In today’s world, political and social commentary is a given. People, particularly in younger age groups, have come around to the line of thought that everything is political. If that’s a theory you subscribe to, then Eye Flys has a record for you. Where most records pick a single political topic, or at least a single group of topics, to focus on Tub of Lard takes more of a buckshot approach, blowing away targets with impunity. The resulting cacophony levels everything from misogyny to wealth inequality, and does so with a sledgehammer assault of violent guitars and drums that often feel as threatening to the listener as they do to the subject of their wrath.
Those who knew this record was on the way were already coming in with high expectations. Eye Flys features members of Backslider, Triac and Full of Hell, so intensity melded with brutal precision was practically a guarantee; and boy did they come through on that promise. Tub of Lard is a hellish record full of vile bodily fluids more disgusting than their own album cover. Each track is somehow more gleefully repulsive than its predecessor, but at the same time, it isn’t a challenging listen in the way one might expect.
A perfect example of this dichotomy is the opening track “Tubba Lard.” The track opens with a short, piercing burst of feedback before tearing into clanging, heavily tuned guitar and a loose, fluid bass that almost seems to rattle as it is plucked. The chugging rhythm is almost stomach churning in its brutality, and the growling shouts almost push it over the edge. But every time you think that the record is about to push over the edge it swings out with a bridge, guitar solo or vocal section that pulls you above the muck just long enough to catch your breath before plunging right back in.
“Tubba Lard” gives way into the class warfare anthem “Guillotine', which declares that it’s “time to sever the top of the elite.” This track is, well, it’s particularly enjoyable for anyone who is of the younger generation, who grew up despising billionaires. It’s nice to know that there’s a lot of other people who feel the same way, and are willing to throw out the extreme measures in a song.
What really makes this album special is its accessibility. If you were to show a Full of Hell record to just about anyone you could expect some screwed up faces and sour looks. But any hardcore punk or metal fan could parse what’s going on here. At the same time, while the structures are normal, the sounds are often interesting enough that they can hold the attention of the most discerning experimental fans, and it certainly doesn’t hurt that the blunt, in your face attitude of the record is more than capable of winning over any listener. Should you require an example, the battlecry of “they just don’t want to fuck you, no one cares that you’re a nice guy” off of “Nice Guy” should be more than convincing.
Tub of Lard isn’t going to change the game. It’s not the world’s most innovative record, but it expertly accomplishes what it sets out to do. Most records this year won’t come close to the brutal, unyielding precision contained on each track of this record. Even if someone else pulls it off, I highly doubt it will be as virulent and disgusting as Eye Fly’s debut.