Picks and Pans Review: Immaculate Deception

updated 05/11/1987 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 05/11/1987 AT 01:00 AM EDT


The rules are simple enough if you want to become a star of hard-core rock 'n' roll: 1) Learn how to scream lyrics so fast that you could squeeze a reading of War and Peace into a two-minute song 2) Avoid melodies 3) Repeat a forceful bass line so loud that it's guaranteed to make survivors require hearing aids 4) Practice groaning and growling. Those traits make most hard-core bands sound alike. But not Ludichrist. With raunchy, gory, grating music, this New York City quintet carries its attempts to offend so far that the final effect is hilarious. Even the Dead Milkmen, who specialize in humor, seem like flower-child folkies by comparison. On this debut album Ludichrist finds no topic too touchy to tackle. The band vows vengeance against the KKK and Josef Mengele. It raves against toxic waste and big business. It denies the immaculate conception of Christ in one song, then goes pro-religion with God Is Everywhere: "When I eat potato chips/ There is God in my dip/ Everytime I get the blues/ There is God in my shoes." Be it tribute or tribulation, Ludichrist delivers a hard-core cover version of the Monkees hit Last Train to Clarksville and a screamed reading of Dr. Seuss's Green Eggs & Ham. Just to show they don't have to yell all the time, Ludichrist throws in the jazzy Legal Murder, a comparatively quiet diatribe against the death penalty that makes lead singer Tommy Christ (who doesn't divulge his real name) sound like Lou Reed. Though the ferocious guitar riffs on Immaculate Deception start to sound strangely appealing after a few listens, this record isn't for everybody. Those who don't like it will probably find the lyrics to Thinking of You apt "You disgust and revolt me, you really do/ It's guaranteed nausea just thinking of you." (Combat Core)

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