Superjoint - Caught up in the Gears of ApplicationLongtime metal fans may remember Superjoint Ritual as the nadir of Philip Aneslmo’s career, if they remember it at all. The band’s general concept — mid-’80s hardcore filtered through the depravity of the New Orleans metal scene — was an interesting one, and the resulting album, 2002’s Use Once and Destroy, was a satisfying blast of spite. However, the band’s second album was half-assed at best, and they were held back by internal squabbles and now-legendary drug habits. Shortly after Dimebag Darrell’s murder in 2004, Anselmo retreated from the public eye, and Superjoint Ritual‘s brief existence came to an end.

12 years later, Anselmo and guitarist Jimmy Bower (also of Down) have decided to resurrect the project, with half of the original lineup and half of the band name. The newly-truncated Superjoint also includes Kevin Bond, a touring guitarist from the band’s first era, while drummer Joe Fazzio and bassist Hank Williams III (yes, the son of Bocephus) are noticeably absent, replaced by members of Anselmo’s solo band. As if to make up for the band name being one word shorter, the new album bears the cumbersome title of Caught up in the Gears of Application.

The record lurches into existence with “Today And Tomorrow,” as Anselmo does his trademark spoken-word mumbling over a bed of guitar feedback. As the song finally kicks in, Anselmo delivers the refrain: “Today’s ‘fuck off’/is tomorrow’s ‘fuck you.'” It’s not exactly Shakespeare, but from this vocalist and this band, I expect nothing less. The hyper-fast hardcore of “Burning The Blanket” is more in line with the Superjoint of yesteryear, with drummer Joey Gonzalez apparently quoting fills from Use Once-era tracks.

It’s impossible not to view Gears in the context of Anselmo’s recent “white wine” incident, and as we all know, nothing gets ol’ Phil riled up quite like public scrutiny. “Clickbait” is a 21st-century update to Anselmo’s tired “fuck the media” routine, but redeems itself at the halfway point by delivering the most ridiculously ignorant riff on the entire album. The title track seems to be related thematically, and Anselmo delivers it with maximum belligerence as the claustrophobic song structure slams into dead ends at every turn.

Superjoint_CaughtUp_02

The other tracks are a bit of a mixed bag. “Mutts Bite Too” is a fun burst of late-model Black Flag weirdness, and ends with Bond delivering one of the few guitar solos in the band’s canon. “Circling the Drain” is almost painful to endure, teasing a cathartic burst of crossover thrash but never delivering. And tracks like “Ruin You” and “Asshole” find Anselmo at his most meathead, hoarsely shouting some of the dumbest shit you’ve heard in your life (sample lyric: “Shit the bed!/shit the bed!/shit the bed!/SHIT THE BEEEEDDDDDDDDDD!!!!!”). “Sociopathic Herd Delusion” brings the tempo down into Poison Idea punk & roll territory, but the aimless “Receiving No Answer To The Knock” ends the album on an underwhelming note.

I’m not sure what the rationale behind reviving Superjoint was, or who was pining for their return after all these years. Marred by uneven songwriting and an amateurish mixing job, Gears will likely leave fans of the first two records unsatisfied. But for whatever it’s worth, this finds Superjoint delivering their quota of rapid-fire hardcore and throat-demolishing vocals, which is exactly what they’re supposed to do.


Rating: 2.5/5.0
DR: A surprisingly low 6| Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: Housecore Records
Websites: facebook.com/Superjoint-7066758901
Releases Worldwide: November 11th, 2016

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  • Reese Burns

    I feel the same way about this as I do most of Phil’s work. “Meh.”

    • themetalyears

      Couldn’t have said it better.

    • Benevolent Sun

      Sour was the best thing I ever heard from Uncle Phil.

      • Christopher

        Sour? Or Scour? Scour is fucking awesome!

        • Benevolent Sun

          Haha! Yea, I meant Scour… Uncle Phil and the Scour Patch Kids.

  • That production is terrible. Sounded like someone was crinkling aluminum foil throughout the song.

    • sir_c

      yeah, Snap, Crackle & Pop were doing the mixing job. pretty annoying in the above video, must say

  • Gaëtan Baratin

    Overwhelmed as one would be, placed in my position.
    Such a heavy burden now to be the one.
    Born to bear and read to all
    The details of our ending.
    To write it down for all the world to see.
    But I forgot my pen,
    Shit the bed again,
    Shit the bed,
    Shit the bed,
    Shit the bed,
    SHIT THE BED!!!

    • Nag Dammit

      Otherwise known as the memoirs of Spud from Trainspotting.

    • Dead1

      I AM THE TABLE!!!

  • AlphaBetaFoxface

    Never heard a riff described as “ignorant” before but upon looking the track up, I see that is possibly the most fitting a word to describe that riff one could ever come up with. Great job on that lmao, review is killer.

    • Dr_Fisting

      It’s one of those riffs that’s so stupid, you can’t believe it made it onto a globally-released record. Thanks for reading!!

  • Monsterth Goatom

    I’d rather be listening to Trials.

    • Norfair Legend

      Cubs won the world series, surely that’s as good as pigs flying or hell freezing over…the least we can do is get more Trials.

      • Dr_Fisting

        Between the Cubs and Trump, the world has basically turned into “Back To The Future II”…and I don’t recall Trials being in that movie.

        • Diego Molero

          At least we are getting Black Sites next year, I’m truly exited for that.

          • Dr_Fisting

            My sources tell me there will be an announcement about Black Sites in early December.

          • Diego Molero

            Well, something tells me that your sources might be right then, sweet. I’ll stay tune for sure.

  • Norfair Legend

    I do like this but the production pretty much puts this right where you said it is, in the “average” territory. I can get down with some cavernous death metal that sounds like it’s being recorded on a recorder, from a recorder, down the hall in the studio but this needs a little more.

    Some great songs, some good but solid writing on a whole.

  • Huck N’ Roll

    This record makes me want to punch something.

    • Mike X

      Your face is always right there! :D

  • Hammersmith

    I find I have a hard time getting into any Anselmo projects after that racist shit he pulled a while ago.

    • Dead1

      I couldn’t care less what comes out of his mouth when he’s not singing.
      This project is pretty meh like all Superjoint. It lacks both the groove of New Orleans and the pissed off anarchy of East Coast hardcore.
      And then there’s the scattered song writing approach that leads to songs that sound like a mish mash of half thought out ideas.
      *Goes back to Pantera and Down*

    • Mike X

      It pissed me off at first, but then I watched the full video where a member of the crowd was trolling him saying something along the lines of that Pantera was racist. So, Phil gave him what he wanted as an F you. It was in poor taste and the circle of excuses before actually apologizing was ridiculous, but it wasn’t as bad one one may think upon just seeing a three second clip.

    • SteveQuaid

      That’s a shame Hammersmith, since he wrote a song about you called “Burning the Blanket”. “SJWs are cowards”

  • basshole

    Phil-core!!

  • surreptitious pounders

    This review is wayyy off, crushing punk/ crust album right here. Sick riffs with inventive drumming and just enough production to not be obnoxious. If you were a fan of Phil’s awesome solo album like I was, you will love this one. He basically forcefeeds all those bitch ass SJW’s a shit sandwich, and it’s great to hear.

    • Dr_Fisting

      There’s a time and place for “forcefeeding SJW’s a shit sandwich,” and it’s called Twitter. If I have to sit and listen to someone’s album for 45 minutes, they better bring some riffs and decent production to go with all the old-white-guy butthurt.

      • surreptitious pounders

        I disagree with both sentiments. I find this album chock full of great riffs. The production is a bit muddy but it fits the vibe perfectly. Perhaps invest in a quality sound system with a subwoofer. “Old-white-guy butt hurt” that’s witty. His turd shards are more metal any day than your cheesey ass metal blog reviews dude.

  • Henriette Gaston

    That sound “quality” is shocking to say the least.

  • evergreenLayne

    The album was written before the Dimebash incident as Phil said himself in the Decibal interview. In my opinion their second best album after Use Once and Destroy. I was worried the loss of drummer Joe Fazzio would be devastating and although he is missed, new drummer Blue from the Illegals brings a new and different energy with just enough blast beats ( I wish there were more). Phil’s sense of humor is represented throughout the album esp on the title track where a high pitched fart noise is clearly featured and on Circling the Drain where Phil really takes the piss out of himself. 9/10

  • electric_mud

    i think it’s not bad. cool riffs, heavy, delirious lyrics… i don’t fit completely with the sound of the drums, but it’s pure SUPERJOINT attitude.

  • Óðinn

    This albums gargles donkey testes.