I thought it would be cool and intriguing to look up the history of the machete and say a few words about it and tie it into my ultimate impression of what the band is. Well, it’s not really that interesting or rather not as interesting as I wanted nor expected it to be (you choose). I had my hopes up… I will agree. I endorse wikipedia, how anyone can write about anything and create their own history. Creative history is a beautiful thing (If you let it be.. But once again, the Wikipedia entry about the machete is not as cool as what a machete is and DEFINITELY not as cool as Betty Machete. Maybe I could take this review and insert it there for the next guy who is stupid as me and tries to go the same route.
Hailing from Columbus Ohio… This 7” is on yellow vinyl, which designates a 2nd pressing. Already… if not for Josh Rutledge’s FASTER & LOUDER covering this same 7” I proly would have taken much longer for them to find with my eyes and ears… Immediately I ‘connected’ with this band… Until the 7” arrived I got and ear Feast to hold me over, “Rock Bottom”. That song… It’s gruff, tuff and full of Midwestern; Ohio Midwestern broken dreams and delusions hit fucking hard. In the Midwest, all three of them, the best cities have a shore or two in them. From a dirty fucking river running by it, or thru it. Columbus Ohio has the latter as does Dayton, Youngstown and Cleveland (which also has a fucking lake-- just for reference).
Like many bands from anywhere, especially the first Midwest (real Midwest) the band had humble beginnings steeped from boredom and a need to scream. Pat Dull, Columbus punk stalwart from, yes, you guessed it PAT DULL and THE MEDIA WHORES (good work batman) reveals the skinny about the early formation of the band “The band formed about a year and a half ago pretty much around a mutual love of Dairy Queen ice cream.” The bands bill came to and eerily $6.66” as pat explains, Taking that as an omen it took another event to turn the paradigm of what a band is into a reality. More from Mr. Dull:
“One night Betty and I were hanging out with Fez (guitar) watching a band, and Betty just said I want to be in a band." Fez said, "Okay, you're in a band."
Sometimes, many times everywhere that is simply enough. You want a band then start a band. A verily honorable endeavor. From the start the band had captured and promulgated the torch of bleak lives with their very first song not on this release "Life Is Sucking The Life Out Of Me" but the madness didn’t end there. Once you open your eyes and mind real wide to your environment around you… You become that environments spokes person. Anyone reading the lyrics would have each member of this band locked up for a mandatory 72 hour Psychiatric hospital stay as a minimum… Of course that’s just what and outsider would do. Already reading this review down to this point. You know what side of the dirty river your on…
The first track, Side A, tarts of with one of those songs. “Don’t Call The Cops” is a commitment in one-way or another telling the story of a quick precise 140 characters or less twitter friendly suicide note*. “It ["Don't Call The Cops"] involved a suicide note with just two sentences scrawled on it: "Don't call the cops. Don't wanna live." Finding amazement in the bluntness, that message turned into a first person decree of intent.
Mr. Dull adds “So it is in first person, but it is not autobiographical.” Put the phone down noble Thwart reader. Call of the headshrinkers meat-wagon. Tell Mom and Dad to quit crying and get their shit together. I suggest a dose of a ‘good; rye whiskey…
The B-Side “Book of Hate” solidifies by feelings that BMAC are the rebirth of The (early) Plasmatics except with more of a LAMF edge. You can’t hear this song without wondering if you are the target, a victim or ally. Once again a document of the environment encasing the band turning to “Mr. Dull once again reveals a truth that even I’m not sure I’m ready to discover an amalgamation of emotive extremes
“One of our friends writes the name of any person who has wronged him on a brick - a Brick of Hate. The brick is for future window smashing.” But it doesn’t stop there. That’s not enough. Alone, that’s not a amalgamation. It takes more… The blade sinks deeper. Adding ‘another friend’ to the mix gets you there. More from Pat Dull: “Another friend has several volumes of small books filled with the venting of grievances.” I know what your thinking. I’m thinking it too. The use of ‘friends’ is suspecting and worrisome but still, this 7” is an instruction… By time you get to the B-side, the A-side already told you what to do, or rather what not to do.
So yeah, in closing this music s self-destructive, desperate, angry and dangerous. Each good things to display when looking for the brutal truth about life in the eastern most Midwest you can find.
Near future plans for BMAC consist of a full-length and shows here and there when possible in between the full-time commitment to jobs, family, good drunks, bad drunks and the unscheduleable ups and downs associated with life as we know it, The truth is refreshing… Ultimately I think talk of self-destruction is healthy, quite real and releasing. Oddly and ironically enough, I think self-destructive thoughts (my lawyer told me to clarify this statement with a disclaimer) are safe. This 7” hits squarely within the parameters of how I interpret life. It’s not pretty but beautiful nonetheless. Forget those other Midwest’s… As Josh Rutledge sez… ‘Ohio Wins’ and I believe that too. Fuck the other ones. I got a brick with their name on it.
Betty Machete & The Angry Cougars
* Please, do NOT look up Shotgun Suicide on google. Whew.