Choking Victim - No Gods / No Managers (Cover Artwork)

Choking Victim

No Gods / No Managers (1999)


This CD has everything: Punk rock, ska, reggae, flamenco, metal and political spoken word by Michael Parenti. Choking Victim was one of the skapunk bands of the 90's that didn't fit into happy-happy joy-joy major label ska revival. Choking Victim are TRUE EVIL for your listening pleasure.. Although there's a cross upside down in the cover and lyrics are filled with references to crack cocaine and satan worship this is done so tongue-in-cheek that you just can't help smiling.

Musically this CD is a lot less evil than you would think from the cover. 500 Channels that begins the album is a mid-tempo punk rock song. When I first got this CD I had heard "Infected" from Give 'em The Boot vol. 1 and I had really high expectations, so when I first heard this song it was a kind of a let down. But fortunately this CD has lots of faster tracks to keep me interested, and soon I grew into the slower tracks too. Definite standouts on this CD are In Hell, Suicide (A Better Way) and War Story which all are fast and agressive more-or-less melodic punk rock anthems.

Fuck America is also interesting because of its slow metal intro, followed by ska parts with overdubbed political speech from Michael Parenti and a slow heavy "Whoah-who, fuck world trade, fuck the State, fuck America" chorus. On the 12th track "Praise To The Sinners" that blends into the last track "Livin The Laws" producer Mike Trujillo does an amazing cameo appearance when he plays a really cool latino flamenco acoustic guitar intro-solo-thingy. The CD ends into a depressing ska/metal burst that makes baby Jesus cry. Hidden after a two minute silence is a really mellow rocksteady version of Crack Rock Steady with horns and all.

There are a few things that make this CD more interesting than the average Epifat melo-HC record. STZA has an "unique" voice which is a kind of "whiny" (in a positive sense) screaming hardcore voice with occasional high blackmetallish screams. Although since the days of Clash and later Op Ivy, ska, reggae and punk have been blended together Choking Victim did it with a such non-compromising style that none of the ska/punk-explosion one-hit-wonders had.

Too bad they broke up, go buy this CD, after that get their EP compilation (Crack Rock Steady & Squatta's Paradise) and get the new Leftover Crack when it comes out!

As a sidenote, this CD doesn't have a barcode. Punk rock!