Record of the Week: Global Thermonuclear War: Seeking Mastery cassette

Global Thermonuclear War: Seeking Mastery cassette (Dogs of Altamont) Shite, bassist for Rigorous Institution, runs the new label Dogs of Altamont, and their second release is this cassette from Global Thermonuclear War, a recording project that teams up Shite himself with Kyle, the drummer from Suck Lords and Crucified Class. Rigorous Institution and Suck Lords are among my favorite bands of recent years and Crucified Class is excellent too, so this pairing had me excited from the get-go. And fuck does it rule! Seeking Mastery sounds like something that might have come out of the late 80s UK, which makes when you think about it. Shite’s other band sounds a lot like Amebix, and bands like Napalm Death and Extreme Noise Terror adopted the metal-punk approach of bands like Amebix and Deviated Instinct, combining them with a Siege-inspired, blastbeat-heavy drumming—something Kyle showed his facility with in his other band—to creative an exciting new sound. I hear a lot of E.N.T. in particular in Global Nuclear War’s sound, partly because there aren’t metal guitar leads and partly because the music is just so gnarly and ugly… it sounds like crawling on your knees across a bed of broken glass. And as with both Rigorous and Suck Lords’ music, Global Thermonuclear War’s songs are free of the obvious and the cliche. That’s true of Shite’s lyrics, which focus on the most fucked up aspects of today’s world: factory farming, economic “migration,” the bloody imperialist games of nation-states… the lyrics are as direct and uncompromising (though not as succinct) as Discharge, and have the plain-spoken wisdom of someone gifted with the ability to see straight through bullshit. Seeking Mastery is just a great tape, urgent, exciting, fresh, and punk as fuck.

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