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CD Review: The Peppermints Jesüs Chryst

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I like to think that the Peppermints named their album Jesüs Chryst after what people must say the first time this San Diego quartet’s sonic assault knocks them flat on their ass. Made up of three very unladylike women and a guy (to carry the bass amp, one assumes), Jesüs Chryst is music by savages, for savages.

The Peppermints cram 18 noisy songs into just over 29 minutes of punk frenzy, and, with just the right mix of trashiness and blasphemy, they pull it off quite nicely. The band has been compared to Japanese noise rockers Melt-Banana and to punker-than-thou G.G. Allin. At times, with their high-low two guitar attack, they can sound like a messier, louder U.S Maple as well.

“Yellow Rain” kicks off the album with a repetitive guitar riff and scattershot drumming. It’s not easy to make out the lyrics, but it’s clear that these gals are pissed off about something. (The only intelligible lyrics of the second track, “Snak 10,” are “kill, kill, kill, kill.)

On “Daughter,” while it’s not always clear that all of the musicians are playing the same song, there’s something along the frenetic-kinetic axis that makes it compelling. At three minutes in length, it qualifies as an epic.

One of the best songs on Jesüs Chryst is the one-minute-long “Yes It Is” in which the singer wrings some genuine (and disturbing) emotion out of her tortured vocal cords as she shrieks “I thought this was living/But living’s not like this.”

Another standout track is “Cousin,” the most straight-ahead rocker of the record, sung by the male member of the band. It could easily be a Mission of Burma cover (if Mission of Burma ever wrote songs about wanting to have sex with a cousin, that is).

For sheer weirdness, the dreamy “Santorum” takes the prize. It is based upon sex columnist Dan Savage’s (apparenthly successful) attempt to name a rather vile sexual byproduct after the homophobic Republican Senator from Pennsylvania, Rick Santorum. This being a family site, I won’t tell you what exactly that byproduct is, but you can click here to find out.

See what the Peppermints can do with construction paper, primal scream therapy and a severly limited budget: click here for a link to the video for “Rabid Frogs.”

The Peppermints kick off a U.S tour this weekend. You can find their tour dates here.

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