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Sweettit, by omni-profane death-disco purveyors Stink!#Bug, falls flat.

By Brian Blair

AUGUST 10, 1998:  In the quiet suburb of Allen, there is a house that from outward appearances blends in with all of the other cookie-cutter residences on the block. Inside, appearances seem fairly standard with the exception of a Boba Fett model above the fireplace and a bong on the kitchen counter, and the aroma coming from the kitchen is not dinner. On the other side of the wall is what once was a garage but has since been transformed into the rehearsal studio for a midi-powered, turntable friendly, just-plain-loud band called Stink!#Bug. With a new album, Sweettit, just released, this studio serves as preparation for a series of upcoming live shows.

The cd changer rotates between Rev. Horton Heat, Poe, Beastie Boys and, Korn, a band that Stink!#Bug's members inaccurately claim they sound nothing like. Vocalist Jerimiah, bassist Skelcher, guitarist Knee and drummer Chris Neal express excitement about their sophomore effort and claim the sound to be more mature than their debut, Dynamic Domination. Sweettit is "a punchy record with a lot of hooks, whereas, the other record only had a few songs with some serious hooks," Jerimiah states. "There's a lot more layered guitar sound that wasn't there before."

Behind the growling, sophomoric-when-discernible vocals, power-guitar riffs and sporadic deejay scratches, Stink!#Bug creates a sound that's not far removed from neo-industrial rock that comes and goes. On the homefront, however, comparisons are more commonly drawn to metal-rap acts Pimpadelic and Hellafied Funk Crew. "You really can't throw a band like Stink!#Bug in with those bands," Jerimiah says sternly. "The only thing that would tie it in is white guys fucking rapping with a heavy thing and we don't really rap. What the difference is, is our band is a balls-out, heavy act. Neither one of those bands can ever be accused of that." After pointing out that he is friends with the members of both of those non-balls-out bands, Jerimiah continues, "We spawned a fucking generation of idiots with that fucking Dynamic release. Both of those bands are bands that came around in the ashes of Dynamic and just did the same thing."

The band, which took its name from a skateboarding maneuver, wasn't always inspiring other scratch-and-spliff bands (or at least taking credit for doing so). When the band formed in 1991, Jerimiah and Skelcher surrounded themselves with other musicians and played sans midi and turntables. "We were crappy, no-talent motherfuckers," Jerimiah admits. "We were all kids trying to get something together."

The band pulled apart and the duo found an accomplice for their new direction with Knee. Without a drummer, the trio set out with a drum machine and found a new "Death Disco" sound with the addition of midi. Then, two and a half years ago when the band released Dynamic, Knee exited the group. "We were just young and pissing each other off, and I just left," he says.

Since then, the group added and removed a replacement guitarist who was "interested in sounding like Pantera" and didn't want to be a part of Stink!#Bug's heavy touring schedule. With the replacement guitarist out of the picture, Knee was asked to return to the band after his year hiatus, and Neal came in to play live drums.

Although Sweettit, named after a bowl used for storing drugs, has only been out for a matter of days, the guys are already writing material for their next release. The growth of the band, which is noticeable although it will never be any critic's darling, has the opportunity to bring new fans into the fold.

"If they've heard us before, what will surprise them is how much the structuring of songwriting - and especially the lyrical direction - has changed," Jerimiah says. "If they have no biased opinion, what will surprise them, if anything, is it's very aggressive and very sincere. No matter what you say about it, it's very sincere."

If not disconcerting. The lyrical evolution from Dynamic's Nacho (N to the A to the C,H,O/With a hairnet on and chrome in my bone) to Sweettit's "Tongueleaded" (Tasty pussy/So juicy, just the way she said you'd be) is certainly questionable.

"Punchy, aggressive and sincere" - either it describes Stink!#Bug's new sound or an abusive husband. Both probably have the smell of beer on their breath, and both leave you feeling violated.


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