Pharmacist – Carnal Pollution EP
Black Hole Productions
Release Date: 10.10.21
Running Time: 19:39
Review by ‘Dark Juan’
What is it about dogs? I am finding it extremely challenging to write interesting and informative stuff for you today, due to the fact that the Smellhounds are variously having me up and down faster than a whore’s panties, demanding food even though there are still TWO hours to go before tea time, and creating the kind of sepulchral stench that only used to come out of mediaeval charnel houses during a long hot summer, even though the Smellhounds AREN’T ACTUALLY DEAD. Although Sir Zeusington Zeus KCVG, VC, MM, DFC and Bar, Croix de Guerre appears to be immortal, due to the amount of near death experiences he has (very expensively) survived over the past couple of years. Add to that the Dread Lord Sir Igor Egbert Bryan Clown-Shoe Cleavage-Hoover, who is currently favouring me with the kind of attention and closeness that would get another human a fucking restraining order, and has his head on my left hand (making me edit my review on the fly because every time he moves, I inadvertently type 47 Ds), and you get a frustrating creative experience. He is only doing this, however, because top notch Tyke totty, Mrs Dark Juan, has gone out with our friend Leigh (who is as misanthropic as I am, and therefore the BEST FRIEND EVER, because we never need to speak much to each other, and telephone conversations last less than one minute) to view some fashion gubbins I have absolutely no interest in. Normally, he’d be bothering Hodgson Biological-Warfare by the simple expedient of chewing his back leg until Hodgson fights him. Igor loves a good old fashioned straightener.
Judging by what I have just heard, Pharmacist don’t have dogs. Probably because they would have fashioned them into garments, or pies, or meat sculptures, or something. Yes, this Japanese duo play the kind of classic goregrind that only Olivia Neutered John (still the best band name in the history of music) have come close to, since I have been drivelling at you all on behalf of Ever-Metal.com and The First Lady of Wrexham, Lieutenant-General Dame Beth “Seventh Circle Of Hell, Bitch” Jones. This pair of demented Japanese impromptu surgery enthusiasts appear to have been listening to “Necroeroticism – Descanting The Insalubrious” by Scouse vegan corpse-worriers, Carcass, on repeat for several years, before recording this four tracker. The similarities are striking. So, are Pharmacist copying morgue-bothering Liverpudlians like for like, or does Japanese engineering supremacy come to the fore? Let us find out…
Opening cut “Disintegration” hits you with all the subtlety of fifteen gallons of bloody, stinking offal being chucked in your face by a gleeful and sadistic slaughterhouse worker. Blastbeats compete for the attention of the listener, with sawtooth guitars, and the kind of “singing” that really should reduce the vocal chords to wobbly and useless jelly. The vocals are extremely reminiscent of Carcass – the sepulchral grunt of Bill Steer, the highly pitched visceral snarl of Jeff Walker, and the snotty, congested vomitory of Ken Owen, are all faithfully replicated. However, there the similarity ends, as the music, which obviously will have Carcass as a major influence, seeing as they invented goregrind, also brings in elements of classic death metal (especially in the breaks and the tempo of the songs, which are all speedy, to say the least), and not a little technical ability. The second track, “Carnal Pollution”, ramps up the Carcass vocal influence dangerously close to copyism, although the music skirts Cannibal Corpse, Deicide, and Pathologist, to pretty grand effect.
“Obsequial Orchestra” however is an out and out Carcass song. There is nothing to differentiate it from the style that the feral Scousers have made their own. From vocal phrasing, to smart-ass lyrics and titling, to guitar lines, and staccato riffing and multitracking, to the mid-tempo beat on the break, to the searing, tortured vocal delivery. I wouldn’t be surprised, judging by the sound of this song, if Pharmacist and Therapeutist (guitar, bass and drums respectively) had been found boozing in The Swan in Liverpool city centre fairly recently. Even the soloing (courtesy of Andrew Lee of Ripped To Shreds) is absolutely reminiscent of the legendary Bill Steer’s work.
“Oral Consuming” (fnarr, fnarr) closes out this EP, and is by far the most inventive and challenging song on here. Having rid themselves of their Carcass obsession on the previous track, this is a pointy, twisty beast of a song, that doesn’t let up on the brutality for a second, and switches time signatures and riff patterns with an easy grace that isn’t always obvious in death metal or goregrind. The vocal again references Jeff Walker’s visceral bark, but this song is much more original. Think Six Feet Under (with a competent vocalist and not a death metal clown fronting them) and Autopsy, busily butchering corpses with Carcass and you have an idea of the sound of the last song.
The production is weird as fuck, man. While everything is cleanly produced, the drums overpower everything to a ridiculous degree. They are way too far forward in the mix and the guitar solos especially far too far back in it. The drumming, especially in the faster sections, overwhelms the whole (perhaps Therapeutist hits them harder when he’s going mental?) and leads to death metal overload.
All in all, though, I am the world’s biggest Carcass fan, so I enjoyed the fuck out of this EP, simply because it sounds ridiculously like Carcass. As Pharmacist grow, as they are still a very young band, I should like to see them develop an identity of their own, and develop their sound in a more original fashion. Still a decent EP and well worth blowing your yen on…
The Patented Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System (特許取得済みのダークファンブラッドスプラッター評価システム for our Japanese friends, please correct it if it is wrong or offensive for fuck’s sake!) awards Pharmacist a suitably gory and flesh dripping 8/10 for a work that borders of plagiarism in parts, but is also bloody good!
01. Disintegration (If you’re expecting The Cure, you’re in for an unpleasant and uncomfortable surprise!)
02. Carnal Pollution (Goregrind for orgasm? Dirty DIRTY boys!)
03. Obsequial Orchestra
04. Oral Consuming (Does this tie in neatly with carnal pollution?)
Pharmacist – Guitar, vocals, bass
Therapeutist – Drums
Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of ‘Dark Juan’ and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.