As the gentrification of downtown and surrounding areas continues, the days when one could walk out of the abandoned evening and watch three lunatics turn a miscellaneous dive bar into an aural torture chamber for a hostile "crowd" of ten seem long gone. Happily, Hot Sex, featuring the classic Rusted Shut lineup of bandleader Don Walsh, bassist Sybil Chance and drummer Domokos Benczedi, now allows consumers to re-create fin-de-siècle Washington Avenue in their very own living room. Compared to 2004's excellent but relatively conventional Emperor Jones release Rehab, this EP on local label Dull Knife is a truer indication of what a typical Rusted Shut show tends to sound like: wandering, brutal, borderline incoherent and evilly uncompromising. Of its four songs, the grating two-note dirge "Godstrike" serves as the closest link to something recognizable, but the record starts instead with the gloriously hideous "Woman," a demented mess of looped vocals and musical instruments pushed far past the redline. As for "EZ Life" and "A Night in Hell," no Rusted Shut record is a perfect document of the band, simply because it can be turned off at will, but the repetitive, distended noise of these tracks comes very close. At its worst, Rusted Shut's music is like unwelcome attention from a denizen of an alcoholic hole; at its best, it's like anal rape in a pit of fiery hell. Hot Sex indeed.
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