A new form of audio masochism. Frayed consciousness strained through revolting hate and gravid with strife. Anderson’s outlet un-known as Pornography becomes a channel for aural cruelty and catharsis; standing in a nebulous shadow broken from the corpse of Khanate.
This Is A Collection gathers each corrupt sliver of Pornography’s shattered and disturbed sermons, all available for streaming. It’s a menacing compilation undoubtedly obscene to many and which I’ve been soaking in repeatedly over the past several months.
Anderson Cook is in fact one of (at one time) two people who managed the Nashville-based label Tapes of a Neon God, the other half being Austin of Japanese Women. He provides some great artwork for a few projects too. Pornography is the primary raging coal of hate within a maelstrom of cognitive collapse that this guy has concocted. A gradually tightening vice smothering those who engage with it, awakening shadowed, nauseatingly nostalgic imagery within the mind.
Both he and Austin combine efforts in Hadals as well which, for this project, would give context to the noise / power electronics influence that bubbles in the distance. It’s admittedly not as oppressive as the genre’s most depraved due to the instrumental differences, but it would be a mistake to argue this isn’t overpowering on it’s own merits.
He’s on his own too at least for this material. He takes this illness slow and floods the soundscapes in a hair-raising and lumbering dissonance shattered across sullen, bellicose slabs of bass and drums marching undeterred.
It’s a hard one to place if we’re talking genres. Even the Khanate reference is vague at best and shouldn’t be taken to much to heart. Labeling is obfuscated quite well despite some familiarity in the aggression. Generally, Pornography houses a warped and intensified kind of harsh ‘doom’ you could argue, put further off-kilter with a modest sheen of cacophony the origins of which I can’t grasp (hardcore maybe?).
The machine like callousness of the guitars/bass that become more paranoid and intense with each rotation is the biggest part of this. Slow and tattered but with a specter hanging over each blow. It combines with soiled, buckling dry screams or fuming growls. The vocal attack is made more lucid as they lumber forward by casting lyrics filled with malice, brutal honesty and creep.
You can see this in any track but lets start from the track from the split with 54R, “Mississippi”, the opening contortion of this collection which is alongside “Pleasure / Contempt” for my favorites at the moment. I have the tape as well, and I assure you both sides slay.
What’s clear is he is not ambiguous in the message, both the tone and subject matter brings out some power electronics / death industrial savagery which fits well with the already corrosive nature of the sound. Indeed adding to the confusion one may have in first introductions. It is thrown at you in measured, aching volleys:
my name is Anderson and this is the worst chapter of my life
some men were born to lurk
your women will mewl & hiss, but what’s yours is mine
some men can’t help but cry and they will lose everything, I promise that
I am not a good man, I would do terrible things to you
he likes to put his foot on the devil’s head
but he can’t hold me down
there is no hope
some men were born to lurk
your women will mewl and hiss, but what’s yours is mine
just stay where you are
my feet are not made of clay
I’m coming, I’m coming, I’m coming
When this plays out as slowly, excruciatingly as it does — supported by the fierce strikes of each skin (sometimes martial, sometimes sporadic), moaning bass fusing with the static-soaked flashing riffs — the pressure felt building is oppressive. The blunt, palm muted sections which abrupt pacing changes occur bring out a more frantic kind of heavy texture.It breaks away into slightly less opaque bludgeoning but jarring spikes come soon after and pierce with ease.
A steady hammering brings brooding words. What was once blunt returns near the end but blossoming loudly, viciously in layered horror as the chorus repeats from a quieting descent.
With that the follow-up hammer strike “Promises And Virtues” feeds deeper into a downcast, stinging atmosphere with a similar tact; lyrically deviating very little from the Deathpile sensibilities that bite with dripping cruelty.
Everyone will know what I’ve done to her. I have made her a hollow reed, a pure channel for my love. I am far too sentimental to ever part with her fear. There is no value in anything else that I own. What I will leave them is a shell of her, so they will know they did not stop me. The only faith I have is in the cowardice of hollow men, and violence is the only way I can express myself. Everyone will learn what’s been done soon. This is your bed of collapsed flesh and weak bones, and you have to lie in it. Every day there’s less of you to love.
This was originally on their second split release with Tapes of A Neon God, this time with Holiness Church of the Valley on the first side.
It’s a crusher starting out almost like a Have A Nice Life creation but as the depressive tone turns malicious once compacted when the amplification shatters the silence. The far off quality of the recording is different than their first song and softens the edge a bit (even more on tape I’d imagine). These anxiety ridden climbs hit summits where the atmosphere morphs to a bit more lifted —illusory obviously, following the feedback the churn stats a new each time; louder, denser.
The deviation occurs three minutes in with low break downs that claw back up repeatedly. Every revolution of this massive weight more noisy and slow until the five minute point where this exercise morphs into nightmarish industrial machinery serenade — abruptly left to feedback.
“Heaven” shows deeper alteration in this tattered and bloodied fabric Pornography has woven. Bass breathing the first sour breath, the gnarled chords sweep over the cycling lows. Both begin digging harshly for a moment on the first words and the bass is left standing to build the next jarring suspension of sounds.
there is greatness inside of me
there is no safety here, no compromise
there are no morals, you have no rights
I am perfect
do you hear me?
you have to know
I am not flawed
I will make chaos into order and all will be calm
my good deeds have not followed me, my crimes live on
I will pursue terror
I will pursue cruelty
I will pursue annihilation
Very sharp, very cold, at the third line things crumble apart slower, each pound sinking the track into deeper, uncomfortable territory with minimal shifts from their crater.
The sudden surging near the end becomes more urgent as the last three lines of violent affirmation tower higher.
On the outskirts of this last leg we have songs taken from the single/EP Cur. Cur contains two unreleased tracks (physically at least) titled “Sex / Dishonor” and “Pleasure / Contempt”, they both make slight changes to the scornful ceremonies without destroying the acid-pit of gnawing hatred it already thrived in.
“Sex / Dishonor” is his shortest fit thus far beginning flaying ears on the high register, three successive notes blend their rippling dissonance. The painful nature softening on the second repeat once the drums enter as things take a turn towards the filthy.
I am a beast
I am a weapon
you corrupted me and made me a man
but you still can’t deny me
I will take you
I’m never going to be punished
I am forever and shame follows me
I will always be a part of you
I will always be a part of you
it’s not over, I’m not done
Angry refusal stumbles with the torturous slams and pounds for a time until the slowest moments in the core, it grows darker leaving the voice behind momentarily. The pace quickens again on the reappearance of that opening fracturing rhythm.
“Pleasure / Contempt” brings a fuzzy atmosphere down on his already delirious battering which betrays what comes next once the lyrics crawl outward. Once it heaves into this moment, during the first statement this song expands into my favorite moment I believe.
this is always the highlight of my day
take it lying down
make it easy
there is nothing but power inside of me
it’s in my blood
there is nothing inside me
you are a vessel for the weakness of God
you only deserve to live low and die soon
live low, die soon
This plunge takes two huge steps down with ruinous results. Once this is left the slide downward is clunky and ugly again even eventually circling around to those urgent opening moments and diving into it further.
Just before the ominous last line that earlier thrilling moment comes back at twice the pace, after which the feedback is left to spread.
Pornography is definitely raw and uncompromising. A unit of terrifying authority confronting the listener. I’m really enjoying the material available so far and I think there’s a good deal of people that would as well considering the nature of these incantations.
And there’s always the bandcamp option as you’re no doubt familiar with. This option is free or pay-what-you-want which is generous.