Decent Peni stuff, not as good as the 80's material
Oliver Sheppard | US | 06/02/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"First of all, the previous reviewer (see below) suggests that "The Underclass," "Pope Adrian 37th," and "Echoes of Anguish" were done mainly for the money. That's wrong. In an interview a few years ago, Peni front man Blinko reported that the band's sporadic output is due to his illness (a type of paranoid schizophrenia, I believe). In all, they release about one album every five years, and are certainly more popular in the States than in the UK, where their gigs in the 90's attracted an average of 30 people at each show. All Peni's releases are sincere, artistic efforts. They haven't sold out.Having said that, I do like the 80's Peni stuff better, too. But my grounds for preferring the 80's repertoire is based on the merit of the 80's material, not on suspicions that the band is rehashing good old days to cash in. So, if you're new to Peni, skip "Underclass" here and get the 1st two EPs and "Death Church." If you like those, move on to "Pope Adrian 37th" (a 1995 release), then the 1989 HP Lovecraft tribute album "Cacocophony", and then finally their other stuff, including this release. I'm a huge fan of Rudi Peni singer Nick Blinko--not only his music, but his art and his writing as well. Peni's form of psychotic, hallucinatory, schizotypal punk rock is like no one else's. They bring artistic integrity and real passion to their music, and all this comes through, even on their lesser releases. Recommended for anyone who wants to hear disturbing, yet driving, hard punk influenced sounds."
I just don't know...
D. K. Malone | earth | 05/09/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I've been having a tough time with Peni's "newer" records. The first two EPs and Death Church were all really great and sincere. Cacaphony was stunning, it was so different and original, even for RP. It seemed like the swan song of a true genius. Then, as I recall, they broke up. It would have been 1987 or 88. I was very sad, but I was glad they ended on such a great note, so to speak. Then, around 1995 or so, suddenly there was a new Rudimentary Peni album, Pope Adrian 37th Psychristiatric. I was ecstatic at the news, but I found the album to be a little disappointing. It sounded literally insane, but the band's performance seemed a little flat and passionless. I got the idea that perhaps Nick et al had found that making a living by doing something other than music was a drag, so they reformed even though the fire had gone out. The next record (Echoes of Anguish) and this one only serve to convince me even more. They sound like they're intentionally rehashing and retreading their own early work on Death Church and Farce. I don't know... Pope Adrian has managed to grow on me over the years. Maybe this will too.
EDIT- In response to:
"But my grounds for preferring the 80's repertoire is based on the merit of the 80's material, not on suspicions that the band is rehashing good old days to cash in."
If you care to actually read what I said, my reasons for disliking the later RP material is that I find it to be stale, dull and soul-less. In other words, I too prefer the '80s material based on its merits. My suspicions of 'selling out' and 'cashing in' are a result of how RP's '90s music sounded to my ear, not vice versa.
Not my favorite, but some excellent tracks
Clark B. Timmins | West Jordan, UT USA | 09/12/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"'The Underclass' (Released 2000 / 12 Tracks) An appropriate follow-up to Echoes of Anguish, another heavy metal / acid rock EP of somewhat unrelated tracks. Again, not my favorite RP but portions are very strong. The artwork returns to more typical RP and some of the tracks have a sound very reminiscent of RP's 80's material."