Love 666

  • Love 666
  • Love 666 (This Record Is Not on a Label) 1994 
  • American Revolution (Amphetamine Reptile) 1995 

There’s nothing exactly wrong with the slew of bands that take the fuzzed-out mayhem of the MC5 out of context…until you hear one like this DC trio apply it to its original revolutionary function. Get a load of Love 666’s post-White Panther manifestos — a boundless array of screeds that are pro-drug, pro-violence and anti-just about everything else — and you may find yourself on the frontlines of the class war the band seems so intent on fomenting.

Guitarist Joe Johnson’s emphatic string-wrestling imbues the band’s self-titled debut with the sort of metallized Sun Ra spaciness that characterized Kick Out the Jams, a texture underscored by Dave Unger’s distorted sine-wave keyboards. It’s an extremely oppressive combination, but then again, you wouldn’t expect breezy beer-commercial backing when a foam-flecked maniac is egging you on with words of wisdom like “fuck the man and fuck his plan…if you want to thank him for all that he’s done/Blow his fucking head off with your right to own a gun.” This really ain’t no party, no disco, no foolin’ around.

American Revolution doesn’t back off the agenda for a moment. While the songs are a bit more likely to follow verse-chorus-verse structures, those frameworks are mined with verbiage every bit as explosive — most notably the martial “National” and the strobing, synapse-sundering “MDMA.” So which side are you on?

[Deborah Sprague]