Take any two powerviolence releases at random, and by my calculations there's about a 90% chance one of the bands is based in California, and a further 70% chance that there is at least one member whose presence is in both bands, past or present. How I came up with these ultra-accurate statistics is a trade secret, however I can inform you that having sent the grind to death minions on a number crunching data processing scheme as taught by Enron we have come to the equally accurate factual conclusion that there are in fact only 12 people in the entirety of powerviolence; 14 if we accept the plausible but yet unproven theory that Chris Dodge is actually a collection of 3 identical triplets, which would go a long way into explaining how the man finds the time for necessities such as sleep, consumption of food and hydration in between his schedule of playing for a dozen or so golden bands, putting on shows, being seen at other shows, responding to interviews and generally being an awesome dude.
Chris Dodge (1)/Chris Dodge (2)/Chris Dodge (3)’s (highlight the applicable field) latest project is the aptly titled To The Point, with their first release Mentally Checked Out on the reputable and always on the pulse label Deep Six Records. Mentally Checked Out may be precisely summed as Lack of Interest with a bad case of ADHD and the reflexes of a spider (we have all seen how quick these killing machines work when dinner is on the horizon, if not click here). It’s a one sided 7” on 45 rpm cycle, which gives a maximum total run time of up to 4 and a half minutes, yet in that sawed-off time frame they manage to pack in 8 full bodied and distinguishable tracks of Powerviolence put through an enduring stamina trial. Ultimately it has a real good clinch to it, much of that can be mitigated by the fact that Lack of Interest are an amazing powerviolence band to be emulating, and for those who are yet to be acquainted with their Slap-a-Ham congeniality, then I recommend the This Comp Kill’s Fascists volume 2 as an ideal introduction to this band and a host of other handpicked talents; however the added swiftness by To The Point gives it the added kick and sharpness to boot too.
There is a certain amount of extra-dimensional perplexity in the release too. The most notable being the track order listed as being 11, 3, 6,12,16,19,2,20, which acting on the belief that its numerical pattern being purposeful and willing for some journalistic adventurism I attempted various processes of aligning/referencing the numbers with things such as the Alphabet, Slap-a-ham back catalogue, Deep Six’s release numbers, all of which came to no avail (I genuinely did carry this task out) and thus I have settled on a more plausible explanation. My theory being that with the bassist’s Dustin Johnstons new found involvement with drug fiends Suffering Luna, certain habits and recreational activities are likely to have compromised his skills with numeracy.
Another point of interest (you see what I did there?!) is that half the line-up of To The Point is Lack of Interest already, making TTP a sort of layer in an Inception like framework, albeit with a bit of role replacement, a new drummer, a new bassist, the same guitarist and Dodge doing vocal duties as oppose to bass. However even in the sonant department there is a hefty amount of convergence, with vocals being cunningly close to Rick of LOI vocal style, plagiarism is a form of flattery after all. Fuck it, I might as well just go on a limb and suggest that its more than possible that To The Point is Lack of Interest only playing faster, there would be no way to distinguish really. In all honesty who cares though, I like Lack of Interest and I love high octane maximum propulsion in my music too, so ultimately Mentally Checked Out is like a double win scenario for me, and most of you too I would imagine.
It’s top tier PV all-round, with my only criticism being that using only one half a 7” seems minimalist and perhaps even wasteful, that being said doing so gives a certain amount of effet utile to the abruptness of their sound and gives it an undeniable appeal and weight of remembrance through its uniqueness. If I had a time machine or any such device that could give me a shot at having a retro-active input, I would think it grand if the other half of the split was Life of Refusal’s Spazz cover set with the bpm jolted up too, making the character of the release that more solid and enjoyable.