Black Leather Jesus/Smell & Quim - My Darling, Forever Dressed for Sex.
Petit Sole. PS80. CD
I think it was Simon Morris who compared Smell & Quim to the recently extracted finger from the anus of life. An index finger that from the second knuckle down has a slight musky odour, the nail something beneath of which we’d rather not speak. Its what you run under your nose as you listen to such as this. Just to get you in the mood.
Seeing as how this disc was the devil’s work to play I took to rooting around in my Smell & Quim box and then my noise boxes where I found the odd Ramirez release with obligatory gay porn cover. Ramirez and Black Leather Jesus go together like hairy men and ball gags. A man of many talents then, involved with more bands than you can shake a rubber sex fist at and still, after many years, disturbingly prolific.
In 2014 Black Leather Jesus and Smell & Quim appeared on the same bill at a never to be forgotten gig in Manchester. No doubt relishing the opportunity to go on last Smell & Quim erased any memory of what had gone previously with a performance that verged on physical and sexual abuse. Of course the band were shitfaced which made the wearing of some ridiculously heavy masks covered in razor blades and barbed wire as made by Dr. Steg all the harder, that’s Dr. Steg the man who found himself under threat of ejection from the premises after wielding a knife of his own construct and threatening to trash the place. Instead he took to the stage wearing one of his heavy, gold sprayed, barbed wire covered masks and screamed and shouted for the duration. The gig was made all the more bizarre by the appearance of a certain Callum Terras, his one and only appearance with the band and someone who not long after would be found floating in the Irish Sea. This release is dedicated to him. Simon Morris and Kate Fear were going through some kind of relationship breakdown at the time resulting in Morris having his back passage defiled by Fear who appeared to take great delight in roughly inserting the handle of a percussion instrument where percussion instruments shouldn’t go. Fear also hacked off most of Stewart Keith’s wild and not been cut for decades hair. There might have been some putrid Philadelphia cheese involved too. It was one of those nights. The sound they created was a hellish cross between the over-amplified heart beat of a recently jabbed smack head and the edited audio of every single Jimmy Savile Top of the Pops appearances.
Going through my Smell & Quim cardboard box I’m in constantly reminded of their use of gay sado-masochistic porn soundtrack samples. Something that Ramirez on the other side of the pond no doubt relishes. ‘The Transubstantiation of the Shit of Christ’ [split tape with Aube on the Fever Pitch label and still one of my all time favourites] contains the kind of gay porn samples its probably not wise to play at a volume your neighbours can hear, unless you have very liberal neighbours that is. And this in pre internet days when I can only imagine that sado-masochistic gay porn was much harder to come by.
Which brings us to ‘My Darling, Forever Dressed for Sex’ and a cover that features some stubbly faced gentlemen getting all up close and personal. The track titles couldn’t be anything other than Smell & Quim tho; ‘Big Cocks Flobbing Gristle’, ‘Now If You’re Into Anal …’ and ‘Heavy Spunkers’ with the sounds therein heading more towards early Smell & Quim industrial dirge than the more recent high powered noise as heard on Powerfuck and Lavatory. Black Leather Jesus, who are credited with having no less than ten people in their ranks other than Ramirez appear to contribute the death rattle roar with Smell & Quim throwing everything else into the mix. One sound that is easily identifiable is that of the hand drier as found in the Gents toilets in The Grove, Huddersfield. I know this because I recorded it and am credited on the inner sleeve as being part of the band. When I tell you that this is one of my proudest moments I’m not being glib in anyway, shape or form.
‘Big Cocks Flobbing Gristle’ starts with the hand drier and some industrial clockwork clank before moving into noisier territory, ‘Now If You’re Into Anal …’ has some seriously slowed down slurry vocals and heavy breathing as recorded by an asthmatic deep sea welder with lead boots on, ‘Heavy Spunkers’ is your full on roar that eventually chips out in a sea of digital crackle and dust. Its early Smell & Quim coupled to some Black Leather Jesus flat out noise stun but where the gay porn samples are coming from is anybody’s guess.