Dopemunk

My life has just changed.

It happened in a series of events that, if I were to tell you what they were, you would say, “No. This is unreal. This is the fever dream of an opium-addled fool.”

But you would be wrong.

It all culminated in visiting [dopemunk.bandcamp.com] and hearing something that makes me believe that the walls of the world are melting, and – instead of being sober – it is I who is drugged, drugged so heavily that I cannot see them.

It is as if a madman, stark-raving in his insanity took the greatest hits of the 80s alt-rock scene, looked upon them, and, from his obsidian tower positioned in the heart of the wastelands, pointed a great, gnarled finger at them and shouted, “No! This too must change!”

This madman, utilizing a cavalcade of eldritch magicks the likes of which not even Lovecraft could imagine, traveled to some point in the past, organized the Chimpunks, and forced them to record Chipmunk Punk. This album, lacking in any knowledge of even the names of Black Flag, Dead Kennedys, Circle Jerks, or Sex Pistols, took pop-alt-rock hits like “Refugee” or “My Sharona” and covered them.

But, in their Old Ones-inspired artistic throes, they did not change a thing but for the vocals, which are the only hints that you are listening to Alvin & The Chipmunks. Alvin’s voice scratches at your vocal chords, pounding them like Vonnegut’s ball-peen hammer, and, relentless until the end of the album, goosesteps around your skull.

The band murders and ravages some of the biggest commercial successes anyone who has ever gone to an 80s Night knows, and then, ends.

The Chipmunks stand on the cover, against a brick wall somewhat akin to what the uninformed might expect to see on a punk album, and glare at you. They say, “Was that not punk as FUCK?” And your mind, wrecked, agrees.

And, to an extent, it is punk as fuck. For, in giving the songs such faithful adaptations, and not even acknowledging what makes covers a cover, rendering their performance on the same level as a shitty freelance wedding band – and then turning around and declaring themselves punk, with such brass balls – they are, to an extent, punk as fuck.

But our madman is not done. He listens to the album, and his madness does not end. Indeed, it continues. He is not pleased. The screaming vocals, the everything, the id, the ego of the album does not assuage his mind. It calls out, “No! This is not enough.”

And so, the madman takes the fress-pressed vinyl and plays it on an obliterated record player. This is a record player that has been thrown from a speeding car on a freeway into a polluted river, and then dredged up and used as a toilet by diseased hobos fresh from some timewarp leading back and forth to the Depression.

The record begins and the madman turns down the speed. Then turns it down some more. And, as the drawling, distorted, heavy, grimy, filthy, sewage-ridden notes come out of his thrift store speakers, he smiles.

For he knows that he has completed a beautiful abomination. The vocals, semi-normal, but alien enough to send listeners into a pharmaceutical-free acid trip, mixed with whatever it is people experience when they are at their lowest point in a heroin binge.

The album, rendered as it is on the website, is Velvet Underground meets pop-alt-rock meets The Chipmunks meets a bored wedding band that knows they will not get paid. It is heroin rock, but it is not dangerous. It is unsettling, and you will not walk away from it quite the same, but it does not have the same danger as The Velvet Underground’s “Heroin.” No mothers will hear this and clutch their children to their bosoms, weeping and gnashing their teeth; they will, however, question whether or not they should take their children to church more often.

For in this altered album we see the face of God, and God glares down at the madman, and asks, “Why?”

“Why not?” is the response.

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