Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Impetigo: REAL GRINDCORE


I was blessed to have been at the Milwaukee Metal Fest XII in 1993. Not only did Phantasm play a kick-ass show, but I witnessed the final Impetigo show...ever. it was better than a peanut-butter and jelly sandwich that has been sitting at the bottom of your schoolbag for the whole day. It was awe-inspiring. It was one of the happiest days of my life. Really. I’m pathetic, OK?

I was introduced to The Masters of Goregrind by non other than the infamous Richard C. of Wild Rags. After a few letters back and forth, he sent me a flyer for a new CD he was about to put out: Ultimo Mondo Cannibale. The art on the flyer was so sick I knew I had to get it. It looked like a retarded 14 year old had drawn it while in prison for double homicide and rape. I was doing my metal radio show at the time, so I requested a promo copy. When I first played it, I was blown away. It was SO raw! It was so...so...so BRUTAL! The production was crude, but so brutal! The music was simple, but so brutal! The lyrics were cheezy as all hell, but so brutal! Stevo's vocals were terrible and awesome at the same time...and also so brutal! The cover art was simply AMAZING. As sweet as seedless organic green grapes! I was impressed at the obvious Gauguin influences in Stevo’s art.


The thing about Impetigo was that their sound was very unique. It's probably because of the low-budget production and their simple riffs. But it was all memorable and (dare I say it) catchy. Impetigo had entered my life and they entered like a freight train (Nitro reference). My band decided to cover "The Revenge Of The Scabby Man", I put an Impetigo sticker on the bumper my 1986 Dodge Horizon and another one on my white flying V geetar. I played songs from Ultimo on the air so often people would call to yell at me, but I didn't care I was in love! As it often happens in situation like these, I needed more. I had to get their demos. I wrote a quick note to Mark, the guitarist. He responded quickly and within a few weeks I had a dubbed copy of Giallo.

The demo is a bit more hardcorish sounding than Ultimo and honestly I don’t like it that much. Anyway, Mark and I wrote for a looooong time and he even said he liked my band when I sent him our first demo. I know now, of course, that he was lying (no one can possibly have liked my band then…or now). Still, it was a nice thing to say. Anyway, Horror of the Zombies came out in 1992 and instantly became my favorite CD. Even today, Horror is in my top 10 records of all times and Boneyard in my top 20 songs of all times. The cover was, again, sick as shit! Looks like Stevo remained influenced by Gauguin for this masterpiece.


Impetigo was a TRUE grindcore band. No PC stupid and simplistic pseudo-socially-conscious lyrics here. No guys in dreadlocks preaching against sexism. No black and white patches with left-wing slogans. Impetigo were pure fucking GRIND. They had gore lyrics, hyper-cheesy and offensive cover art, samples of women screaming in pain and BRUTAL tunes. They didn’t look like peace-punks or like hardcore tough-guy retards pretending to look scary. These guys WERE scary. They looked like serial killers or rapists, or plain old farmers from the middle of Illinois…which, I guess, is what they were.


The bands that call themselves grindcore these days are a disgrace to the term.


Man, I wish I still had that ’86 Horizon.

13 comments:

  1. man Ultimo is a great record, perfect little time capsule of dirty sleezeball grindcore. Yet speaking of old grind I'd be a lying bastard if I didn't say I still love that Repulsion album more. That bass guitar tone and those warp speed Slayer crossed with Discharge riffs buried in a sea of noise never fail to entertain

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  2. I interviewed mark back in the day via snail mail. Super friendly dude. A bunch of years later, I wrote him again and he sent me a bunch of stuff in the mail. That was sweet. Impetigo got back together for a reunion show last year in Illinois.

    These days I find it a chore to sit through the ridiculously long samples on Ultimo, but Horror of the Zombies is an absolute masterpiece, samples included. No one has gotten that kind of pacing down since.

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  3. nobody's gonna comment on my sweet ride?

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  4. my first set of wheels was a 1970 Pontiac LeMans with an engine that I believe got gallons to the mile and didn't have a drop of paint on the whole body without some rust to go along with it. Only paid $100 for it but giving a horribly unsafe metallic death trap like that to a 16-year old wasn't the smartest idea my parents ever had reflecting back on this...

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  5. Impetigo got back together for a reunion show last year in Illinois.
    I stand corrected. I did not witness the last Impetigo show. My life is meaningless now.

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  6. oh man, great post! i fucking LOVE impetigo! first thing i ever got by them was ultimo mondo cannibale when i was, i think, a senior in high school. that shit BLEW MY MIND. i had never heard anything like that (still haven't). it was just so completely and totally unique and retarded. i don't think i really learned to fully appreciate them until i got older though. horror of the zombies is my favorite and definitely a top 10, maybe even top 5, grindcore record for me.

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  7. Great post, Impetigo was the real deal. I mean check out that self made intro from 'Bitch Death Teenage Mucous Monster From Hell'. During the Giallo recording session Stevo apparently almost choked in his own puke while making it.

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  8. fucking oath impetigo were scary. especially the older type dude haha you will have to forgive my not knowing the members of the band, but yep youre right. impetigo fucking RULED. wish i got to see them you lucky bastard

    jimbo @saltyboardies.blogspot

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  9. by the way you should see my sweet 87 laser. its canary yellow and not very metal but it is when i play cryptic slaughter TAPES with the windows down. ha ha. living the dream. its called the paddle pop, which, also, isnt very metal, but it does really look like a banana paddle pop. it cant be helped...

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  10. My first ride in which I listened to tons of malevolent creation and deicide cassettes was an 84 plymouth reliant, but I wished I had a horizon(or omni) so bad!!! The poor(er) man's rabbit. That body still holds up aesthetically today.

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