In his 2016 book Disparities, philosopher Slavoj Žižek spoke of the capacity for the unclean to disrupt our comfortable understanding of reality – “shit remains an excess which does not fit our daily reality.” Interaction with the unclean, dirty and downright filthy has the ability to disturb and disrupt our sense of systems and order, our cosy ontological or even grand metaphysical understandings of the world and its arrangement.
The history of modern pop culture is littered with similar attempts to turn ‘filth’ into philosophy. From John Waters to Penny Rimbaud the world’s dirty, squalid underbelly has long been mined, with varying degrees of depth and artistic success. Seattle’s Filth Is Eternal are the latest to dive into this particular sewer, emergering from the mire brandishing a taut, sinewy exercise in their own brand of snarling and off-kilter hardcore.
The band have undergone a recent rebrand, changing their name to Filth Is Eternal as opposed to the more questionable Fucked & Bound. They’ve spoken of having an “emotional connection” to this new moniker, and it certainly suits their angular, dissonant apparoach to hardcore. Filth Is Eternal’s previous full-length Suffrage was a slightly more straightforward prospect, whereas Love Is A Lie, Filth Is Eternal is much more inclined to push against the generic walls of ugly hardcore, banging its head against the dirty walls in an attempt to break through the corroding plaster.
The album’s melange of influences encompasses crust punk, noise rock and powerviolence, which provide the flesh that sits atop its more traditional hardcore skeleton. ‘On The Rake’, ‘Pearl Slug’ and ‘Nosebleed’ are examples of these bones – linear, intense and frantic tracks that hover around the one minute mark. However, the moments that work the best are when Filth Is Eternal most stretch themselves. ‘Private Room’ is a mid-tempo monster, skulking and circling its victim, while the four-minute closer ‘Filth Is Eternal’ is similarly tension-filled, utilising dirty, groovy riffs to hostile effect. Love Is A Lie, Filth Is Eternal isn’t entirely successful. The overall sound is a little thin, which is perhaps a production issue, and a few songs could use going for the jugular a little more, biting the head off the prey instead of only stalking it. Generally, however, it’s a focused and cutthroat exercise in ugly hardcore – a deep dive in the muck that’s as equally grim and grisly as it is viscerally enjoyable.
Love Is A Lie, Filth Is Eternal is out now via Church Road Records. Order here.
Words: Tom Morgan