By: Derek Spencer
(I’m going to assume this is an album because it’s an appropriately length and because the tracks are numbered. I do not, however have an album name or release year)
Virgin Mobile Meth Lab raises more questions than they appear to answer. Off the top of my head:
– Why did they send me their album in MPA file format?
– Is vocalist Jarrod Milner aware that he sounds like Gwar’s first vocalist?
– Is the name Virgin Mobile Meth Lab copyright infringement? Or is the 5-piece hardcore punk outfit actually sponsored by Virgin Mobile?
– If you name a song “My Dick Fucked Me”, should I assume your band is sex-positive and/or has a spectrum view of gender?
– What is the South Bend, Indiana punk scene like? (My guess, based only on the contents of this album, as compared to Chicago: “Higher rate of amphetamine use, more audience-members moshing, less ‘noise-art’, stricter adherence to/reverence of old-school punk culture & values”)
But I digress.
In a sentence: Virgin Mobile Meth Lab pumps out fast, pentatonic riffs that, while demonstrative of the relative stasis hardcore has found itself in for the past 15 years, nonetheless inspire movement and slight evocations of aggression and angst, especially when juxtaposed with a lyrical vocabulary that starts with the glorification of filth and trash and ends with indiscriminate violence toward strangers (perhaps a play off of Georges Bataille’s hypothesis that the inversion of values, i.e. the deification of shit and violence, is the only long-term method of overcoming the capitalist-power structure and cyclical-nature of bourgeois consumption patterns). I think if you had asked The Misfits 30 years ago “what do you think punk will be like in 30 years” they probably first would have said “dead” but then, as a second answer, might have articulated something that sounds like Virgin Mobile Meth Lab.
The reminder of this review will be the title of each track, hyperlinked to an arbitrary google image search result acquired by searching for said track title: