Coming at you like a rusted out tanker truck barreling full speed down the freeway, Fistula’s new demo Destitute somehow feels even heavier and greasier than their last offering. If you heard Vermin Prolificus you’ll know this is pretty hefty feat. If you haven’t heard of Fistula before, they are a outfit from Akron Ohio that has been putting out some of the sickest sludge this side of the big boys for damn near 16 years. In that time, they’ve gone through some lineup changes but have managed to hone their craft to a knife sharp edge, with each new release heavier and more sickening than the last.
Firstborn rips open this demo with a short, crusty hardcore thrust before diving right into the sleaze-drenched ode to necrophilia Morgue Attendant. Morgue Attendant (like I mentioned in my Trash/Thrash Tuesday guest piece) is by and large my favorite track on this demo. It encapsulates everything I come to expect from a Fistula song – dark audio clips, grinding guitar riffs that drill into your brain like a trepanation screw and enough bombast from the low end to rattle the neighbors walls two houses down. Good thing all my neighbors are into wall shaking sludge or their might be a problem. From there on out it’s an all out war of the grimiest kind. The Big Turnout alternates between plodding-but-determined steps that wouldn’t be out of place on a Weedeater album to blasts of crusty hardcore, keeping the listener guessing where the song will go next.
The title track, Destitute, is the longest on the demo and the purest (if anything sludgy could have that descriptor applied to it) sludge track you’ll find here. Fittingly, it’s easily the most nihilistic track on offer here as well. Fistula have never been afraid to call things like they se them or portray life as anything other than difficult and punishing and Destitute is a prime lyrical example of this outlook. The album closes with That Time We Bought Dope From The Cops, a song I’ve heard from them before but never recorded this well (or with a leading audio sample of one of our best Canadian exports the Trailer Park Boys!).
Destitute effectively conveys an atmosphere of sleazy mid-70’s grindhouse – the kind where you once the credits roll you feel like you need a hot shower and maybe a counseling session or six – and you will love every second of it. Do yourself a favor and pick this release up here or (if you’re lucky enough to be going to Roadburn) directly from the men themselves.