I remember the first time I heard the term 'snuff'.
Like a lot of people who aren't too familiar with extreme sadistic entertainment, the idea that anyone could derive genuine pleasure from viewing the serious suffering of others wasn't something that ever crossed my innocent, naive teenage mind when I first saw the movie '8mm' in the early '00s.
I'm not going to go into the movie at all, because it fucking sucks, but the plot does concern a detective on the hunt for the whereabouts of a girl who is shown in a grainy, poorly shot 8mm film, apparently being brutally murdered. Not incidentally. Not caught on camera by accident. The whole purpose of the film is to document the last minutes of this young girl's life before it is mercilessly taken.
I might have thought the movie was terrible (Nicholas Cage's 'acting'. Enough said.), but the idea that such a thing probably actually happened definitely piqued my morbid curiosity. I have no desire to ever see such a film, I'd take no enjoyment from it in any way, but the concept alone intrigued me.
So when I saw the title of the almighty Bongripper's latest 7", I instantly knew I wanted to hear how the instrumental band would translate the idea, the horror, of a snuff movie into a soundtrack to a person's final breaths.
I thought I'd do things chronologically, starting with the Sex Tape side.
If this is the soundtrack to anyone's sex tape, then they are seriously fucked (HA!).
There is no foreplay to speak of: no sample, no slow build, no feedback. From the moment the needle drops, it just launches into some pretty straightforward doom... at least to begin with.
Things plod along for a while before suddenly this scuzzy punked up section kicks in for a while, before mutating again into a fuzzy ROAR of a riff. Scuzz n' fuzz.
It switches down a gear again into a different slow riff, ambling along nice enough, but nothing that hasn't been done a thousand times before. Not that it's a bad thing, if it ain't broke, then you sure as fuck don't fix it.
On the flipside we get into the REAL reason I wanted to hear this record.
Strains of feedback filter in, shortly joined by a funeral march drumbeat. It sounds ominous as fuck even BEFORE the 3-note intro riff begins. I'm yet again creeped out by my own choice in music.
Luckily that feeling of self-loathing for being so musically morbid dissipates once the music drops down to a single downtuned bass rumble, a precursor to the next punky section. This part of the song makes me recall the scene in Evil Dead when Cheryl is racing through the darkened woods, pursued by... well, fuck knows what. You all know what happens next.
Maybe my subconscious only pairs these things together because of the implied content of the song.
The simplistic chords break down into a canyon-wide groove next, with some excellently snappy drum work. To continue my shitty Evil Dead comparison, this would be the soundtrack to branches winding their way around limbs.
Things slow down even FURTHER, and you can tell it's the final minute or so of the song. The final breaths of a body. The feedback I'd been kind of missing from a sludge record finally make's it's appearance, whining and screeching as the song grinds to a halt. The song ends. The body is buried.
You can give it a listen on the Bongripper bandcamp page HERE
and check out all the other Bongripper releases while you're at it.
Purchase a physical copy from someone who doesn't want it's filthy contents in their house anymore, because they're all sold out. You snooze, you lose.