"Kill Dr. Phil," one of the tracks on Polidicks Mutenation, begins with a joyfully out-of-context quote from the pop-psyche panacea. It's a clearly stated bon mot, a joke. It's the only clearly understood moment throughout the track, except when the title is repeatedly shouted.
While it's a lovely sentiment, who knows why they want to kill, or even which method of murder they plan? Maybe it's enough to know that the killing will commence, that they're angry with Mr. McGraw, the man formerly known as Oprah's No.2 bitch.
Well then, the Polidicks album should have been called "Rinse and Repeat" because the exact same emotion – and only the exact same emotion – is the reason for the other 14 tracks' existence. The first track on Mutenation is "Fuck It" – and so, ultimately, are all the others.
Quickly listening to this album, I tried to think of the different tracks – I can't fairly use the word "songs" here – as instrumentals, and not music with words, meant to impart meaning. I tried, but the anvils falling downstairs sound is not pretty, pleasant or attractive. Or listenable for any sustained amount of time. Not when there's a world of music that exists, where even the anger makes sense.
While music disabilities, like so many others, can be overcome, the Polidicks have fallen off the chair, at a street corner, and no one's around to help them back up.
Throughout the album there's some serviceable drums, and they stand out as a relief; the guitar chords shine at moments, too; those moments without vocals. "Mother Grubbing Motherfucker," "Out of Touch," "Kill Dr. Phil," "Forced Submission," are all like this. For 40 seconds, "Devoid of Choice" sounds great, with sly whispered asides and a building melding of guitar and percussion. Then the vocal dump starts; which only portrays a din of failed demonology.
"Fuck It" starts the album with a movie clip : "What do you have faith in? Nothing, I am exquisitely empty" And then the whining, Bass-Weiner dog noise begins. I hear "Yapyap yapyapyapyap yap yap."
"Money Grubbing Motherfucker" has a satisfying musical intro and it's the best track on the disc, because the instruments echo more than the vocals grate. Still – Yap yap.
There seems to be an acknowledgment that words are important in both "Methods of Murder" and "Question it?" where the voice is slowed down enough to discern actual words, even syllables. Presumably if you're going to question it you have to know the "question" and the "it." Although if that were true "Abused, Controlled, Enslaved" would let listeners know what or who was abusing, controlling, and enslaving.
In the end – and the beginning and middle – the Polidicks are like a concert played with feedback; it's a worthless pile-of-shit experience when you realize the extra noise isn't going away, and you want your money back. But the band at a concert is usually wise enough to stop, isolate and remove the problem, and continue.
That doesn't happen here.
So many songs start with spoken words, from other media sources, positioned there obviously to give a meaning to what follows. That's lazy in the way that Kanye West's — and many others — sampling is lazy; except those exist to give rhythm to the song, not meaning.
All I can think of when I hear this backfiring blunderbuss of an album is a multi-layered demonstration of fogged and unfocused frustration. These songs try to portray a dissatisfaction, a frustration. But the delivery is as frustratingly useless as the words are unclear. So while words were written, with differences meant for each song, they all burst the same lung and have no distinction.