Big Rage! Volume 1 – 1990

Big Rage! Volume 1
1990 Pure Metal Records

Side 1:

  1. The Stand – Don’t Look Back
  2. Paradox – Give a Listen
  3. Zeal – Loner
  4. Mitch Bohet – Bottom of It
  5. Sanxtion – The Resurrection and Life
  6. Heebie Jeebies – Land of the Free

Side 2:

  1. Lust Control – Mad at the Girls
  2. Torah – Pray for the Children
  3. Archangel – Burn, Burn, Burn
  4. Repent – Shadows
  5. Bryan Whited – Heaven Can’t Wait
  6. Outcry – Vessels Unto Honor

Big Rage! was a compilation from Pure Metal that I think was only released on tape. It is technically a label release, but it contained only underground (at the time) bands of various styles. The Stand is the same power pop/alt rock band that also released this song on Heartbreak Town. Paradox is the traditional power metal band from San Antonio – this song has been on many comps and it rocks. Zeal is a power metal/neoclassical metal band that sounds like many similar bands that were influenced by bands like Riot at the time. Mitch Bohet is alt rock artist that had his song produced by Charlie Peacock, and it bears his influence (not a bad thing). Sanxtion is an epic power metal/speed metal band. Heebie Jeebies is an experimental-ish band that uses drum machines, but it is not industrial. I don’t think. Lust Control is, well, Lust Control. Punk and in your face. Torah has been featured here before – female fronted heavy metal. Archangel is a more commercial metal band with AC/DC influence vocals, but a more driving metal sound. Repent is a band that has a regular metal sounding band with kind of haunting vocals that give them a more original sound that others. Bryan Whited is a traditional metal solo project with a full band. Outcry was a one-time name change for Crucifix just for this song – keyboard-laced traditional metal.

Lust Control – Dancing Naked

Lust Control
Dancing Naked
1989 (no label)
Austin, Texas, USA

Gene (Doug Van Pelt) – Vocals
George (Phillip Owens) – Drums
Stanley (Paul Q-Pek) – Guitars
Duane (Maury Milican) – Bass

Side 1:

  1. Rebuke
  2. Jesus Washed Judas’ Feet
  3. Dancing Naked
  4. What About Your Wife?
  5. Circumcised, Baptized, & Moon Pies
  6. Fun, Fun Feeling
  7. Living in the New Age
  8. Witch Hunt

Side 2:

  1. What’s Goin On
  2. Say It Like a Rock Star
  3. Big Bang!
  4. Deliverance
  5. John Styll
  6. Swimsuit Edition Wallpaper
  7. Operation Rescue
  8. That Groove Thang
  9. You Too
  10. Planned Parenthood
  11. Grace Reprise

So this is the second tape by the infamous Lust Control. For those not in the know, Lust Control was an underground punk band led by anonymous members that even wore masks in concert so that no one could guess their identity. Turns out it was Doug Van Pelt of Heaven’s Metal / HM magazine originally fronting various members of One Bad Pig and other Austin area bands. The music was somewhat sloppy but enjoyable to listen to. All of the controversy came from their lyrics. They sang from a very extreme right wing political and religious viewpoint that ended up offending people that were any where to the left of that side of the spectrum – including right-wing Republicans. You could tell they were joking a lot and also very serious a lot, so it was hard to tell what to take seriously and what to take as satire or humor. They also didn’t respond too well to criticism, even when they did cross some theological lines that most Christians disagreed with them on. Such is the Pentecostal/Charismatic movement, though. See the exvangelical movement for the fruits of that.

Many of the jokes are about people and ideas that were probably well-known (at least in some circles) 30 years ago, but have been lost to time. They also make comments about people judging their spirituality (see “Dancing Naked”), while spending most of their songs doing the same to others. Also, it was interesting to hear the lyrics to “Swimsuit Edition Wallpaper” again and then realize that decades later, the band would basically use swimsuit edition wallpaper as a front cover for their Tiny Little Dots album. And defend against any question about that apparent contradiction. Maybe they have learned a bit of humility in the past few years and can actually discuss differences rather than just argue. Who knows? But I do feel the need to step out of my “no commenting on lyrics” stance to address one big problem with their lyrics, even if it brings the wrath of the band or their arduous defenders down on this blog.

I did find their lyrics humorous at first. In general, in the 90s I looked at political fights between left and right as silliness that I didn’t care about because I saw problems with both sides. I now know there are extremes in every political position that can be dangerous, and we need to be careful of those. I also tend to look at this band as a case study in accountability in churches. Humor and sarcasm is great in my book – I am usually accused of crossing the lines with both on a regular basis. But you still have to ground your stances with an actual understanding of those that you are talking about, and don’t do it in ways that support existing abusive power structures. For example, a frequent subject of attack for Lust Control is Planned Parenthood. If you do or don’t like Planned Parenthood, I am not here to change your mind either way. But Lust Control over and over again states things about Planned Parenthood that just are not correct by any objective standard. It makes the points of their jokes and thoughts fall apart. In other words, they really could actually make a point for their position with their jokes if they used correct information underlying them. But their lyrics are filled with the same stereotypical misunderstandings of liberalism, gay rights, feminism, academia, etc that are rampant in far-right leaning churches. There is a reason that we call this “strawman argumentation” for a reason (and yes, I know people that are moderate and liberal do it all the time, too – but they obviously were not writing lyrics for this demo).

When they are aiming their songs at lusty conservative males like themselves, they are often calling out things that need to be pointed out to other dudes. Its when they start going on the attack against, well, anyone else that is not a heterosexual conservative Christian male that their lyrics get problematic. So many fundamentalist evangelical churches have long histories of abuse towards women, the LGBTQA community, and any issues concerning people of color that get swept up by the “liberal” over-generalization. When the band veers into that territory, it comes across as “punching down” as some say, especially towards the women in their churches and communities. Well, and pretty much the few people there that also aren’t heterosexual cis-gendered white males around them as well. This is especially true when they get the positions of those people wrong. Why pick on the people that the church has already hurt by propagating the same lies about them that the church has used to abuse them in the past? Many of us are calling the churches of all political leanings to do better than this.