Live! Without a Penis
Stinky Left Pinky
36:25 min • Independent • 2006
In 2006, a quartet of kids released one of the most memorable underground thrash albums of the last ten years. It was original, it was heavy and it was funny as hell. That quartet was Stinky Left Pinky and the record was one of the only ones they released, Live! Without a Penis. Recorded in a packed sweaty club known as Hogue Barmichaels, this album is loud, rude and crude. The band has the crowd cheering along, thrashing along and of course, holding their left pinkies in the air.
After the sound check and banter, the band goes straight for the throat with the nearly eight-minute ‘Circus for Sausage’. The cut opens with a bizarre, circus-style keyboard, sounding like the cheery calliope music they play on the midway before cutting into a frenzy of pure thrash. The guitars are dizzying in their shredding and the drums are sheer chaos. When the lyrics, barked out by Alex “Stinky” Georghe, come in it sounds like standard heavy metal fare, but if you listen closely it’s a satirical stab at the machismo of metal. Humorous lyrics aside, the musical chops of this track definitely get this live record off to a strong start, listen to the drumming of Scott “Fudge Shop” Sorensen near the end of the song.
The band briefly introduces themselves and then launches into ‘Transparent’. This is where their influences really stick out as you can hear echoes of early Metallica, Exodus and Megadeth bleed through on stage. The lyrics are instantly memorable to any metalhead who listens, “You’re transparent, but you can’t hide from me! You gotta fight for your life or die!” It’s straight out of the pages of old school denim and leather.
‘Greased Up Lightning’ takes the band back into a humorous mood (I’ll leave you to guess about the lyrics, nudge, nudge) with a pretty funky little drum and bass jam at the beginning before the metallic assault begins. The intensity of the music cannot be understated here; this is instant mosh-pit, bodies flailing along to the chaotic sound on stage.
The next cut is the gem on the album, in my opinion, it opens up with a joke from the band, “This next song is about a little something we all do in our free time when we’re bored, maybe the Simpsons aren’t on or uh, we just get a little anxious…” They then launch into ‘Release My Fury’, one of the best double-entendres in modern metal. “The feeling is pure like a burning desire, your eyes soar like a roaring fire!” Hearing that, you’d think, “Oh, it’s just standard heavy metal fare, you know, self-empowerment, all that sort of thing.” Well, you’d be wrong, this is a thrashing song about every guy’s private vice, choking the chicken, rubbing one out, and well I guess as this is a British mag I’ll say wanking. The best joke of it is that it’s written as a serious thrash song, the music is as heavy as heavy gets, it’s undeniably metal, you just have to listen a couple times before you start laughing.
‘Taking Lives With No Regret’ has a strong groove to it, a swinging riff that doesn’t so much get you moshing as it does get you jumping. There’s plenty of straight thrash in it, but that groove just sticks in your head and sticks in the song. There’s no subtle joke here, no hidden sexual content, just straight up, ass-kicking heavy metal.
Well the band certainly believes in “leave ‘em laughing” so before their last song, they give a tongue-in-cheek shameless plug to their website, a little musical ditty about Viagra and a joke about what naughty things people do in the closet (I still don’t know what “Watch out for the dinosaur” means). Anyway, the band’s last song ‘Ralphy’ has a doomy intro before the last bout of thrash begins. The band ends on the same oddly-humored metallic note in which they began. The song in question seems to be about a violent, demon-possessed kid going on a killing spree, certainly standard metal fare. But given the band, I wonder if there’s a joke buried here and I just haven’t caught it yet.
The album ends with a bit of banter, thanks to the club and then it’s over, done, now piss off.
What makes this album stand above the rest is not only the musical quality of the chops, but for its nod to old-school originality. Metal today is too choked with metalcore, hardcore, deathcore, -core ad nauseam. Bands are playing the same three-chord, distorted punk riffs over and over, mixed in with excessive double-bass drumming and breakdowns. The vocals are bad growls about lost love, loneliness and all sorts of shit that doesn’t usually mix well with heavy metal. The usual rule is you get one broken-heart song and then you move on. So called “metal” bands today release albums of the girl that got away.
So now here comes this new band who releases not only an album with enough musicality to impress any serious metal musician, but who has a unique spin on metal clichés, taking songs of power and glory and turning them into sick and twisted jokes. The gonzo-humor factor is just as high as the volume, which alone is worth tracking this down.
Stinky Left Pinky is no longer around and the musicians have faded back into whatever lives they now lead. But for one bright moment, they released a thrash masterpiece onto the underground scene, an album full of good old-school speed metal and some of the funniest lyrics since the days of Spinal Tap.