Sunday, September 12, 2010

Violence Fetish

This (transcribed as it originally appeared) was first published in issue 18 of Panache in 2002. December 6, to be exact. Nashville Pussy fans -- this is for you.

"When Eve was created, Satan rejoiced." -- Mohammed

I've been through Nashville. Didn't get laid. Didn't even come close. But, boy, do I love Nashville Pussy ... the band, that is. For those who aren't familiar with this act of God, it is probably one of the best rock acts out there. It's pure Southern sleaze with just enough sex appeal to keep the Yankee boys happy, and its latest release, Say Something Nasty, which is on Artemis Records, continues the band's tradition of ass-kicking tunes that are unrepentant in their hostility and meth-fueled mayhem. In other words: too scary for the mainstream; too real for the Korn crowd.

The CD starts off with a bang and then rolls into high gear with the third track, "Gonna Hitchhike Down to Cincinnati and Kick the Shit Outta Your Drunk Daddy." If that isn't a tune that makes you want to grab a crowbar and take it to the head of some white trash fool, then I don't know if such a song exists. Every time I hear Blaine Cartwright growl, "... and kick the shit outta your drunk daddy," I think of a few assholes in Old Town. Don't ask me why, but I believe Blaine had them in mind when he wrote the damn song, which is one of many on here that just destroys.

Unlike most of today's bands, Nashville Pussy doesn't shoot its wad after one good number. That just ain't the band's style. No, these hard-drinking men and women (and what women they are) like to get you fucked-up drunk and then take you home for some very rough sex. Porno movie sex. The kind of sex you wish you could have again but are afraid to because you really don't want to have to be walking funny for the rest of your life. Don't believe me? Listen to "Keep on Fuckin'."

"Keep on Fuckin'" is a song so blatant in its message that the PMRC couldn't even argue that the band is trying to be coy. According to Blaine, you don't have to be smart to fuck; even dogs do it. Again, did Blaine visit Old Town or what? It seems like he did. After all, where else would these Southern prophets get the idea for "Here's to Your Destruction" if they weren't cruising through Eureka and seeing the mommas with their dirty babies and equally infantile boyfriends? That song could be the slogan for the band, which has its roots deeply buried in America's foulest soil.

There's no on thing that can sum up the experience of Nashville Pussy. The band embraces sex, masturbation, Jack Daniels, guns and speed. Picture a Christian rock band in reverse ... and talented. It comes from a place where men fuck women and women fuck like men. A land where making love is reserved for those people on TV, and NASCAR is much more than just a few dozen races. And part of what sets this band apart from others like it (often imitated, never bested) is the clean guitar sound of Ruyter Suys.

Ruyter is a woman. She's the kind of woman the military fears. She plays the guitar in such a way that causes little boys to experience their first orgasm, and she can take on any male guitarist and win, too. The only other female guitarist who comes close to Ruyter's absolute dominance of the instrument is Poison Ivy from The Cramps. That's right. Fuck L7. Ruyter knows what the hell a guitar is for, and "Keep Them Things Away From Me" showcases her skill; the other songs on the disc only nail the message home.

I reviewed Nashville Pussy's High as Hell for Tattoo Savage awhile back. I played that CD nonstop for weeks on end. As far as rock goes, Nashville Pussy was the be-all end-all with that release, a tradition it continues here. The swagger, the chaos, the alcohol damaged throat of Blaine -- it all sets a standard for future bands to live up to, though none will. What's the point of even trying? The king can't be overthrown.

Some of you may be wondering why I'm devoting an entire column to just one band. To find out, head down to your favorite record store and pick up a copy of Say Something Nasty. See the cover? That stark black and white image of the band looking down at you. See that warning? The Tipper Sticker. Parental advisory. Explicit lyrics. See the two guys on either side of the women? They look like they'd kick your ass for fun (sort of like Preacher and Cassidy). See the two women? Ruyter looks defiant in her bra. KatieLynn looks like she would be at ease in a woman's prison. Now turn the CD over. That's a cherry popsicle Ruyter has under her tongue. You wish it were you. Even if you're a woman, you wish it were you. Now look at the songs. "Beat Me Senseless" sounds interesting. Ruyter seems like she could do that. So does Blaine. You'd like it, too. Is that "Rock 'N' Roll Hoochie Coo" you see listed? It is -- Nashville Pussy style.

You see, just holding the CD gives you an idea of the power contained within. You think of buying it just to hear "You Give Drugs a Bad Name."

Nashville Pussy. What would you mom say if she saw that in your CD collection? It doesn't matter. I bet your mother is familiar with the band one way or another.

Buy the CD. Pop it in your car's stereo. Start driving slowly ... very slowly ... through Old Town. Play "Gonna Hitchhike ..." and "Here's to Your Destruction" as you observe the human garbage collecting at the various curbs. Know that what you are seeing and the music you are hearing go hand in hand, though only one has the courage to put the trash in its place.

Nashville Pussy was born out of a culture of shacks and lynchings, unwanted babies and abusive spouses. The band rises above that, though. It knows that you have to show some spine and take care of yours. So while the rats scurry to lay claim to lives they don't understand, the badasses that make up this band grab a few gas cans and light their cigarettes. As Blaine sings in the title track, "If you don't like what I gotta say/Then get your dead ass out of the way, bring your whole world crumbling down."

Here's to your destruction.

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