Mussolini Headkick

  • Mussolini Headkick
  • Themes for Violent Retribution (World Domination/Wax Trax!) 1989 
  • Blood on the Flag (World Domination/Caroline) 1990 

Those generally intimidated by industrialists’ relentless amelodic pounding may find this Belgian-American group’s debut easier to face: the most off-putting thing about Themes for Violent Retribution is the (anti-fascist) cover’s swastika. While this part-time party starring Luc Van Acker (of Revolting Cocks) and singer/keyboard manipulator John Butcher (of King Butcher) does employ the form’s standard tools — stern beats, found sounds and distorted chants — MH keeps things reasonably musical with an undercurrent of techno-dance conservatism and, on Side B, actual songs with verses, choruses and rough melodies.

The harsher Blood on the Flag, again produced by Van Acker, delves more deeply into the punishing power of electronic percussion and chaotic noise, as Butcher angrily shouts his military-minded political lyrics in topical songs like “Kabul,” “Homeland” and “War Drum.” With the exception of two near-songs (“Cracking Up” and “Holy War”), the shards of musical intelligence here crop up only as accents, playing a similar role to the audio vérité sound bites.

[Ira Robbins]

See also: Luc Van Acker