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Monte Cazazza - The Cynic

He's back; the man who coined the term "Industrial music for industrial people" for Throbbing Gristle and unwittingly unleashed a new musical genre. The Cynic is the first album from cultural mortician and the same sick fuck who gave us such delights as 'Mary Bell' and 'To Mom On Mother's Day'. Thankfully the Monte Cazazza of today doesn't plummet to the same depths. From the opening deep dark droning soundtrack stylings of 'Interrogator' The Cynic presents an eclectic collection of tracks, with the aid of Lustmord on additional programming and production and Fred Gianneli on guitars.

Listen close as the storm clouds gather on the opening track before the Spaghetti western sounds of 'A Gringo Like Me'. This Ennio Morricone track culled from Ricardo Blasco's film Gunfight At Red Sands, has Cazazza as the protagonist, his weedy deadpan drawl, couched in ricocheting gunshots, offering some telling advice: keep one hand on your gun and only trust a dead man.

Cazazza's predilection for black humour hangs heavy over 'Terminal' with its childlike fascination for death, decay and decomposition, originally written by British soldiers during the Crimean War. Here, though this dark nursery rhyme is performed to the tune of Psychic TV's 'Terminus' - and you gotta laugh when you know Monte is an ex-PTV member and that the guitars here are performed by embittered ex-PTV member Fred Gianneli.

The pulsating electronics of 'Venom' are unmistakably Monte Cazazza. It's like a contemporary version of The Atom Smashers before it's pulled into techno territory. The Cynic is let down somewhat by the number of instrumentals such as 'Break Number One' which is more like early trance-techno. It's hardly surprising that much of this sounds old though; The Cynic has been talked about for years. I've got an EST interview with Lustmord from the early nineties where he cites The Cynic as a future release on his now defunct Side Effects label. The damning critique of 'What's So Kind About Mankind?' also opts for dated electronics and skipping hi-hat rhythms but is rescued with its lyrical delivery, co-written with Lydia Lunch. His contemptuous tones posing the title's question and answered in a distorted childlike rhyming chant over throbbing electronics.

The final track 'Birds of Prey' ties it all together as it pits housey piano chords against subdued beats and electronics, as Cazazza's sneering tones speak of cowboys, death and decay over a barren electronic desert landscape.

As a performance artist Monte Cazazza gained a reputation as one sick fucker but The Cynic doesn't opt for shock tactics unless of course you're put off by the dead rat on the cover. So, why now? Perhaps it was the reformation of TG? Who knows but The Cynic is released on (TG's manager) Paul Smith's Blast First Petite label and for whatever reason this has appeared now I'm just pleased that this hasn't been left languishing on the shelf any longer. Unsurprisingly The Cynic isn't really going to appeal to anyone looking for industrial music but anyone like me who remembers Monte Cazazza's output as a solo artist or as The Atom Smashers is gonna fuckin' love this. The Cynic is released on CD, vinyl picture disc and as an art edition with t-shirt featuring an attached and removable lightweight mousetrap - though I'm only aware of a CD and download edition. For more information go to www.blastfirstpetite.com