Okay, as soon as I saw the name(s) on the return address label on the package holding this CD, I knew there was going to be trouble. Squid/Bugs Crawling out of People doesn't exactly inspire good feelings and positive vibrations. Then again, most of what we review here at Chain D.L.K. doesn't come from happy bunny land, so while not totally bizarre, the name is a bit unusual for a record label. 'Endless Meaningless Unhelpful and Uncalled for Drivel' is a collaboration between it-clings (Squid) and Nerve War (Brandon Duncan). it-clings supplies the vocal rants, and Nerve War supplies the electronic sonics. That's pretty much it...oh...you were expecting some sort of review? Commentary? Evaluation? Pffft...well, if you really need one... it-clings’ ranty agenda is fueled by angry, cynical sarcasm ranting about everything and nothing all at once, over the entirety of 10 tracks for a duration of 37 minutes. All the while Nerve War provides an unsteady stream of minimal industrial electronics and rhythms (synths and drum machine) which is fairly effective as accompaniment to these diatribes, but would be worthless alone. After a few minutes of this verbal onslaught you will probably thinking to yourself- "Is this guy fucking serious, or is this some sort of sick joke?" it-clings would likely answer affirmatively to both. Social/anti-social commentary as entertainment, and entertainment as social/anti-social commentary.
Sewn throughout it-clings rants are grains of truth as well as a big heaping helping of bullshit. One particular passage on the track "Other People" goes "...they're always greeting people, wishing people well and good times ahead; their rotten blank lives of smeared shit-stained irrelevance...and how are you? and how are you? and how are you? Everyone wants to know how everyone is, but everyone just wants confirmation that everything and everyone shares their same meaningless bland upbeat contentment. Everyone is good. We're fine. Everyone hides cringing behind this shallow lie of mild satisfaction..." Ain't that the truth, or something like it. There are no 'sacred cows' in it-clings world; neither the good, the bad, nor the ugly are spared. Fans of it-clings are scourged as mercilessly as the people, places and things it-clings hates, and even it-clings himself is beaten-up in the process, with an unhealthy does of self-deprecation and self-loathing upon occasion. To a certain extent it-clings exhibits all the charm of an insult-clown at a carnival dunk tank booth, and might be really good at it too, but it seems unlikely that Squid could muster up the enthusiasm or reliability for such an undertaking. There is nothing new about this kind of nihilistic verbal tirade and it-clings admits it as well. (This is actually it-clings third album release, and he's had upteen guest appearances on the projects of others. Brandon Duncan has about 14 releases himself under various project names.) In fact, this country has a pretty nasty ranter-in-chief in that big White House, and although his spiel is markedly different from what we have here, it still, goes on and on and on every single fucking day of the year.
So I suppose we're in the age of rants, or rantz of you prefer, and it makes perfect sense that somebody, somewhere (Toronto, Canada, if you're interested) had to put something like this out. Also, it happens to be in all formats - Vinyl, CD, tape and digital, which I think is fairly surprising. I also know people who would absolutely LOVE THIS, being largely misanthropic and always looking for those who share their world view of contempt and loathing. For me, it's a little much, unless I'm having a really, really bad day, and truth be told, I'm trying to get away from wallowing in that sort of thing.
I'm not going to give this any kind of star (*) rating not because I don't like it, or think it doesn't have merit, or whatever, but just because I don't think you can put a value judgement on this. It is what it is, so to speak. The time and effort I've spent describing it is all the validation it really needs anyway. The interesting and amusing artwork is by Steph Dumais and the album was mastered by Famine, a highly capable and eclectic electronic music produced whose work I've reviewed here in the past. One thing further though- I strongly recommend you visit the Bugs Crawling out of People website. There you will find about 30 releases (including books) you can read about and audition (the audio ones, anyway), including these guys and Famine. It's worth the time spent, and gets my vote for the best fringe music site award of the year, if there ever was such an award given.