he Naked Lunch of grind. Massive sludge linking arms with frenzied technicality and wrapping those arms tightly around your skull. Pressure. Friction. Pain. Loss of balance. An hour of drooling euphoria. Grunting, screaming -- laughter! -- high-fiving, bong-loading, challenging, unfathomable (insanity and discipline), inspiring. Grind(-hash-, -retardo-, -fucking-)core the way it is meant to be played, digested and worshipped.
“But is it?” Bent over, holding cold rocks to the puckered, black-red gash on the left side of his head, a Kentucky teen lies to all in proximity. “I have yet to,” and he looks toward Colorado, “I cannot say with any degree of certainty,” affecting a French accent, “Sacrè bleu” and he’s on his knees, forehead on the pavement. “Cephalic Carnage, eh? Heh. I get it.” One more saved, convinced of everything but place.
What kind of kingdom is Colorado, anyway? And how can such an innocuous place produce such a band? Good weed? (Lots to be found herein.) Shitty sports teams? (The Rockies? The fucking Nuggets? Come on.) Paranoia bred in the shadows of maximum security prisons? (The Unabomber’s a neighbor.) Columbine? (Nothing funny there.)
No. Can’t thank Colorado for this kind of magic. Must give thanks where it is due: Brutal Truth, Lethargy, Mr. Bungle, Naked City, Black Sabbath, Human Remains, Cheech and Chong, Melvins, Cops. All present and accounted for, boundlessly loved and repeatedly assaulted over the course of an album that does for grind what Spiderland did for indie rock. Lucid Interval mesmerizes, redefines and disembowels.
Vocals from monsters. Guitars as thick and traumatizing as the tar your mother drowned in. Drumming by an octopus from...the future? Bass playing by a robotic mental patient resembling a goatee-d Dustin Diamond on crack. (No shit. Find a photograph.) A singer named Leonard who goes by the name Lenzig. “You can’t make this stuff up, people!”
A blast segment or groove-drunk breakdown B&E’s its way into your memory. On first listen. Every song. Skeleton keys for you poor little mind’s chastity belt. Technical runs, resin-coated hammering, growl-and-screech vocal tag -- wizardry, man -- that is as precisely and painstakingly choreographed as a boxing match. No band on earth sounds like this.
Six minute grind songs? A perfected plethora of ‘em.
A violin-and-sax ambient jam? Why not?
“Beelzebub suck my balls/Beelzebub will suck my balls”? Yes.
There is usually one grind album a year that everyone -- metalhead or not --should hear. 2000 provided mankind with Discordance Axis’ The Inalienable Dreamless. 2001’s finest was Pig Destroyer’s Prowler in the Yard. This year it’s Lucid Interval. Love it, or die trying to figure out what’s wrong with you. The choice is yours. Barely.
Reviewed by: Clay Jarvis
Reviewed on: 2003-09-01