Saviour and Messiahby Dave Durbach / 05.01.2010
Spoek and Wormstorm are back. SA’s biggest underground act in Europe have long since outgrown the SA pond. Like a robotic sex toy gone haywire, their new EP is hard, dark and fast, and will leave you feeling violated, breathless and ultimately unsatisfied. There’s a time and place to switch it on (in tha clurb; psyching up for a big game/coke binge/one night stand/random act of violence; sweating it out inside the nearest Active Virgin; or trying to piss off your neighbours), and if there was any justice in this world, it would come with a health warning. Conversely, avoid at all costs if you’re even resembling sober, stuck in traffic or operating heavy machinery.
No doubt there remain plenty of masochists who remain convinced that Sweat.X are still ‘the shit’ and/or ‘so hot right now’. And true, in the depraved world of uptempo dance music, as in dodgy European sex clubs, truly, anything goes. The duo’s music may be far too hectic for regular human consumption, but what they try to do, they do well enough, and this must be why they’ve built up such a following. Best track of the EP is undoubtedly “I’m that alley (cat of nines dub),” reminiscent of Crystal Castles with camp helium Scissor Sisters vocals – a refreshingly musical departure from Mathambo’s usually monotonous motormouth. “Peas & Leaves” is decent if repetitive. On all the other tracks on the 8-track album (including two remixes of “Jack”), the sweaty ones crank the BPM up to uncomfortable and let things get out of hand. Hyperactive numbers like “!Shutup!” and “Pussy on My Mind” are better served punishing delinquents or warding off intruders. Though claiming to want to “Jack it all night”, Sweat.X instead come across like two horny chimps playing a furious soggy biscuit deathmatch. Spoek’s vocals grow unceasingly frantic, his lyrics varying between annoyingly repetitive and completely indiscernable. On the other hand, that smug imp Wormstorm proves himself once again to be a prodigious talent capable of holding his own against any number of international contemporaries. There are plenty of times where Spoek needs to step aside and let the music do the talking. Sweat.X would be the better for it.
As for the title, the only Saviour and Messiah I can find on this album is the silence that arrives quickly enough at its conclusion.
Free and legal download here.