Okay, I'm a "respectful member of the community" now, so I won't say how I know that this an album that you absolutely never want to listen to while taking any sort of illegal drugs whatsoever. It is mean, grinding, angry grudge-music that, I swear, will react badly with any drug vibe you might be experiencing. Which is appropriate because Buzzov-en acutally recorded these songs while in the grip of seriously self-destructive drug problems. According to the liner notes by Jello Biafra: "even in Richmond, one of the heaviest, most self-destructive cities in America, they'd been run out of town on a rail." No shit. Richmond, Virginia is the place where every bad vibe in America eventually winds up. Don't get me wrong, it's also the great Art monster of the East Coast. But, if Richmond got sick of Buzzov-en, well you know something was wrong.
This album contains the To a Frown LP and the Unwilling to Explain and Wound EPs, all of which were released on the now-defunct Allied Records label. Also, it's got a few unreleased takes on old tracks. Musically, it should tell you something that John Yates claims the band always told him that they wanted to sound like Neurosis. I agree with him that they were better. This is heavy, mean pummeling stuff that reminds me of a more derganged Eyehategod, if such a thing is possible. Many of the songs deal with singer Kirk Loyd's various demons. I wouldn't want to be going through whatever he was going through for anything in the world. Aching Improve #9 is probably the closest thing I've ever heard on a CD to someone in a padded room losing their shit. I don't know what he could have been dealing with, but the schizo effect of all the sampled voices layered throughout the album seem totally appropriate.
And, incredibly, the album as an up-note to it, as Loyd's apparently come out the other side of the bad years. He's off the drugs, and actually made the calls that got this album going. Biafra notes also: "He's been to the edge, off the edge and back again. His talent probably saved his life and kept him off the evening news." I can't wait to see what his next album is like! I don't believe that nonsense about artists having to suffer for their art, but if I was any member of the band, I don't know if I could listen to this album ever again. It's painful enough for outsiders to listen to.