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Death Is Certain

Death Is Certain

After decades dormant in the crypt, Knekelhuis finally compiles Smack’s full recorded output, providing it a lavish place to rest on the Death Is Certain LP.

Across two 7”s, Death Or Glory (1982) and Death Rocks (1983) and one 12”, Anguish (1982) Jimmy Smack carved his own bleak chasm amidst the LA Death Rock scene that he inhabited. After decades dormant in the crypt, Knekelhuis finally compiles Smack’s full recorded output, providing it a lavish place to rest on the Death Is Certain LP.

While his local punk contemporaries pursued aggressive hardcore and political punk, Jimmy Smack donned corpse paint (before it would later become synonymous with the European black metal movement) and found a home performing in venues like the Anti-Club, amongst other subterranean dwellers Christian Death, Dead Hippie and 45 Grave.

Even within this lurid milieu, Jimmy Smack stood alone. Hating Life (from Death Rocks) easily locates Jimmy within the negative-punk and KBD lexicon. However his recordings, consisting of voice, rhythm box and electrified bagpipe drones, otherwise veer closer to other-worldly avant-garde rituals. Jimmy’s background in theatre and performance art helping inform not only his menacing stage presence, but also spawning the singularity of his sound.

Death Is Certain comes housed in a printed inner sleeve featuring rarely seen archival photos, liner notes by Cooper Bowman and excerpts from an interview with Jimmy Smack conducted by Juan Mendez (Silent Servant).

Remastering by Wouter Brandenburg
All composed & performed by Jimmy Smack
Executive producer: Mark van de Maat
Design by Abel Minee
Linear notes by Cooper Bowman
Interviews by Juan Mendez & Simone Ling 

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Reviews

Moody post-punk distortion and electric bagpipe drone weirdness from LA deathrock outsider Jimmy Smack.

‘Death is Certain’ is assembled from two 7″s (1982’s “Death or Glory and 1983’s “Death Rocks”) and a single 12″ (1982’s “Anguish”), over which Los Angeles weirdo Jimmy Smack carved out his legend. Smack was notorious for performing in a kilt and boots – with his electrified bagpipes of course – in full corpse paint, a few years before that style would become co-opted by Euro black metal bands. He was a regular on LA’s hardcore punk circuit, but his music sits alone from pretty much all else on the scene. 

The set showcases Smack’s bizarre sound, which he built around machine-gun drum machine rattles, bizarre bagpipe drones, and of course his horror movie-ready voice. It’s hard to describe exactly what it sounds like – maybe Suicide crossed with The Damned, remixed by Container. Smack’s drum machine parts are the most unexpected element; it sounds as if he’s using a regular cheap rhythm box, but he abuses it wildly to vary the rhythm, turning it into an industrial power drill or a malfunctioning A/M radio.

Bizarre, invigorating aces.

Boomkat

Across two 7”s, Death Or Glory (1982) and Death Rocks (1983) and one 12”, Anguish (1982) Jimmy Smack carved his own bleak chasm amidst the LA Death Rock scene that he inhabited. After decades dormant in the crypt, Knekelhuis compiles Smack’s full recorded output, providing it a lavish place to rest on the Death Is Certain LP.

While his local punk contemporaries pursued aggressive hardcore and political punk, Jimmy Smack donned corpse paint (before it would later become synonymous with the European black metal movement) and found a home performing in venues like the Anti-Club, amongst other subterranean dwellers Christian Death, Dead Hippie and 45 Grave.

Even within this lurid milieu, Jimmy Smack stood alone. Hating Life (from Death Rocks) easily locates Jimmy within the negative-punk and KBD lexicon. However his recordings, consisting of voice, rhythm box and electrified bagpipe drones, otherwise veer closer to other-worldly avant-garde rituals. Jimmy’s background in theatre and performance art helping inform not only his menacing stage presence, but also spawning the singularity of his sound.

Death Is Certain comes housed in a printed inner sleeve featuring rarely seen archival photos, liner notes by Cooper Bowman and excerpts from an interview with Jimmy Smack conducted by Juan Mendez (Silent Servant)

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