ONO, Buck Gooter


Buck Gooter

Surfactant, Morgan Garrett

Sun, May 28, 2017

9:00 pm

The Hideout

Chicago, IL


Tickets at the Door

Webster Dictionary defines spook as a ghost or a spectre, and ONO's brutal, daunting new LP is teeming with them. But spook is also a racial epithet, and this double-meaning informs the album from start to finish. The spectre of race, of course, has defined our nation's history from its inception--it's the "long shadow," in Obama's words, that's with us always. Spooks, as bandleader P. Michael puts it with typical bluntness, is America--past, present and future.

It's hardly the first time the almighty ONO have brought their vision to bear on the dilemma of black life in the 'New World', but Spooks is ONO going deeper, darker and denser than they ever have before. Joined by a slew of guest performers and fellow travelers, including Ministry's Al Jourgensen, Lamont Thomas of Cleveland's Obnox, Hilal Omar Al Jamal of Night Auditor, and longtime collaborator Shannon Rose Riley, the core band is at its most punishing, their Afro-industrial rhythms driving and ruthless. Singer travis, meanwhile, has never sounded so terrifying, or prophetic, as he conjures up, in his many voices, the "bleeding haints" of (pan)-American life: cotton gins, sugar plantations, CIA coups; "Brownsville" slumlords, South Side arrest rides, drive-thru funeral homes. "I try not to think about Spooks," he explains. "Spooks burns my loins. Spooks buries my unborn children. Spooks illuminate the (US) American landscape."

Spooks is no history lesson, or dry polemic. Its ghosts are still rattling their chains, their haunting perpetual and highly personal. It's hard to imagine where they can possibly go after as grueling (and brilliant) an album as this, but after heating up for some 35 years ONO is positively aflame--whatever they thrown down next might literally melt the wax."
Buck Gooter
Buck Gooter
On The Spider's Eyes, Buck Gooter have strapped sheets of urban post modernist metal to their bodies and weaponized themselves. The music that comes forth is a smarter and more capable predator than what the band has previously produced. It makes their last effort, Witch Molecules, seem almost friendly by comparison.

The beats on The Spider's Eyes are machine stamped, relentless. The songs themselves are reverberant sheet steel cacophonous odes to devastation. The vocals are comin' to ya straight from an abandoned factory in some lost industrial ghetto. Is Buck Gooter mad or merely telling you how it is? The Spider's Eyes could be the new Blues for those who escaped mediocrity's slaughterhouse in a century whose future went to the highest bidder almost as soon as it was ushered in less than twenty years ago.

Instead of wielding the sword, on The Spider's Eyes, Buck Gooter is the sword itself, with each song, smashing themselves into a harder and denser mass upon an anvil of their own design.

Billy and Turtle have set up their backline at the edge that gives way to the Abyss and did their thing. The Spider's Eyes is the result. By the time you get to the title track at the end of the record, you are left standing alone in a vast wasteland of debris. The ride was good but the walk home will be long.

Buck Gooter's early releases immediately and permanently established them as outsiders-sure to keep squares and normals at bay. Brave and alienating like early Suicide. If you have what it takes, The Spider's Eyes could very well be the record you have been waiting for some band with the guts and hearts full of anti-matter to finally make. If not, it is a line drawn in the sand and you would be wise to step away. You will know which side you're on very quickly.

The Goot will never die.

--Henry Rollins

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Venue Information:
The Hideout
1354 W. Wabansia Ave
Chicago, IL, 60642