“If you’re going to do something, do it well…and leave something witchy.” – Charles Manson
The first thermonuclear bomb test unleashed the same amount of deadly energy and devastation as approximately ten million tons of TNT. With that kind of force, it’s pretty much a given that someone’s ass is going to be handed to them on a silver platter. Buildings would be leveled, faces would be melted clean off of their owner’s skulls, and life as we puny humans know it would essentially cease. Yes, shit would be pretty bleak, indeed. On rare occasions, it seems there are those that are able to actually harness the power of such a deathly blast, and translate it into one hell of a beastly record. That’s right, faithful readers. If you’ve been paying attention to all of the recent psychotic ramblings here at Forbidden Magazine, chances are high that you’ve seen and/or read the in-depth interview with Scott and Daniel Wilson, otherwise known as Indianapolis, Indiana’s very own sludge/grind assassins, Late August. But, if by way of some freak accident (wild dogs, roofies, belligerent hillbillies, sewer mutants, the previously-mentioned nuclear annihilation, etc.), you still have yet to witness the kind of cataclysmic anarchy the cousins Wilson can unleash…then, this is a case of perfect timing, my friends.
The duo first gave us all a glimpse of their brand of misanthropic madness in the form of the 2010 demo, Witness Of The Creation. Now, like a ravenous hound from the depths of hell itself, Late August has returned with their debut full-length, seething with even more ferocity, crusty filth and darkened emotion than before. With Bob Fouts (Apostle of Solitude, The Gates of Slumber, Nachtmystium) behind the boards at BRS Productions, Not For Human Consumption is proof positive that the Late August blast radius has grown significantly. Clearly influenced by the likes of both Eyehategod and Napalm Death, Late August have unleashed their very own nightmares upon the world around them.
After the record’s distorted mind-fuck of an intro sets an eerie mood, the short grind blast of “Speak Softly the Names of Our Dead” splits things wide open and “The Living Dead” follows suit with alternating blasts and a slow sludge riff that signals bad times ahead. “Stench of a Dopesick Whore” confirms those warnings, with a repeated riff and lyrical rage that suggests all hope is lost for the title subject. Thundering in like Armageddon, the one-two punch of “Not for Human Consumption/Morbid Violence” is drenched in old-school death and drummer/vocalist Daniel Wilson’s raw-throated assault, complete with Charles Manson samples. The start-stop-start approach of “Embracing Ignorance” is, for lack of a better description, as effective as hell, in that every time it resumes, it serves as a wave of refreshing evidence that this shit is not over…not by a long shot. “Narco Nympho” possesses perhaps the fastest of both Scott Wilson’s riffing and D’s blasts on the whole record, and leaves the listener no choice but to flashback to the mid-80’s type of speed annihilation before letting off the accelerator a bit for some slow-as-tar bludgeoning of the ol’ inner ear. “Dope Coppin’” is most definitely a highlight on Not for Human Consumption, complete with an intro in the form of a sample from the film version of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. With an opening that builds like a pile of bodies during the Black Plague, it erupts into a crust-fueled monster equal parts sludgy dissonance and old-school, punk-as-fuck attitude. The song is like a freight train packed to the gills with murder. It’s with the last two numbers on the record that Late August take the most noticeable turn on their highway to Hell. “Contemplating Life” is a one-hundred percent hypnotic trip into melancholy, psychedelic atmosphere. The closer, “Eulogy” is a nearly two-minute, yet down-right haunting, excursion into instrumental territory that ends just before it would likely drag us all into the proverbial pit of despair.
When Not For Human Consumption ends, one will be hard-pressed to not feel like they have just been pounded into the dirt with very little time to flinch. It is with their debut full-length, that Late August have put themselves on the goddamn map of the underground with extreme force, and administered a lethal dose of brutalizing poison to whatever you previously thought was “the shit.” So, with that being said, it’s time to take your medicine!