Himalayan 1987. *
Rating = 10

Say, while we're on the subject of Rudimentary Peni and my puppy dog, don't you think it was RUDe of his PENIs to fill our apartMENT with gross yellow dick mucus, ARI? (There's a guy at my work named Ari. I was directing that statement towards him. I'd list his last name here, but then he'd do a Yahoo search for himself, this site would come up and all hell would break loose. And I'd send my MurderGram to all these moshing kids. And it would come right back to me, signed in their parents' blood.) Here's a little song that Rudimentary Peni wrote about my puppy dog when he was young and used to chew everything: "Mr. Chew! He's Mr. Chew! Looks like me! And he smells like you!"

See, the thing you have to understand is that fans of British punk rock are also huge puppy dog fanatics. They are constantly ooing and awing at puppy dogs down the local pub as they share a pint. Wag your queue and Bob's your uncle!

Cacophony. Where to begin with Cacophony. Well, let's start with the little notes I jotted down in my little notebook as I last listened to the CD in preparation for this review: Same high-reverb guitar sound. A lot of up and down neck stuff. Notes. Weird voices. Lots of types of music. HP Lovecraft. Spoken word between songs. Still echoey guitar. Odd time signatures. Creepy noises (voice). Every part too short to get boring. Pop. Punk. Weird.

I stand by every one of these comments. Cacophony is a 43-minute CD featuring 30 tracks inspired by the life and works of horror writer H.P. Lovecraft. Nick Blinko had been reading tons of his work and studying up on him out of pure interest, and felt that it would be a shame not to use all of this knowledge in a musical project. Now personally, I don't know a THING about H.P. Lovecraft, so I don't get ANY of these references, and honestly have no clue whether Nick is reciting straight from the works, creating little texts based on the works, discussing H.P.'s actual life events or just totally making crap up. But I DO know THIS: I've heard a whole lot of punk rock albums in my day, but never ever EVER have i heard one as bizarre as this one. In fact, I doubt that the band would even refer to it as "punk rock." But I will, just to keep things simple.

The songs are very short and jump back and forth between fast punk, bent virulent rock, ghastly (in a good way) time-signature screwiness and unexpectedly catchy pop - all performed with the same doom-laden drum sound, fuzzy reverbed death guitar and smooth simple bass that the Rude Penises have become known for. The vocals are all OVER the damn place, with Nick throwing out about 500 billion different voices (presumably to imitate various HP Lovecraft characters), often several at the same time, both during songs and between songs, as well as making creepy noises with his tongue, teeth and palate. And I can't really comment on the lyrics, other than to say that if I could understand any of them, I'd probably be creeped out by them. One of the most interesting passages is, I assume, a critic's condemnation of Lovecraft, in which the writer is accused of using his talent for ugly, macabre means when he could have used it for good.

Both musically and conceptually the most challenging record this band has yet created, Cacophony is nevertheless one that I know I am going to return to again and again and again. Just WEIRD shit. Tons of it. And great riffs too, featuring lots more notes and interesting guitarwork than their previous outings. You gots to buy it! It was engineered by John Loder!!! Isn't he that guy on MTV that's 50 million years older than anybody else on there?

Reader Comments

davsnfu@davsnfu.freeserve.co.uk (David)
Hi Mark,

I was one of those horny people who requested you review this amazing band, but was too lacking in verbality to do it myself. Cacophony is one of the most skewed, fucking weirded-up, imaginative things I've ever heard. The music is truly a cacophony on first listen, but not in a noisy/irritating way, just incomprehensible. Oh sure, the bass is super, keeping some semblance of accessibility, but the fucking words? I think its obvious something is not quite right with Mr Blinko, (well, he did think he was a fictional Pope next album up, so that statement isnt too insightful :o) I think I've heard the clinical term "Cluttering" - "A speech/language disorder characterised by abnormal fluency and a rapid and/or irregular speech rate." Apparently, he did the vocal parts in one take? I've never heard the like of it before. (Crime of the Century for example) Voices overlaid all over the place (try following the lyrics from about 3 different points). Cacophony has a great deal of humour running through it, but this is an intense and weird record, definitely the strangest I've ever heard, and repeat listenings slowly uncover the depth of it. Your review of Adrian was spot-on - it sounds like an intelligent persons mind being reduced to mush by harsh medication and god knows what else. Strangely hypnotic though. Grows on you like creeping dementia. And I've been on three of the medications he mentions, (sniff).. nostalgia. I would recommend Rudimentary Peni all over the place, everything they've done. Dark dark intense stuff, from a very unusual mind. Anybody know how Nick Blinko is doing these days? I hope he is well, god he didnt sound it on Pope Adrian.

Thanks for a great site, very funny. Damn good musical taste, some great overlooked bands in there, New Bombturks (with Morrisey), Alice Donut. Your review of Throbbing Gristles' 3rd Annual Report is pretty near the knuckle, I wouldnt dare say that stuff. Keep up the good wank.

Adzandleif@aol.com
i really like puppy dogs, but only platonically

steve.robey@mindspring.com
Found this LP totally by accident a few weeks ago. There I was in some small used LP store (Blue Moon Records in Candler Park, in case you've ever been there), looking for some old ELO albums (there were none) or some old Alice Cooper albums (there were none), and the place was about to close. I was prepared to buy ANYTHING at that point. Then at the very back of the last row on the rack, I found this. Since the title isn't printed on the cover, I probably wouldn't have given it a second look had it not been for the neat album art, which reminded me of a cool Cheetah Chrome Motherf*%kers/I Refuse It! split LP I have. I pulled it out (the record, you perv) and saw the name "Rudimentary Peni" on the spine. "Hey! I remember reading about them on Prindle's site! I think I'll buy it!" I said aloud.

Turned out this was the album you gave a "10" to too, so I consider it a good random find. And what's more, I like this album quite a lot. I'm not sure it's the weirdest punk album I've ever heard - that would depend on your definition of weird, I guess. It is pretty unique though. The closest reference points I can think of are Conflict (circa "Against All Odds"-now THAT'S a weird album, and not in an entirely good way), Crass (circa "Christ the Album"-weird and wonderful), and Swell Maps (during the "poppier" moments-noisy but hooky). There's tons of songs, and although a lot of the songs start to sound the same after a while, they alternate styles enough such that no two consecutive songs are alike at least, and that helps keep it interesting. And that ends my assessment of the Rudimentary Peni, a band I would never have heard of were it not for this site. In which case I would have just spent the $8 on gas or something stupid like that.

Add your thoughts?


Pope Adrian 37th Psychristiatric - Outer Himalayan 1995
Rating = 7

Apparently most fans consider this to be the weak link in the Rudimentary Peni catalog. Even the band's bassist was none-too-pleased with it! And let me explain why, in layman's terms. The equivocal paradigm of synergistic ah screw it I was gonna make a funny big word joke but I don't know any big words.

If there's one thing that Rudimentary Peni have always excelled at, it's ending a song IMMEDIATELY. Their songs have always sat roundabouts a minute, minute and a half. In, out, no time to get bored. Not so with this CD. 12 songs - 44 minutes. So you would think, "Oh! They're developing their sound a bit, trying out more complex song structures, etc." But you'd be wrong. They don't do that at all. All they do is repeat 1 or 2 catchy little parts OVER and OVER and OVER and OVER and OVER again for 4 minutes apiece, until you're just sick of the damn things.

If there's one thing that Nick Blinko has always excelled at, it's either screaming maniacally or using so many weird voices, he makes you feel on edge and icky, as if a spider was crawling down your spine and your hands were tied together and you were hanging naked and fleshless from a chandelier, waiting to be chopped to bits by Senator Condit. Not so with this CD. He neither screams nor uses any interesting voices. He simply speak/sings everything in a stupid, lazy, tone deaf British voice.

If there are three things that Rudimentary Peni have always excelled at, the second and third are interesting lyrics and ghoulish guitar and drum tones. NOPE AGAIN! Most of these four minute songs feature the title repeated over and over and THAT's ALL. And both the drum and guitar tones are much less gothpunk and much more METAL this time around, though you can barely even hear what the guitar is doing, it's so buried in the mix.

So what's good about it? Two things: One is the melodies themselves. I suppose they're just basic pop/punk/metal hybrids, but most of them are among the catchiest and most singalongable they've ever written, especially bass line wise, which is pretty much key since each song only has two riffs and they shove `em dick-like in your ear for four minutes at a stretch. And the second is the artwork. Nick created an entire little booklet of his art to accompany the CD. He must be out of his mind. His artwork is so obsessive, meticulous - just insanely overdone and eerie. It looks as if he spends months on the backgrounds ALONE, never mind the sickening skulls and creatures that make up the foci of his work.

Speaking of "out of his mind," I read somewhere that this CD was inspired by time that Nick spent in a mental institution. I don't quite see the connection though, unless they were really shoving Catholicism down his throat in there ("Pogo Pope," "The Pope With No Name," "Il Papus Puss," "Vatican't City Hearse," "Pills, Popes And Potions."). Actually, now that I think about it for a moment instead of just typing with my ass, I DO see a connection. The CD sounds like the creation of a once-intelligent mind that has been numbed by shock treatments and sedatives. You?

2008 UPDATE: How on Earth did I forget to mention that there is a small vocal loop repeated over and over and over and over again underneath every single second of this CD? That's a pretty key aspect of the release! Glad I forgot it. :7)

Reader Comments

RebelJukebox@aol.com (James)
Well. I'm the one who requested the Rudimentary Peni reviews. At least one of 'em. So, I may as well point out that there are two recently released records that Mark missed out on, Echoes Of Anguish (1998) and The Underclass, (2000) which appear to be companion pieces of some sort, as they both have similar art design, and both feature 12 songs, and both clock in at just a hair under 15 minutes. Oh, and they're both really good, more along the lines of "Death Church," than say, "Pope Adrian", really dark, foreboding, heavy, and brief punk songs, and they're superbly produced and mixed. There's no credit given, but they very may well be done by Steve Albini. Or that's what I hear. I know he's a really big fan.

Add your thoughts?


Echoes of Anguish - Outer Himalayan 1998.
Rating = 7

Okay, I'm starting to understand the name a little more now. "Rudimentary" refers to the MUSIC. (And "Peni" refers to the band members' penises) This is just the oddest type of music for a "punk rock" band to be making. It's just barre chords, like punk would be. And the riffs and reverbed distortion tone are bitter and angry, for sure. But they're all played midtempo with no energy at all! The crazy singer guy is back making blecchy garbly yell noises, but the music just takes its time like the band is in a doctors' office waiting for an appointment or something. Straight midtempo from beginning to end. No excitement, anarchy or chaos.

So why the hell do I like it so much? This remains to be seen. Maybe because it sounds like Ramones songs played by an animated copy of Heart of Darkness? All dancing around and flipping its depressing pages back and forth while playing the six-string axe-mo-grind for all the Carolina Pussy out there in the audience tonight? The songs have the simplicity of Pink Flag, but more dead, strange and sick than arty. For Chris's sake, the guitar, bass AND singer all play (or sing, in the case of the guitar) the EXACT SAME NOTES in nearly every song! Yet I like it. Talk about shitty musical taste!

Oh! All the songs are short! That's also part of why I like it. No more "POGO POPE POGO POPE POGO POPE POGO POPE POGO POPE POGO POPE POGO POPE POGO POPE POGO POPE POGO POPE POGO POPE POGO - POGO POPE POGO. (SECOND VERSE, SAME AS THE FIRST!) POGO POPE POGO POPE POGO POPE POGO POPE POGO POPE POGO POPE POGO POPE POGO POPE POGO POPE POGO POPE POGO POPE POGO - POGO POPE POGO (THIRD VERSE, DIFFERENT FROM THE FIRST, YET EXACTLY THE SAME!) POGO POPE POGO POPE POGO POPE POGO POPE POGO POPE POGO POPE POGO POPE POGO POPE POGO POPE POGO POPE POGO POPE POGO - POGO POPE POGO (repeat)." Instead, every song is crammed into 1:42 or less, with such sunshiney happy-go-slide lyrics as (I'M WARNING YOU! I WAS UTILIZING THE LITERARY DEVICE KNOWN AS SARCASM JUST NOW! THE LYRICS ARE NEITHER SUNSHINEY NOR "HAPPY-GO-SLIDE"!) "What is this that burns through every cell and every fibre of being? Divine decay!," "It matters not that I did seek to conquer fear and vanquish pain, for victory belongs to Grief, so into tears dissolve in vain" and "There is only Death. No God, No Love, No Joy, Only Death and the fear of it." Unhappy man. Unhappy unhappy man for whom I feel.

At fifteen minutes, most people would call this an EP, but I recently read that if an album has more than ten songs, it's not considered an EP. And this one has twelve! Do you realize that that is the equivalent of TWELVE copies of Thick As A Brick???? I mean, can you imagine being able to sit through 12 copies of Thick As A Brick in 15 minutes????

No no, I said SIT through.

Well yes, of course I'm impressed that you got so much into all those little holes, but the fact remains....

Reader Comments

jdecuir@satx.rr.com (Uncle Buzz Records)
Speaking of Peni, my favorite email smut-spam this week is from Ian West: The text in the Subject box reads "SATISFY YOUR WOMAN, YOU PENDICK".

Add your thoughts?


The Underclass 7" - Outer Himalayan 2000.
Rating = 7

The store that sold this item to me had it available on CD for $11 or 7" vinyl for $4. If you have a turntable, buy the vinyl! You'll save upwards of a buck twenty-five! This release follows in the footsteps of Death Church, being made up of midtempo songs that seem like they should be faster. But on this, they are even more methodically sluggish and, thanks to an intensely razorlike trash thrash fuzzblast guitar tone, even more headbangingy! And Nick (god IS it even Nick?) is singing in a voice that doesn't sound AT ALL like Nick. He sounds like... a NORMAL British hardcore screamer! Like he's in The Exploited or an Oi! band or something! A little more malicious and evil-sounding than them, but just as raspy and unhumanlike (and MUCH less pathetic than he sounded on the Pope album). The songs are incredibly simplistic as always, generally featuring guitar and bass playing identical chords and the singer shouting those very same identical notes! And there's absolutely NO diversity in these 12 short songs. But the whole entree is just so yuckily mucky -- like you're trying to escape a haunted house but are trudging through quicksand, getting further and further away from where you want to be -- that even the weaker chord sequences stick with you if you're that sort of person. I am, unfortunately!

And the lyrics are about this and that. Look, the important thing is that they keep the songs short and they sound like they know what they're doing again.

Reader Comments

Chris@ruptured-ambitions.freeserve.co.uk
After having written before after your reviews of Crass records (I think I wrote anyway, I certainly meant to, so apologies if I went all senile!), I felt I had to get in touch again regarding your great stuff on Rudimentary Peni. You may be interested to know of a record I'm about to release. Entitled "Angry Songs & Bitter Words" it includes some very inventive cover versions of songs by Peni, Flux, Conflict, Zounds, Mob, Crucifix, XS, Crass, Dirt, etc., etc. with contributions from SUBHUMANS, ENGLISH DOGS, UK SUBS, THE BUS STATION LOONIES, THE VARUKERS, TERMINUS, WAT TYLER, HARUM-SCARUM, BAD INFLUENCE and many more.

xenobis@earthlink.net (Rodney Collins)
A full 17 years have resolved passed me with ner a blink of a brown anal eye and I find my ears probed by the peni . like a blind worm, Still the same twitchy sensation. Deeper that you think pool of sound, don’t look to hard as a endless black undulating eye may look back.

Please check out

starky879@mail.com
rudimentary peni has a new cd(or 10 inch i hear) which is called the "Archaic" ep and i hear its quite good, though i haven't heard it myself. if i get a copy i can make you one and send it. unless you feel the need to buy the next rudimentary peni cd. i saw it today in my local record shop so i'm guessing it's everywhere now so it shouldnt be hard to find, and if its not hard to find i'm sure you can find it for 10 bucks or less. i thoroughly enjoyed the rudimentary peni reviews seeing as how they are one of my favorites so i thought i'd bring up the new ep. keep up the good work!

Slederhos@aol.com
i have always liked rudimentary peni and when i read nick blinko's book the primal screamer i was even more facinated with everything about them.

Add your thoughts?


Archaic EP - Outer Himalayan 2004
Rating = 7

Okay, they're stuck. This sounds exactly like the last one. Excitingly ear-slicing razorpunk guitar tones, simple chord sequences that wallow in downstroke minimalism (an awfully long word considering its definition), zombielike midtempo rhythms and spittish Brittle vocals snarling lyrics that don't make a lick of sneeze. Not only is that a perfect description of the band's last two records; it's also a sentence fragment.

AUGH! That mortar explosion blew a sentence fragment into my skull!!!

(*Chortles to self, whimsically*)

The chord sequences are as mean as slow, pummeling, repetitive riffs comprised of four barre chords can be, but with such an underchanging vacuum cleaner of death noise sucking all the energy out of the room for 12 full tracks, the EP starts to feel indefatigably exhausting (?) about 60/100ths of the way through. Suddenly the hooks don't seem interesting anymore - not because they're any weaker than the first six, but just because they're all so similar to each other. I've no clue why the formerly unpredictable Rudimentary Peni would grow so attached to such a non-dynamic style, but if I can't even make it through a 15-minute EP without getting bored, what does that say about President Arkansas?

What's that?

WHAT DO YOU MEAN STATES AND PRESIDENTS AREN'T THE SAME THING!???!?! ARE YOU TELLING ME THAT SUB POP RECORDS IS NOT IN FACT LOCATED DIRECTLY ON TOP OF THE ROTTING, SPREAD-OUT CORPSE OF FORMER PRESIDENT GEORGE S. WASHINGTON????

Reader Comments

Adam2745411299@aol.com
Yeah, i got this on accident thinking it was one of the EPs of RP. This bores the hell out of me, and what happened to the screaming? That used to be the one thing you could count on. The only band that could have possibly pulled off these riffs would have been Sabbath, because at least Ozzy could provide a melody.

Sakarpunx@aol.com
and now to waste a little of my time donating random information to strangers. in one of nick blinko's books (the primal screamer), which is semi-autobiographical, he makes a statement how his character in the book has formed a band and named it after the undeveloped genitals of a fetus. rudimentary peni. bam! very exciting.

asdtemp1@ASDAmerica.com
The Peni were a roaming, nomadic band of Celtic warriors prevalent around 1400 A.D., before what we commonly refer to as the Dark Ages. Interestingly enough, a neo-nazi skinhead gang has appeared in and around Southern California, localized and controlled out of the penal institutions known as Peni or (public enemy number 1). Just go to any local county jail and mention there name and you will either be immortalized or quickly beaten. As for the band itself, plentiful rumors abound featuring primarily the antic and idiosyncratic nature of their vocalist, Nick. It has been hard for me to believe any of it based on the shear amount I have heard. Ah Punk Rock gossip columnists of the world, who cares, be crazy and maybe years from now, people will make up rumors about you.

tom_chipman@msn.com (Tom in Minnecrapolis)
Hello Mark,

How are you? I've been busy working and finishing my fucking undergrad degree at age 36, so I can possibly get accepted by a mortuary school when I'm 66 if I get bored. I'll be done in May, then hopefully I'll be back to normal again. On that note, I accidentally ran across your Rudimentary Peni review section, not even on your website, but whilst (as Blinko says 1,000 times in his book, have you read it?) surfing the web to read Peni updates...which is like surfing for a later-period Howard Hughes interview.

Anyway, with all due respect, I highly disagree with your Archaic review. I consider it to be by far their best recording to date. As far as what I would categorize as "RP2" (everything since the Pope LP), Archaic is better than Echoes and Underclass combined. Those 2 I consider the lowest point in their discography, not that they're bad, just that Archaic is so much better in every way. (Although this militant anarchist/feminist I knew for a weekend who liked Echoes of Anguish automatically made me biased against that one).

Hell, the "Sleep Forever" chorus of Archaic's "Mercy of Slumber", almost reduces Nirvana or Fugazi to the Bay City Rollers. Everything on Archaic has this propulsive anthemic vibe going, you could almost picture them playing it at Madison Square Garden. I suspect Steve Albini engineered it but that's just a guess. It's one of the few albums of the last few years I can even tolerate whatsoever. Even the most "rote" of songs, like "Farewell Tomorrow", reek of sick humor, like Greg Ginn playing "Old McDonald Had a Farm" note for note, with a straight face.

I wish a Primal Screamer Part 2 would be written, to catch up on the last decade. Nick Blinko is one of the only musicians I can think of, who has ever written a book worth the paper it's printed on. It's no wonder he wound up in a hospital...if I had made the music and art he did, and all I had to show for it was Green Day and Pearl Jam on MTV, I'd still be in the hospital.

Regarding earlier Peni, I was even sicker than them in the 1990's. I had air headed girls who looked good, over to lay out in the sun and drink with me in my backyard, and snuck stuff into the mix like the EP's of RP, Death Church, and Cacophony, getting comments ranging from "This sounds like a BAD Metallica", to "I dont feel well all of a sudden, let's go inside". I even like the Pope a lot, as long as I pretend track 2 is the first song. Speaking of Death Church, I like playing "1/4 Dead" for the unknowing listener and making them think it's a celebration of world starvation (when obviously it's the opposite). And if they ever do play live again they better do "Teenage Time Killer" from the first EP, which is still probably their most ferocious song.

Sorry this is so long. I hope it doesn't cause people to have to scroll down the page too much. Normally I never have to scroll down to read anything on your site. My monitor is 80 feet tall. Feel free to print it in its entirety (even the part just now where I authorized the printing in its entirety)

I agree the Echoes and Underclass are mid-tempo and simple, almost in a phony way, like Pink Floyd trying to sound like Pink Flag (and that was off the top of my head). Archaic follows along the same lines, but I do know (only from reading online, I have no connections with the Blinko family) that Grant wrote all the songs on the former two, and Archaic is the first one since the Pope album, in which Nick took over the songwriting again. That could definitely play a part in it.

I'm not saying you're wrong, just that I can sense a huge difference between Archaic and its two predecessors (fuck it's 2007, where's their new one to argue about...Archaic is from 2004. Tomorrow I might say the Little River Band Greatest Hits is better than Cacophony...you never know. Maybe you and I attended different institutions!!!

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No More Pain - Outer Himalayan 2008
Rating = 3

Okay, it's Grant's fault. View these quotes from Ian Glasper's excellent 2006 book The Day The Country Died: A History of Anarcho Punk 1980-1984:

"My favourite release is definitely Cacophony." - Nick Blinko

"For me, (Cacophony) was the most interesting thing that we had done musically, in terms of all those weird time signatures, and the lyrics are fascinating... even if I don't understand all of them! I just think that the band as a whole put in a really good performance, and it was the best thing Nick has ever done vocally; I think he was at the absolute pinnacle of his creativity on that album." - Jon Greville

"The different style of Cacophony was not intended. It just came out that way, and in retrospect I regard it as a move in the wrong direction, into self-indulgence. As a result of that, in recent years, I have pushed to build upon and improve the more 'traditional' Peni style." - Grant Matthews

Thanks a lot, ASSHOLE.

Okay, I've no actual *proof* that he's an asshole, if that's what you're after. But his stubborn insistence on sticking to the 'traditional' Peni style has resulted in several predictable and simplistic records in a row, reaching a ghastly nadir with the absolutely atrocious No More Pain. As stripped-down and straightforward as Rudimentary Peni (or 'Clitoris') have been for most of their career, they've never even approached this level of slow, boring one-dimensional witlessness. There is exactly one creative idea on this record: instead of a recurring riff, "Grave Object" features a progression that simply goes down, down, down, down, down until it reaches the bottom and the song ends. One other track, "Annihilation," might also surprise you with its two extra chords (not that they're any good). But otherwise, you have heard every single riff on here 500,000 times in 500,000 songs by 500,000 bands. And I didn't arrive at that number lightly; I literally asked every single person in the world how many times they've heard these riffs and even this primitive Ethiopian tribe was all like "Dude, Discharge totally fucken d

Once you hear the first three chords of a song, you know exactly where it's going to go -- NOWHERE. None of the songs even feature a second part (!!!!) -- unless you count modulation, which you shouldn't because if anything, it simply calls attention to the fact that they have no musical ideas at all. Furthermore, every song is played at one of two speeds (3 follow the same identical uptempo downbeat; the other 7 follow the same identical midtempo backbeat), Nick's vocals basically just second the guitar riffs, and even the lyrics are more repetitive than usual ("I can show you fear in a handful of dust." "Being brave won't save me from the grave." That's TWO WHOLE SONGS right there!!!).

Actually, you know what best sums up how stunningly bad this record is? The best song is a cover of "Pachelbel's Canon."

I'll be honest - when I first realized how stultifyingly generic these new songs are, it made me question what I ever saw in their last few records. "Maybe they've all been this miserable, and I was too big of a fan to notice," I wondered with fear in my brow. So earlier this week I went back and listened to the three previous releases with fresh, jaded ears. True, this re-evaluation resulted in the lowering of my Underclass and Echoes of Anguish grades -- but only to a 7, for Christ's sake!!! They may be less consistent than I'd remembered, but they at least still have ideas on them! Archaic in particular has some extremely innovative chord sequences; this follow-up has nothing. Unless you're excited by the thought of hearing the "I Can See For Miles" chord progression played over and over for two dreary changeless minutes, take a wide berth. You're better off listening to your dick take a shit.

Look, you have your anatomy, I have mine. That's called Freedom of Rights and it's what we have here in America, in our Flag. So if I want to undergo surgery to connect my duodenum to my urethra, resulting in an unfathomably painful defecation process involving the violent ripping of my urinary meatus, well that's why George Washington fought the Indians at Valley Forge.

Nick uses some creepy voices - that's a plus. But interesting vocalizations and a dark, menacing guitar tone are just tools -- tools that are in this instance used to build exceptionally predictable and repetitive songs that every one of you have already heard, if not written. Why bother recording songs this unnecessary? What do they add to the world of music? And when will Grant realize that he's run the 'traditional' Peni style far, far into the ground? Think of all the amazing, bizarre records that might exist had he allowed Nick to continue expressing his idiosyncratic thematic and musical ideas after Cacophony! Instead, what did we get? A bunch of midtempo 4-chord tunes - over and over and over again. And most of them were fine, quite frankly, so it was hard to complain. But this record is not fine. It is a lazy 20-minute ode to writer's block. I'll take 'self-indulgence,' thanks!

Alex Trebek: "Okay, that's 'Self-Indulgence' for $500. The answer is (something something something)."

(*RINGS IN*)

What is an entire paragraph about pooping through my dick?

(*DING!*)

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