Thursday, May 26, 2005

Carl Karcher must be shitting his pants with glee right now.

After a whole load of commercials for the Carl’s Jr. burger joint chain which tried its best to sink to the lowest common denominator of intelligence and humor, each sorry ass radio and TV spot replete with misogyny, fake machismo, juvenile ogling or a combination of any or all of the three, Carl Karcher Enterprises has finally aired a spot that has given his hideous little swill pit of a “restaurant” chain some notoriety. And we all know what they say about bad publicity beating none at all.

Paris Hilton, whose claim to fame sprang from such things as spending her family’s money and sucking her boyfriend’s dick on bootleg videos, is in the latest Carl’s Jr. ad washing a Bentley in a skimpy swatch of cloth and taking a few bites out of one of those horrendous shit sandwiches that Karl and Co. are trying to sell to, according to one of their formulated recent press responses, “our target market, 18-34-year-old males, who are the biggest consumers of fast-food burgers.” And in an earlier statement, Paris herself admits that, while she does not actually really indulge in burgers, that her mutt Tinkerbell absolutely loves them! So see fellas? The bitch wants to sell you dog food! Get hypnotized by that tits n’ass and pick up a surefire diarrhea and indigestion enhancer at yer local Carl’s Jr. right now!

And don’t expect too much public outcry on this one, at least from the usual Christian fundamentalist “family values” assholes who bitched about Janet Jackson. Herr Karcher has a long history of donating money to homophobic ballot initiative causes and the right wing, fetus grieving, affirmative action hating goofball politicians who love that sort of stuff.

Which makes you figure it all out: at last, after all that money being spent, Carl Karcher can point at this latest sorry marketing stunt and proclaim, “See? I ain’t no fag!”

Monday, May 23, 2005

Nuclear Assault- Handle With Care (1989)

I never considered myself to be much of a diehard metal fan. Still, I have a deep dislike of pigeonholing and labeling any form of art. Besides, to dismiss an entire genre of music just cheats oneself. But oh Hell, I'm guilty of labeling for the sake of description from time to time anyway.

I don't care what Nuclear Assault gets tagged with in time- hardcore crossover, thrash metal, speed metal, conscious latter day crossover hardcore thrash speed death metal, whatever. These boys kicked the shit out of 97/100ths of "the competition" in their heyday. The stuff they came up with goes into such seamless streams of melodic yet hard-as-Hell headbanger flow that upon first listening, the "real musicians" of the world may pooh-pooh their material as easy- yeah, until they actually try to fuckin' play it. Right, that is.

It's called heart, ye hacks of the music theory. Either you have a grasp of it or you don't. Doesn't matter how well you play a diminished seventh or how well you cross in and out of a 7/4 beat. Nuclear Assault had that quality necessary for a good, nay, great band, metal or otherwise, in that they knew exactly how they wanted to perform and write songs, and succeeded in bringing that vision to reality.

1989's Handle With Care is the album that thrust Nuclear Assault into the mainstream spotlight. Sort of. MTV's Headbanger's Ball and 120 Minutes programs featured heavily the band's video for "Critical Mass", which was aided by a special appearance by a freshly tabloid-exploited, Playboy-spreaded and breast-augmented Jessica Hahn. Jessica and her two fake friends weren't especially necessary as the real scene stealers were the lyrics to the song, which were smartly ticker-tape captioned at the bottom of the screen: "The Biosphere, the place we live/It seems like we don't give a damn/Other species flushed down the tubes/We need another place to rape/The way we live we will destroy/Every other living thing/'Til none are left except our race/And then we will destroy ourselves". HUH? Isn't this what we would get off the lyric sheet to a Crass or MDC album?

It doesn't stop there, by the way. "Inherited Hell" continues to expound upon the subject of eco-neglect. "When Freedom Dies" is like a time capsule of relevance: "We become the enemy/When freedom dies for security". They were addressing the Soviet/American nuclear contention of the time, but upon a second look nowadays, could just as easily be addressing today's issues of personal liberties in the wake of September 11th's events.

I can safely declare as well that this entire recording is free of gratuitous Satanic references and token bashing of divine beliefs. And we're not talking about that wussy Jeezo metal trend from around the same era either. Nuclear Assault represented unpretentious regular guy and gal headbangers and heshers. If there's ever anything close to a reunion tour I'll see youse in the pit.