The Finer Points of Sadism
Review by Kent Manthie
Just off of their other project, the Sacketts’ Partner Artifact latest project (I’m not 100% which came out 1st this or the Partner Artifact) is The Finer Points of Sadism’s latest album, Ambersands. The way I like think of the two bands is The Finer Points of Sadism being Jacob’s TOOL and Partner Artifact his A Perfect Circle. In other words, the former has a harder, edgier, louder, more ballsy type of feel to it, while the latter (in both cases) are a bit more sedate (not too much in P.A.’s case, though) and feel free to explore wider reaches that their respective “day job” bands (so to speak) dig into.
After just saying that, though, I’ve been listening to the 1st tune of what are only four tunes on this EP by TFPS. The title track, coming in at almost seven minutes, is a bit on the softer side, a la Perfect Circle, what with the acoustic guitar, the un-distorted, Nick-Cave-like vocals, etc. OK…but then, when “Travels & Observations” kicks in (song #2) I hear what I came to hear – a blistering, noisy, effects-laden mic, worked over as if it were hooked up to a distortion pedal. Of course, I’m sure it’s much simpler than that these days. (Imagine, though, trying that, as an experiment, back in the 60s or early 70s? Wonder if you could pull that off credibly-but then, it’s experimental, so “credibility” goes out the friggin’ window.
The third tune “Wolf Spiders Are Such Total Bros”, is twice as long as the previous tune-2:30(!). It just sears through in a fast and furious way not stopping for a single breath until it quickly pulls the plug after a minute ½. The final tune, “my Symphony” also has that eerily similar voice akin to Nick Cave’s, even though Jacob is not from England, as far as I know – he’s from somewhere in the states. But then, when Nick sings, he sort of loses the accent as well. If I’m going to do any kind of comparing to Nick Cave, especially on “my Symphony”, I’d say it’s reminiscent of back in the Birthday Party days crossed with L.A. hardcore. It’s a fast & furious number that starts off with Jacob talking about what he wants from this, etc. and then the action kicks in.
I like it, I like it! I wish it were longer, though. I do hope that Partner Artifact isn’t taking over Jacob’s time and that he’s going to start putting less and less time into TFPS. Let’s hope this is just a sample of what’s to come. The previous few TFPS CDs I remember, were full of extended songs with endless fireballs of lusty pyromania and pill-popping madness.
Let’s hope there’s more nihilism like Full of Hooks or A Deeper Appreciation for Hatred. Two, now classic TFPS albums. I still dig Partner Artifact and wish him and Ashley all the best on that project and future endeavors. Ashley is not only straying afield for Partner Artifact, but is also involved, with Jacob, in The Finer Points of Sadism.
Also, if you’d like to give Ambersands a free try, go visit our friends at http://www.archive.org and you’ll be able to get the EP there, for free (try Free Music Archive too, they usually have the same things there too).
Anyway, I give you my go-ahead, to go ahead and get this teaser of an EP to keep you tided over until their next album comes crawling out from the depths of hell! Ha ha ha ha ha! But do enjoy. -KM.