Thoughts of Ionesco - The Scar Is Our Watermark [CD/DVD] (Cover Artwork)

Thoughts of Ionesco

Thoughts of Ionesco: The Scar Is Our Watermark [CD/DVD]The Scar Is Our Watermark [CD/DVD] (2006)
Seventh Rule

Reviewer Rating: 4.5
User Rating:

Contributed by: JesseJesse
(others by this writer | submit your own)

An introduction to the band, a collection for completists. This package serves as both. The CD includes 10 tracks from the band's entire catalog and five tracks that were previously unreleased. The DVD is a compiled documentary featuring live footage from VHS tapes and past and present interviews wi.
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An introduction to the band, a collection for completists. This package serves as both. The CD includes 10 tracks from the band's entire catalog and five tracks that were previously unreleased. The DVD is a compiled documentary featuring live footage from VHS tapes and past and present interviews with members of the band, including Sean, Nathan, Brian, and Derek Grant (Suicide Machines, Alkaline Trio), the latter being a substitute drummer for Brian during one of the three times Brian left, or was asked to leave. The band itself self-deconstructed over the three years it was active, 1996-1999. Fueled by booze, drugs, mental instability, and furious alienation, Thoughts of Ionesco did their best to burn every bridge and cause destruction, on and off the stage.

Singer/guitarist Sean H. from the liner notes: "Thoughts of Ionesco isn't really something one could be entirely proud of, it's much more like snaking patches of scar tissue that you might hide from most, maybe occasionally revealing your wounds with a sick kind of pride to those who understand. We were fucked up kids who were smart enough to seek art as our consolation for having nowhere to turn. We weren't scenesters; we weren't punk, we weren't New York sophisticates; we were a small band of Detroit area rejects and depressives who meant every moment of it... We wanted to be the heaviest and most emotionally wrenching band and this is what we came up with."

As the documentary explains, the band is most influenced by free jazz and Black Flag, and a one-time drummer explained the influences as "a lot of aggressive music, a lot of expressive music." And that's really the best I can do to describe the music presented. Each player seems to try to push their instrument to the absolute limits, playing them as loud and violent as they can. Their tempos dwell in oppressive chugging breakdowns, placing them closer to sludge metal than hardcore, even when charging through double time beats. The riffs are the heaviest riffs I have ever heard in my life.

I had no idea who this band was until this release, but I guess you could consider me a convert. Musically, these songs are the most complex I've ever heard, but never do they really seem distracting or annoying, like dudes flexing their riff muscles for the hell of it. And though this band may not have caused a huge direct influence, they were way ahead of their time.

This may be the first time a record has ever made me feel ill in my stomach. Included are four tracks from For Detroit, from Addiction, three from A Skin Historic, two from And Then There Was Motion..., one from their demo, and five unreleased tracks, including a version of Bad Brains' "I," played better than the original band ever did.

And yeah, I don't like "Best of" and "Greatest Hits" collections, but this album really flows together and a third of the songs are not available anywhere else, not to mention the DVD, which is an hour and a half long and extremely interesting from start to finish. And now I know I have to track down all of the band's previous releases. These are all the facts that I was presented with, but Scott, the guy who put this collection out, had this to say: "When they were at their best, they were way ahead of their time and I constantly felt my personal health was in danger at their shows..." So take a look at this release if you want to, delivered from one fan to another. Spread the gospel.


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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Anonymous (August 6, 2006)

The abandoned mental hospital compound being the Northville Boys' Home. And yes, the members of this band did spend quite a bit of time at this ridiculously morbid place. Thirty years after it was shut down, of course.

Anonymous (August 2, 2006)

""indie band trying to play dystopia covers. "

that is so far from the truth, it is laughable. sounds like you spent too much time at the trumball theatre.

Anonymous (August 1, 2006)

This is great for people more into indie who want something (a ton) heavier to really manifest the reality of where so many of those dark-tinged lyrics come from. Also great for fans of hardcore who want to taste something different, something inherently a bit more sick than most... maybe it is like being trapped in a well with a styrofoam cup making peanut butter sandwiches and being stung by wasps - Clostrophobia and consumption, could be good defining words here. Although, substitute "making peanut butter sandwiches" with 'smashing TVs', and change the setting from "trapped in a well" to 'locked away in dark corners of an abandoned mental-hospital compound' and the picture is more accurate.

Jesse (July 31, 2006)

"indie band trying to play dystopia covers. "

Guess again.

Anonymous (July 31, 2006)

I heard some ridiculous praise for this band years and years ago, and having lived in michigan, was able to pick up two of their records used for pretty cheap. Gotta say that both discs were slow and really kind of boring. If I remember right, they sort of sounded like an indie band trying to play dystopia covers.


Scruffy (July 30, 2006)

Will just called Jesse a newbie. Just thought I'd point that out for anyone who missed it.

Anonymous (July 30, 2006)

You dumb shits nobody is the band is "Street Teaming" those guys barely ever even get on a computer.

Also Sean might be flattered by the better than the Bad Brains comment but assure me that was just some random recording and it was put on there cuz it's rare and it doesnt appear on anything else cept a very rare b sides and random collection of Ionesco tracks called Abnormalties.

But anyways I'm glad too the punknews guys have reviewed the collection and the DVD documentary. I played it for some friends last night who didnt really catch on or "Get it" and I said well "Those were some crazy times... good times, but I guess you had to be there" it kind of sums it up.

So maybe that should of been one of my quotes in the movie. I hope you enjoyed my contribution.

For those people with the stomach to take it you can get the OOP Ionesco records online at various sites. CTW is now in control of 80% of the Ionesco catalog if you visit the myspace page there are links to all the albums on iTunes. You can also get them on other sites like Napster, Rhapsody, Emusic, Audio Lunchbox etc...

Sites.. www.myspace.com/ionesco - www.conquertheworld.com

Mike "CTW" Warden

Anonymous (July 30, 2006)

This band actually does suck, lol. Suck!

Anonymous (July 30, 2006)

Hey last poster,

Your shitty band broke up, you can stop street teaming for them now!

Anonymous (July 29, 2006)

Bad Brains sucks. Most punk sucks. The recording sucks. If you live in NYC, you hate punks, because they are just as annoying as scenesters. Hell, they are becoming scenesters. They don't listen to half the bands they represent, because those bands suck. The message is dead. Drugs are cool.

I'm pretty sure from reading the review that this band is a lot better than Bad Brains.

Anonymous (July 28, 2006)

Uh, better than the Bad Brains? I think not, newbie. Maybe they should have actually taken something from BB and created music that doesn't make me think of the soundtrack to starving in a well with a styrofoam cup and/or making peanut butter sandwiches on stale bread while wasps try to sting me. The Bad Brains made music that is like a youthful ray of ultraviolet beaming down inspiration to the angry kids. This is blows.


Anonymous (July 28, 2006)

thanks for reviewing this. ionesco has never received much of the credit that they were due. it's nice to see that they are recognized, atleast posthumously.

for those who have not heard, or heard of, thoughts of ionesco:
if you're one of those folks who thinks that punk should somehow be angry, violent, drunk, and scary. then i'd recommend looking into this band.

if you're one of those folks who thinks that punk should be about unfiltered expression (both good and bad) and pushing musical, philosophical, and emotional limits. then i'd definitely recommend looking into this band.

skolarx (July 28, 2006)

just heard that the holy fire broke up a couple of days ago. bummer, they were one of the better bands to come out of detroit in a while

skolarx (July 28, 2006)

sean and nathan are in a new band together call The Holy Fire. much more mellow than thoughts ever were but still pretty damn good. check them out if you are into this stuff at all. sean does solo acoustic stuff too but i'm not sure if he has anything recorded out there

Anonymous (July 28, 2006)

Impressive review. Despite the reallyheavy riffs this album may contain, as the reviewer mentioned, I'll try to check it out.

maverick (July 28, 2006)

This thing totally fucking rules, and the DVD is just insane. This is the kind of music the killers in Hostel put on to get into the mood.


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