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Full Blown AIDS ‎– Viral Load

Here is a post-mortem release from a band starring the illustrious Seth Putnam (Anal Cunt). Like many fundraiser records from the 70s and 80s, the front cover of it has photograph a starving African person who looks to be near death. Unlike those records, the label and artist involved does not seek to evoke sympathy from this image, but merely contempt and derision. Most of the records that Putnam is associated with are known for having an absurd number of tracks with a variety of silly (and often intentionally offensive) song titles. Simply by saying a lot of antisocial statements and having an overtly anti-P.C. attitude seems like a knee-jerk reaction to the “I feel your pain” sensitivity of the 1990s (from which Anal Cunt emerged), but Putnam remained committed to this sort of attitude throughout his short career in music. The Anal Cunt albums were a real oddity in CD bins during the pre-internet era. An unusual act for the popular heavy metal label Earache records, albums like “I Like It When You Die” and “It Just Gets Worse” featured up to 50 or more different sound-alike blasts of erratic riffing with Putnam’s distinctive tortured-yet-unemotive delivery placed on top of seemingly random arrangements of riffs and drumming. There was even a legendary acoustic album by the group called “Picnic Of Love” that seemed an attempt at Frogs-like parodic balladry. The group typically did not have a bassist and went through a variety of line-ups until the final Nazi-oriented era of the group. Putnam had previously explored themes of racial hatred and mockery of sensitive subjects such as the Holocaust and Anti-Semitism in a side-project, but finally joined his love of Nazism with his famous Anal Cunt group in the ultra-conservative post 9/11 era.

Full Blown A.I.D.S. seems to be Putnam’s attempt for a group with a more serious tone, and for the most part the material is pretty much indistinguishable from the glut of 90s sludgecore groups like Buzzoven and Grief. This is not necessarily a bad thing, and FBA does a decent job of kicking out the depressive jams. Like G.G. Allin before him, Putnam went off the Earth via a drug overdose, and the depression/rage/madness that drove Putnam to such lengths to escape pain is evident on this release. The majority of the tracks on this release come from a single live performance. It sounds like a spirited (and somewhat sparsely attended) endeavor, but still a far cry from the infamous broken glass insanity of the more notable AC performances. Another difference is that Putnam is playing the guitar here, and not just screaming as in AC. All things considered, the most enjoyable era of AC was on the first EP when Scott Hull (who basically went on to reinvent/improve the basic AC group concept with his excellent bands Agoraphobic Nosebleed and Pig Destroyer) was the guitarist and main songwriter.

Like with mid-period Anal Cunt, all of the songs on here seem to be petty and spiteful barbs aimed at specific people, but without any of the humor evident from that material. The last four tracks on here are tracks that appear in the live show potion of the disc, and they sound pretty similar to the other versions. I remember hearing some recordings from this project on a 12″ record that sounded a lot more vicious than the recordings that appear on this disc. A lot of the charm and excitement of Putnam’s stuff was just kind of wondering what he would do next to top the offensive stuff that he did or said before, and it seems like somewhere along the way his sense of humor really got lost in the mix. The internet era of shock mpegs and goatse has jaded people to the sort of stuff that seemed really surprising or bold in the 90s, making the attitude of this stuff somewhat of a relic. The sentiments and the juvenile attitude of it would seem trite and cute if it weren’t so self-aware in its complete ignorance. Listening to this final recording, I wonder if anyone will even be talking about this guy and his music 20 years from now in any serious capacity. Probably not.

Rating: 2.5/5
Written by: Joseph Gates
Label: Audial Decimation Records (US) / Format: CD / Cat. # ADR014
Tracklisting:

01. Leech
02. Guardian
03. No One Cares
04. Track Team
05. Brother You Must
06. It’s All Fake
07. Stupid Bitch
08. Vacancy
09. Trash Picker
10. Weymouth
11. Alcoholic
12. Everything
13. For Those About To Rock (We Salute You)
14. Gaurdian
15. Vacancy
16. Brother You Must
17. Weymouth