ARTIST: CANCERSLUG + ALBUM: SASSY FOR SATAN + LABEL: CANCERSLUG + RELEASED: MAY 31, 2016
Behold the filthy fun of Cancerslug’s Sassy for Satan. Fueled by 1970s punk rock and a sick sense of humor, Cancerslug deliver one of the best sounding albums of their long career. If you haven’t heard of Cancerslug, but the punk reference makes you curious; be warned, this shit is rated X. Singer Alex Story is the poet laureate of horror punk. Murder, explicit sex, blasphemy, no topic is taboo. More importantly, these are catchy songs with great melodies, and that’s what makes it work.
There are 18 songs on Sassy, the majority of which clock in under two minutes in length. Sonically akin to the MC5, melodically akin to the Ramones, this album is comparatively polished to the Cancerslug back catalog. That’s not a bad thing. Certainly, the lo-fi demo sounding tracks from prior releases have a strong quality in their own right, but the recording quality on Sassy is really satisfying. Alex Story’s band, comprised of Joceylin Gonzalez on guitar, Cassie Baher on bass, and Mike Horgan on drums, is a tight unit who drive these songs to the brink. Horgan’s drumming and Baher’s bass hold the ship together while Gonzalez’s guitars buzz at a nonstop pace.
What stands out the most on this album is the strong melodies. Dare I call this Cancerslug’s Pet Sounds? Okay, that’s a stretch. But, these songs are infectious. Don’t be surprised if you catch yourself singing “kill your mother with your fathers tools, kill your brother and your sister, too” while your grocery shopping. “Hung Like Jesus,” “Just a Hooker Away,” and “Born to Lose” are classic Ramones-y/Dead Boys-ish punk numbers. Other songs, like “Enemies,” “Alone,” and “Do It” are crude and noisy. And there’s more here than just simple minute-and-a-half punk rock. A number of tracks offer surprising turns, for example the gang chorus chant on “Rape Baby,” the opening swing of “Ain’t Worth My Blood,” and the mid-tempo sludge of “Lord of Death.”
Cancerslug isn’t just for folks who like horror movies and adult comics. There’s plenty here for anyone inclined to give it a listen, just not around young children. Of course, if you’re a teenager, I guarantee this will piss off your parents. Sassy for Satan is perverse, depraved, and totally kick ass.
– J. Kevin Lynch