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Choking Victim  - Squatta's Paradise (Cover Artwork)

Choking Victim

Choking Victim : Squatta's ParadiseSquatta's Paradise (1996)
Tent City

Reviewer Rating: 3.5
User Rating:


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

I recently read an interview with STZA (frontman of Choking Victim and, later, Leftover Crack) in which he describes his music as "bubblegum crust." "Bubblegum crust," I thought to myself, "what an awesome idea." After years of listening to Choking Victim, Leftover Crack and various other Choking Vi.
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I recently read an interview with STZA (frontman of Choking Victim and, later, Leftover Crack) in which he describes his music as "bubblegum crust." "Bubblegum crust," I thought to myself, "what an awesome idea." After years of listening to Choking Victim, Leftover Crack and various other Choking Victim spin-offs, I never really pinpointed the "bubblegum" aspect of it all. Sure, I knew it was catchy (for the most part) and crusty (all the time), but I could never understand why Choking Victim/Leftover Crack were the only crust-ish bands worth listening to. I guess it was the bubblegum all along.

After dusting off Squatta's Paradise a few weeks ago, I realized what an important sound the Crack Family had started. The opening track, "Infested: Lindane Conspiracy Pt. 1" is a prime example of the potency of this "bubblegum crust." The opening guitar riff is immediately grabbing and the subsequent ska upstrokes would later come to be the trademark of the Crack Family sound. The vocal melodies (that's right, I said melodies) are extremely catchy as well. For being self-described fuck-ups, these Crack heads are extremely talented at their instruments, with extreme props to the bass. The overlapping backup vocals and "whoa-oh"s toward the end of the song solidify the bubblegum status of the band. Not bad for an ode to scabies, lice and other crusty pests. Squatta's Paradise The next track, "Death Song" is a more straightforward (crust) punk song. It's a decent song, but Choking Victim is capable of much more. Tat "much more" mentioned in the previous sentence is exemplified in the next song, "Born to Die." "Born to Die" is featured in an alternate form on the Leftover Crack album, Mediocre Generica*. This version, however, is the superior of the two and was my first introduction to Choking Victim, way back in the 8th grade (yikes). It is the perfect mix of angry vocals, clever (enough) political lyrics, ska, crust, bouncy basslines and great song structuring.

The EP ends with "Suicide (A Better Way)." This song appears in a different form on the Choking Victim full-length, No Gods, No Managers. As with "Born to Die," the Squata's Paradise version of "Suicide" is superior to the album version. And, as usual, the song mixes ska and crust punk with a fair amount of success.

While there are two GREAT songs on this EP, I would only recommend it to die-hard LoC and CV fans. The full-lengths are much better, and you'll get more bang for your buck (that you most likely begged for outside of your squat). But still, "Infected" and "Born to Die" are so great that a purchase might just be worthwhile. Here's to the bubblegum.

* - The members of Leftover Crack would like me to once again remind you that Mediocre Generica was released on September 11, 2001.

 

 
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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.
laurier (January 20, 2010)

Choking Victim/Leftover Crack were the only crust-ish bands worth listening to.

If CV/LC are crust they'd be very mediocre in the genre when we've got the likes of His Hero is Gone, Tragedy, From Ashes Rise and fringe acts like Trap Them; I'd say Crust is doing just fine.

Turnstyles (January 17, 2010)

Death Song is about the only good track here.

FuckYouOiOiOi (January 14, 2010)

i love this band and all the bands from the crack rock family.

that being said, i never understood why people think they're crust. i guess the vocals and lyrics are pretty crust and they are crusties themselves but the music is more ska and skate punk than crust.

NefariousFIG (January 14, 2010)

"I think they have created a pretty unique sound and address some seldom touched concepts."

Seldom-touched concepts? Like what? Drugs? Politics? These guys tread the same ground as a million other punk bands, only they do so in a manner completely devoid of nuance, subtlety, or intelligence. I agree their songs can be catchy, but their lyrics are incredibly banal and pointlessly 'shocking.'

And this band is nowhere near crust.

xIxKilledxJesusx (January 13, 2010)

has the reviewer ever listened to crust music?

Iamtheed (January 13, 2010)

This whole EP is good... totally worth getting, not just for CV or LoC fanatics. I hardly want to kill cops and i love it

hey_ska (January 13, 2010)

LOC's version of "Born To Die" is ten times better than the CV version. It does away with those annoying "oh's and whoas" in the verses and it's much cleaner.

buildmorefountains (January 13, 2010)

This is NOT crust, you fucking lunatics. Not even close.

thank you.

iamgodsongs (January 12, 2010)

his hero is gone, amebix, tragedy, filth and the fall of efrafa probably beg to differ with your asinine comment.

sailin_on (January 12, 2010)

The first time I heard "Infested" when I was about 16, I didn't know how to define the sound that I was hearing so I described it as "dark ska". With that comment being completely irrelevant, I love Choking Victim to death.

Misanthropee (January 12, 2010)

This is NOT crust, you fucking lunatics. Not even close.

TSOL (January 12, 2010)

Well-written review, but I hate this band, all their side-projects, and their fanbase. Just anything crusty in general. They're the juggalos of punk rock.

Read more: http://www.punknews.org/review/8937#ixzz0cRJPg8Qr

^This. Except I don't really hate all crust punk. F-Minus' crust album was good, same with Crass, Amebix, Nausea, and Antischism to name a few.

daved4 (January 12, 2010)

5 stars for the review.

i agree with the statements regarding "born to die" and "suicide". did you mention the song apple pie and police state or is that not from this album??????

bdn (January 12, 2010)

We're the juggalos of punk rock?
Where do I get my big ass clown-STZA emblem (w/ hatchet) for my car's rear window?

thepopeofchili-town (January 12, 2010)

Well-written review, but I hate this band, all their side-projects, and their fanbase. Just anything crusty in general. They're the juggalos of punk rock.

johngentile (January 12, 2010)

Good review.

Say what you will, I think all of the CRS7 bands are great. I think they have created a pretty unique sound and address some seldom touched concepts. Plus, "Living the Laws" pretty much tears the house down.

publichousing (January 12, 2010)

Good review, pretty good band.. but saying they are the only good "crust-ish" band is something I cant agree with.
Tragedy, Aus-Rotten, Pisschrist, Behind Enemy Lines, From Ashes Rise.... Just to name are few, are all great bands, but I guess I can understand that not everyone could like that sorta stuff.

INDW (January 12, 2010)

infested is, in my opinion, probably their best song. it's when this band take themselves seriously that they get on my nerves but that song pretty much hits the nail on the head.

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