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.