Album Review : Rompeprop & Tu Carne - Just a Matter of Splatter (2004)
Choosing a goregrind record to talk about was no easy task. Bands playing this genre of music are so extreme and use such disgusting iconography, you would've probably called the cops on me if I posted an album cover here. That is only one reason why I picked Rompeprop and Tu Carne's split record Just a Matter of Splatter for today's review. Split records are an awesome part of extreme music culture and I've discovered so many great bands because of them, Tu Carne being one. What makes Just a Matter of Splatter special and fascinating is that it represents two polar opposites of a musical genre that is often criticized because every band allegedly sound the same.
Now, let me introduce you to these two very different breeds of sickos...
Going first on the split is Netherlands-based Romperop, who I thoroughly enjoy because they don't take themselves seriously without ever stepping outside of goregrind's thematic gore obsession. I mean, look at these sickos. They're having the time of their life. Another thing that makes them interesting is their classic metal influences. There are whiffs of Motörhead's trademark high speed rock n' roll riffs on Donkey Punch (Peter Pan) and the uncomfortably named As She Licks My Only Ball. That song, by the way, is introduced with a necrophilia joke they sampled from God knows which movie and it makes me cackle everytime, goddamnit.
Romperop are jokers, carnival artists. Their contribution on this split begins and ends with pitch schifted vocal lullabies. Their musical explorations don't always work, but they're entertaining as hell. I am the Dolphin Sprayhole Fucker for example doesn't quite work because the rock song structure feels so out of place. They stretched it out too far. Still, it's an interesting and challenging song. Anything that steps out of goregrind's usual musical patterns in. The rest of their work on Just a Matter of Splatter is much more conventional. Songs like BodyBagBitch and We Want Gore are straight goregrind. They're OK, but they're not what makes Romperop such a special band.
Tu Carne is a different kind of animal. They take themselves VERY seriously. They are the band that plays when you're getting murdered in a basement by a perverted, leather-clad bondage sex killer. Lots of bands aspire to play that kind of music, but Tu Carne are the world champions. What differentiates them from other goregrind bands like Last Days of Humanity for example is that they're not plowing through their instrument as fast and hard as they. They play at a slower tempo and their music is oddly well produced. It's still lo-fi, but there is a deliberate attempt at differentiating the instruments here, which is refreshing for goregrind. They think about the same things than the other bands, but they think about it differently.
Their brand of extreme is not speed or sonic violence, it's atmosphere. Songs like Mi Miembro No Responde and Sintoma de Enajenación Mental are not just gloomy, they're downright creepy with the grimy walls of static and the extreme guitar distortion. I don't know what they fuck they're talking about in their songs, but they scare me. Tu Carne make music they boogeyman plays in his iPod when he's kidnapping children. It's mid-tempo, slightly groovy and the vocals sound like frontman Flipi is puking blood. They also included high pitched unaltered screams notably on Desde lo Infecto which makes for an interesting duality, like a demon is torturing a damned soul on record. When I said these guys were extreme, I was serious. For Tu Carne, the devil is details other goregrind bands usually don't care about, like creating a fucked mood.
There is no logical reason, at lest on paper, that could explain why Romperop and Tu Carne thought it was a good idea to record a split album together. They are SO different, yet they complete themselves wonderfully and offered a record that is wildly varied and nuanced for a genre not reputable for nuance for variety whatsoever. Just a Matter of Splatter is one of these albums bound to live forever as some kind of secret internet thing. I doubt it ever fed the members of both participating band, but it's something they can be proud of. It's an uncompromising project that differentiates itself from the pack of gore-loving weirdos through its musical nuances and explorations and IF you ever end up checking out what goregrind is about, start here. I'm obviously not going to post links, but if you look hard enough you can probably get it online.