It takes a particularly twisted group of individuals to form a band called Child Abuse. And, as one might expect, this trio of New York noisemakers aren’t an especially cuddly group. Yet, with an outward appearance of misanthropy and an affinity for making intense and bowel-distressing music, Child Abuse makes a perfect fit for the Lovepump United label, whose roster has included like-minded rabble-rousers as AIDS Wolf and Genghis Tron. Yet, where those bands dabbled in squealing high end and high tech pummeling, respectively, Child Abuse plays a far more bass heavy noise-punk bludgeon. Think Lightning Bolt with the drunken tendencies of The Jesus Lizard, and you’re just about there.
On Cut and Run, the band’s second album, there’s little room for restraint, grace or subtlety. Child Abuse just doesn’t seem all that interested in giving their songs or their listeners any room to breathe or step back. Instead, they offer 29 minutes of some of the most brutal and punishing music to arise in 2010. Too crude and beastly to be metal, too loud and unsettling to be much of anything else, Cut and Run creates a cacophony that’s never completely accessible, but certainly warms itself to the listener after five or six minutes of relentless rumble and roar. But then again, after the merciless destruction of the title track, the rhythmic squeals of “Opportunity Zone” are practically catchy, relatively speaking of course. Making it through that, however, means being subjected to the shrieking mosquito joust of “Financial Burdon.”
Just as fucked up as Child Abuse’s name, Cut and Run isn’t so much an album as a test of endurance. While 29 minutes may not seem especially long, when the music is this fierce and relentless, it’s practically a marathon. That said, the band knows how to beat their instruments into something simultaneously ugly and compelling, leaving the listener with a strange sense of musical Stockholm syndrome. Once the ordeal is over, don’t be surprised if you feel the compulsion to revisit this visceral, screeching experience.
Lightning Bolt – Hypermagic Mountain
An Albatross – Blessphemy (of the Peace-Beast Feastgiver and the Bear-Warp Kumite)
Daughters – Daughters
Jeff Terich is the founder and editor of Treble. He's been writing about music for 20 years and has been published at American Songwriter, Bandcamp Daily, Reverb, Spin, Stereogum, uDiscoverMusic, VinylMePlease and some others that he's forgetting right now. He's still not tired of it.