[11 February 2009]
Contrary to what your memory may tell you, Goblin Cock is not the band the kid in The Gate was listening to when he inadvertently opened a porthole to the netherworld in his backyard—that was actually Sacrifyx. I can’t tell you what Sacrifyx records currently fetch on eBay because I’m 99% sure Sacrifyx never existed in our non-cinematic realm. Goblin Cock, on the other hand, is startlingly real, one of the many side projects helmed by Pinback frontman Rob Crow. Naturally, Rob does not use his birth name while piloting the mighty metal ship that is Goblin Cock. Instead, he takes on the mantle of Lord Phallus. Although the evidence suggests otherwise, Rob is not an eleven-year-old boy. He is in actuality almost forty.
Come With Me If You Want To Live continues the legacy of muted, foggy metal GC began on their 2005 debut Bagged and Boarded. There’s no question these dull riffs and sludgy rhythms are being played by an indie rocker who has an album entitled Nautical Antiques to his credit. Songs like “Loch” and “We Got a Bleeder” are Sabbath by way of Deerhunter—you can almost feel the impossibly tight pastel shirt choking the guitarist’s frail torso. The only time GobCock comes anywhere near the pure, hard-charging type of stuff guys in dirty denim jackets with behavior problems generally go for is on the final track, the excellently named “Trying To Get Along With Humans”, and even the serious guitar chugging on THAT number is framed by obtuse and indie-ish song arrangement.
Need lyrical proof Goblin Cock is more indie metal than metal metal? Look no further than the chorus of “Haint”, which includes the stomach-churning phrase “ghost boys don’t need no hassles”. That sounds like something Conor Oberst muttered in his sleep last Christmas Eve after a six hour Elliott Smith listening party. Actually, I think “Ghost Boys Don’t Need No Hassles” is the name of a Death Cab b-side originally written for the infamous Donnie Darko-based Broadway musical Hey, There’s A Damn Fuselage On Top Of My Brother! It had a pretty short run. I hear it closed as the curtain was going up on the first act. Fun fact: Bea Arthur played the giant rabbit character, who was renamed Hortense the Fluffy-Tailed Dream Master (at least that’s what Jake Gyllenhaal’s orthodontist told me).
Pardon that tangent.
Do not think the hidden meaning of Goblin Cock’s sophomore effort has been lost on me. I get the sly Arnold reference, and I appreciate it. However, in the wake of Austrian Death Machine’s amazing record Total Brutal (a recording entirely devoted to Governor Schwarzenegger and the ridiculous things he’s said in movies), I simply cannot raise more than a weak smile in recognition of the title of Goblin Cock’s second effort. I think a slightly more goblin-oriented or RPG-related title would have had greater impact. Perhaps Tarry Not Or Ye Shall Perish. I would have also accepted Be Not the Human that Brings On thine Own Immeasurable Pain. Those are both things I can easily imagine the elaborately drawn troll on the cover of Come With Me saying (props must be given post-haste to the medieval artistry of Mike Sutfin).
I suppose it’s also worth ruminating upon the name Goblin Cock. It’s an attention getter for sure. It conjures up some unforgettable imagery. It also stands as a potentially awesome insult for teenagers everywhere. I give it an eight. However, I have to say I think Cock Goblin is where the real money is. That screams epic metal at the top of its Grand Canyon-sized lungs. I suppose it’s tit for that, though. Both Goblin Cock and Cock Goblin fall miles short of the best band name I’ve heard in the past three hundred and sixty five: Vietnamese Stillborn Youth Brigade. Would you believe they’re a Christian polka band? I saw them last September at a psychiatrist’s convention on the Upper West Side.
If you’ve found my little jokes throughout this article to be unfunny and juvenile, please be advised that I was merely following Goblin Cock’s lead. In the press release accompanying Come With Me, the band attributes a quote about their band to William F. Buckley and claims their phone number ends in the letters FUNK. Both of these assertions are patently ridiculous. Everyone knows Buckley was too far into the Polish grind scene to be aware of anything happening in America; similarly common is knowledge of the government’s ban on the use of musical genre names in phone numbers (see State of Maine v. 1-900-RAP-ATTACK). You’re not fooling anyone, Goblin Cock. Now please, lose the wimp lyrics, crank up the “LESS OBTUSE” knob on your Riff-matic 3000, and get in the damn game.