Thursday, February 7, 2008
Retroview: Bloodcum - Death by a Clothes Hanger
Like Rodney Dangerfield, Bloodcum gets no respect. Everyone seems to shit on them and I just don’t understand why. I’ll agree that the fact that they were marketed as Slayer Jr. was lame, but that doesn’t make “Death By A Clothes Hanger” anything less than what it is—a crossover thrash classic!
Bloodcum was formed back in 1986 by John Araya (Tom’s younger brother), Robert Tovar and George Hierro. They were just a couple of youngsters that used to roadie for Slayer and hang out in their practice space. After Slayer would finish practicing they would pick up their instruments and start screwing around. Over time they became competent enough to play and recruited Jimmy Soltelo and Joey Fuchs (credited on their records as Joey Hanneman even though he is NOT related to Jeff). Their first release was an EP on the legendary Wild Rags label as part of their “Hardcore Demo Series.” Shortly thereafter Wild Rags released Bloodcum's only full length record—Death by a Clothes Hanger.
Musically, Bloodcum drew more from crossover acts like Cryptic Slaugter and D.R.I. than Slayer (though their solos definitely have that unmistakable, squealing, non-musical Slayer-esque quality). Their music is amateurish and their performance is sloppy, but that’s what makes them so lovable. Bloodcum’s music is bursting with the kind of youthful, energetic spirit that’s sadly lacking from so much of today’s music.
The true genius of Bloodcum, however, is revealed through the prescient social commentary and brilliant comedy of their lyrics. They anticipate the oncoming divorce crisis on “Happily Married,” the abortion debate on “Death By A Clothes Hanger,” and animal rights on “Harassment By Farm Animals.” Not to mention the hilarious bonus track at the end of the album, “Testing My Doorknob.” If you consider yourself a thrash fan and you don’t like Bloodcum chances are you’re a huge poseur.
According to their MySpace page (never in a million years would I have thought…) Bloodcum reunited in 2005. Robert and George are back, joined by a couple of other hacks, and ready to thrash again. Long live the belligerent youth!