Cruelty and the Beats – Lawnmower Deth

Trampled, Scratched and Covered in Cobwebs, but still it Spins
Lawnmower Deth;
Return of the Fabulous Metal Bozo Clowns
Earache/Relativity recordings 1992
Track Listing:
The Return of the Fabulous Metal Bozo Clowns
Jaggered Wedge
Bad Toad
Drunk in Charge of an ugly Face
Paranoid Polaroid
Frash for Cash
Crazy Horses
Enter Mr Formica (Icky Ficky pt.II)
Lawnmowers for Heros, Comics for Zeros
Urban Surfer 125
A is for Asswipe
Sorrow (So Dark, So Scared)
Goldfish Podge
R.F. Potts
Wormy Eyes
Be Scene, not Heard
Egg Sandwich
Anyone for Tinnies
King of the Pharaohs
Illinois Enema Bandit
Fookin’ Moo Vit
    If you are lucky enough to be able to look upon the cover you might be a little confused as to what the CD might contain. Cartoonish images depict a surreal carnival like landscape wherein clowns are frollicking with, and being abused by, larger creatures of unknown origins. A very colorful cover that one word describes perfectly…Silly, and thats not at all a bad thing!
    As you have probably guessed, from the ‘Laundry list’ of songs above, there are some stunningly short songs featured on this CD, and you would be correct in that assumption. Much like MOD and SOD – both fronted by Billy Milano – (Lawnmower Deth could easily be called the English equivalent) it is rare for a track to last longer than three minutes, though there are a few that do.
    Onwards to the music and yet another spin of this wonderfully crazy CD.
    The opening track bounces along happily evoking a strong circus theme, complete with insane amounts of chuckling only the most horrific of nightmare would provide. Building into a steady drum beat its not long until the unique and heavy accented lyrics take over. I find myself nodding along, the beats are enjoyable, mid tempo and the chorus is catchy. Qualcast “Koffee” Mutilator’s punkish vocal style appears to be a “love it or hate it” thing. I can understand both sides of the argument, it really depends on you personal vocal preferences. Most, but not all, of the lyrics are understandable even with the accent, and I’m English! (You would think it’d be easier for me, right).     Many songs make reference to British Culture, come on, where else would you hear a song dedicated to the culinary delight called the “Egg Sandwich”?
    Theres a few sound bites thrown in for good measure ..”Hhhhnnn-! Up yours Ugly!”. “Drunk in Charge of an Ugly Face” (for the real nerds out there this tasty soundbite is from an episode of “The Young Ones”, a show that catapulted many a British comedian into the limelight, a show waaa-y before its time!)
    Track two, “Jaggered Wedge” starts off much like a famous Slayer track from the (amazing in my opinion) album “South of Heaven”, an elongated note, now what was that track again?…Anyone?
    The third track, “Bad Toad” seems to be cojointed to the second, no space whatsoever in between. There’s a riff, towards the end, that will throw a listener right back to the good ole MOD listening days.
    I detect a keyboard presence (but I’m not a musician) on the fourth track,”Feetcleaner”, one of my favourites, a memorable intro leads into some great chunky riffage. A very catchy tune with some silliness thrown in for good measure that reminds me of, for some ungodly reason, Faith no More.
    I find myself at a loss, while listening to this album, of all the many bands to name that could have been possible inspiration to many of the songs There are so many definate moments that you can relate to, riffs that you just know you have heard before. A clever homage to some and perhaps a slight mocking and prod aimed at others.
    My stand out favourite track, although there are quite a number that bounce around in my noggin, (and all day looong!) is the thirteenth, “Sorrow (So Dark, So Scared)”.  Interestingly he stated that his labelmates know of the band the song is “aimed” at. I think I do also, but will not tell. Let’s just say a certain past (and founding) member of Napalm Death might not appreciate it! (Oh Yeah!)
    “Paranoid Polariod”, a faster track, is also worthy of a mention. The lyrics are based around a scenario where a father finds his virginal daughter posing ”…legs spread akimbo..” in a ‘Gentleman’s’ magazine. Hey! I’m sat here giggling like a little girl.
    In summation, I wish I could have been more helpful in relating this band’s sound to anyone elses. They are unique enough to stand alone, though play so much like a variety of other bands, be it thrash or more traditional heavy metal melodies, the brain grapples with locating names in parts of nearly every damn song. Amazingly enough there is even a Batman theme song riff tossed into the mix, found at the very beginning of “Goldfish Podge”. I would mention that “Wormy Eyes” seems like a homage to GWAR’s “Maggots” but only in the initial sound effect, but I’d probably be way off base, so I won’t bother!
    I will state, there is some heavy industrial Nailbomb influence at work here (What!?! Nailbomb came a little later…It was actually 93’…Crap!)
    There are just so many things that I could mention, I’d be scribbling all day! What’s that? How about trumpets? Yes! Those non-string instuments rarely associated with metal or even rock music. Even a little ska, with a Madness homage in “Anyone for Tinnies”. This list could be endless but still a lot of fun! Even the 1972 hit “Crazy Horses” by the Osmonds appears mid way through the album but certainly not in the style the original Utah based band intended it, I’m sure. Given the Lawnmower Deth treatment it is sprinkled lovingly with screeching guitars and their trademarked vocal style. A nice touch.
    I must mention track twenty, “King of the Pharaohs”. The lyrics, alone, scream Slayer’s “War Ensemble”. ”Pointy pyramids, tornado planes…” all voiced tongue firmly in cheek, a short song but certainly memorable.
    If I had one complaint it would be that the lyric sheet is painfully hard to read with very small type. Where are my glasses?
    I would suggest a peek though to get the albums full comedic effect.
The “R.F. Potts” song is especially bizarre, and the lyrics to “Lawnmower is for Heroes…” will for sure piss off some traditional comic lovers out there, all in good fun of course!
    I would definitely recommend this slab of metal silliness to anyone with an open mind. Worse case scenario, it will make you smile, never a bad thing, or say “What the fuck!?!”
    Either way its a great discovery you would probably never make, let’s face it, Lawnmower Deth are not a world power in metal, by any standards, but they are fun and very enjoyable.
    So go ahead give the “Bozo Clowns” a spin. You might be pleasantly surprised.
Signing Out.