Slob – Deepwoods Shack of Sodomy Review

These here boys ain’t right in the head. UK duo Slob graces the world with a debut that dares to ask the question: “What if the hayseed rapists from Deliverance started a brutal death metal band and wrote a whole bunch of songs about sodomy?” It would be tempting to nickname these gentlemen “Gay Panic: The Band,” except Slob isn’t just interested in the kind of sodomy practiced belowdecks in the Royal Navy. Instead, they present us with an expansive and all-inclusive vision of the act. Man and beast, the living and the dead–on Deepwoods Shack of Sodomy, everyone gets a turn on the peg. We’re all suitably squicked out, Slob, so good job there… but is any of this fun or worth listening to?

Musically, the band explores the forbidden love that can only exist between two men, two guitars, and one very loud drum machine. The six proper songs feature rudimentary, herky-jerky riffs complemented by James Murphy’s gurgled garbage disposal vocals. No bass can be heard anywhere, and the programmed drums are plopped right in the front of the mix. It’s a curious choice, forcing the listener into a face-to-face confrontation with the canned percussion. Mortician is the obvious point of departure, and like those reprobates from Yonkers, Slob has a fondness for samples of movie dialogue. It’s all crude and rock-headed by design, an approach that can be a blast in the right hands. Unfortunately, Deepwoods Shack of Sodomy is also rock-headed in ways it doesn’t intend, a short but monotonous wallow that spills its seed on the ground long before the end of its thirty-minute span.

When you’re visiting a Shack of Sodomy, boredom should never be on the menu. Unfortunately, that’s the fate that awaits you in this particular dark hollow. There’s obviously a lack of variety in the subject matter–the first four songs (“Intro (Sodomy in the Swamps),” “Squeal Like a Pig,” “Deepwoods Shack of Sodomy,” and “Hogtied and Sodomized”) explore variations on Slob’s favorite theme.1 But the limited palette also extends to the music, to the point where it’s virtually impossible to distinguish one number from another. Only the samples separate each cluster of stop-and-start riffs from the next, and the album leans WAY too heavily on those snatches of dialogue. “Intro (Sodomy in the Swamps)” is just the entire rape scene from Deliverance, played straight through with hokey swamp noises added to the background. A full twenty percent of the album is given over to samples; it feels like Deepwoods Shack of Sodomy should come with a consumer warning sticker pointing out how much of the run time is chatter lifted from horror movies.

Some highlights burble up here and there. “Deepwoods Shack of Sodomy” opens with a squealing Slayer lead that snaps the listener to attention, and “Wrong Turn” blasts off with a killer riff once the umpteenth Deliverance sample is out of the way. But you have to root around like a truffle-hunting pig to find these moments of respite, and when they do pop up they’re fleeting. “Pitchfork Puncture Wounds” starts with verve–the first five minutes even seem not to be about the Topic That Dare Not Speak Its Name!2 Alas, that early promise devolves into a sea of undifferentiated grunts. The track closes with yet another two-minute sample, this one a monologue about copulating with dead pigs.3 One thing about Slob: they always manage to find their way back to their creative true north.4 The band’s obviously chasing brutality and an extreme sound, but the production undermines that pursuit. The album feels raw and ugly, but it’s never especially heavy.

If you have an enormous, sodomy-shaped hole in your life, Deepwoods Shack of Sodomy could be just the record to fill that crevasse. The rest of us are likely to get tired of the gag, such as it is, after a couple of songs. It must be noted that there’s a vague but icky varnish of classism and homophobia coating this shack. The record spends a lot of time snickering at the imagined butt-fuckers of rural America–but when Slob can only dredge up a fraction of the musical skill of the inbred banjo player from Deliverance, the joke’s finally on them.

Rating: 1.5/5.0
DR: 5 | Format Reviewed: 320 kb/s mp3
Label: Comatose Music
Releases Worldwide: March 4th, 2022

Show 4 footnotes

  1. Which is sodomy.
  2. Which is sodomy.
  3. Which is a form of, sigh, sodomy.
  4. Which is sodomy. Pay attention!
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