“I’ll fucking tie you to a fucking bedpost with your ass cheeks spread out and shit, right? Put a hanger on a fucking stove, and let that shit sit there for like a half hour, Take it off and stick it in your ass slow like, ‘Tssssssss!’”
“Yeah? I'll fucking lay your nuts on a fucking dresser — just your nuts laying on a fucking dresser, and bang them shits with a spiked fucking bat: ‘Ooooohhhh, whassup?’ BLAOWWW!!
“I'll fucking pull your fucking tongue out your fucking mouth and stab the shit with a rusty screwdriver, BLAOWWW!”
Hearing Zombie Vomit, the latest album from SA hip-hop/horrorcore artist Richard Gein — which not coincidentally features a song called “Rusty Screwdriver” that forms a hook from a short sample of the dialogue above — is sort of like listening to a 45-minute version of that skit. The only real differences are that Gein directs the majority of his violent threats toward “sluts,” “bitches,” and basically anyone else with a vagina (from Gein’s supposed viewpoint, these terms are all interchangeable), and — unlike Raekwon and Meth — Gein never giggles.
What do you take from that when the shit Gein claims he’s living includes statements like this one from opener “Die World Die”: “Dear Mommy/ I wanna be the biggest killer in history/ I wanna make my sister bleed cause/ She’s a slut, 11 kids with 10 different men/ Beware my raised right hand, bitch”?
If, reading the lyrics above, you have trouble figuring out how all those lines work rhythmically (as opposed to all the other reasons the above lines might bother you) you’ve got the right idea. Gein’s delivery is about as blunt and brutish as his lyrics. While guest MCs throughout the album — Benjamin the Butler, Jus the Destroyer, and even a group called Corpse Circus — deliver their Grand Guignol with playful, humorous flows, Gein mostly lumbers through his lines in a joyless growl, seemingly less concerned with cadence or clever wordplay than simply cramming as much violence and objectionable content as possible into each three-minute track. “Bite your jugular vein like a night creature,” he continues, “Decapitated head frozen in the freezer/ 666, the mark of the beast, tattooed on my knuckles/ Nigga, fuck you.”
And that’s a shame, considering the production on a few of these tracks is absolutely first rate. “Buried in the Woods,” produced by Ruler Why, sounds as angry and twisted as it should and “Evil Lurks Within,” another Ruler beat, succeeds thanks to its psychotic loops, a respectable guest verse from Jus the Destroyer, and an admittedly creative (though stomach-turning and hate-speech-filled) Gein rant. Gein’s self-produced “Watching Brains Splatter,” though, absolutely wastes the killer hook stolen from Pink Floyd’s “See Emily Play,” as Gein’s verses completely ignore the haunted-house organ fill frantically spasming in the background.
That’s not to say Gein doesn’t have some decent lines. “Rusty Screwdriver”’s boast “All I wanna do in life is take shits and bust nuts/ The devil gave me two thumbs up” is pretty wicked, and Gein’s claim “I hit the trees like a drunken orangutan” is Facebook status-worthy for sure. Memorable battle lines are also scattered throughout, but, weirdly enough, it’s when he’s describing the violence he supposedly loves that Gein usually sounds the least inspired. Threats of mutilation, rape, and torture fill the album, but nothing Gein spits sounds half as gleefully fucked-up as Benjamin the Butler’s feature spot on “Verses for the Dead”: “I’m Benjamin the Butler/ and yes I am a glutton for/your punishment, you’ll see my grin through the oven door …Premeditating celebrating for a killing so delightful/ Read my book on cooking severed legs, it’s really quite insightful … We buried little Johnny next to my garden gnomes/ If it wasn’t for that nosy dog, nobody would have known.” Compare his lines to Gein’s “I’ll rape a bitch in pink and a bitch in black/ An ice pick and an axe in my burlap sack” and you get the idea.
To be fair, Benjamin’s only on for about a minute while Gein has to stretch his shit out over an entire album, but that to me is an indication that the Gein character, a serial-killer worshiping, woman-hating, gorehound, isn’t worth basing an entire album — forget about three, and, judging by his refusal to break character in my interview with him, an entire persona — around. Gein winds up drawing from the shock well way too often, and the result is occasionally interesting , surreal, or transgressive, but mostly tired and tossed-off, like the Seussian bathroom-stall poetry of “Eat My Shit II”: “Eat my shit like a beef fajita/ or like pepperoni inside a pizzeria …Eat my shit like an Egg McMuffin/ or turkey with stuffing.”
Now that I think about it, the fact that this song has a Roman numeral indicating it’s a sequel to a previous “Eat My Shit” probably says more about Gein than this entire review.
Maybe I’m just too old for this shit. Growing up as a hip-hop and metal head in a conservative religious household gave me the false impression that I would always be right at music’s cutting edge, never offended by an artist’s free expression. But now, as a (somewhat) grown, happily married, man I have to face the reality that not only do I not agree with what Gein has to say on a track like “Slut Slashing,” I absolutely, 100-percent would not die for his right to say he’s going to slash open a girl's vagina with a razor blade.
All I know is that if you find me dead with my nuts impaled by a rusty screwdriver, I want the crime scene searched for Gein’s body fluids. —Jeremy Martin