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Record of the Week: Vivisected Numbskulls - Swine in Chains 7”

Vivisected Numbskulls: Swine in Chains 7” (Chaotic Uprising Productions) With their debut vinyl release, Vivisected Numbskulls have achieved the rare Sorry State hat trick, with three consecutive releases getting the Record of the Week nod. Aside from getting five songs instead of four this time around, not much has changed with Swine in Chains compared to the Numbskulls’ previous cassettes, and that’s a good thing! A big reason we’re so smitten with Vivisected Numbskulls is that they have a sound we’ve never heard before. The songwriting backbone comes from anthemic UK82 punk a la the Exploited, with simple 1-2 rhythms and choruses that beg you to raise your fist and chant along. The songwriting is straightforward yet impeccable, but the real magic happens in the production. Vivisected Numbskulls’ recordings are thick with atmosphere, exuding a creepy and gritty aesthetic that lies somewhere between the most vibe-drenched early 80s Japanese hardcore and Blazing Eye’s evocation of creepy, mid-20th century monster movies. Imagine Bela Lugosi fronting GBH with Randy Uchida producing the session and you’re somewhere in the ballpark. While the seamlessness of the aesthetic grabs you right away, it’s the songs that keep me coming back, and if Vivisected Numbskulls ever play live, I don’t think there will be any shortage of people singing along to “Bloody Face” and “Die in New York.”

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