Treponem Pal

  • Treponem Pal
  • Treponem Pal (RC/Roadracer) 1989 
  • Aggravation (RC/Roadracer) 1991 

Treponem Pal hates you. And your mother, your family and, from the sounds of it, everyone and everything else as well. Hatched in a country with a weak rock history, Treponem Pal formed in Paris in 1986, taking their name from a syphilis virus. While the quartet’s brutal sound is rooted in the bludgeoning, beyond-metal grind of early Head of David, Voivod and Gore, singer Marco Neves (who says, in his best broken English, that “musically we enter in the person we hate”) has a terrifyingly distinctive slasher-movie rasp and spews some of the most aggressive lyrics you’ll encounter anywhere: a track on the first album (produced by Franz Treichler of the Young Gods) is called “Soft Mouth Vagina.”

Aggravation offers an even more deeply distilled breed of hate, honed by an improved five-piece lineup and sharper production by Roli Mosimann (Swans, That Petrol Emotion, etc.). Once again, the band ventures deep into the heart of darkness and emerges, dripping blood and guts, wielding an evil grin and some horrible medieval torture device, harnessing the essence of fear and loathing with a power comparable to a Butthole Surfers live show. To underscore the album’s ambience, a jolting cover of Kraftwerk’s “Radioactivity” actually adds warmth.

[Jem Aswad]