A horrible hack

Veuve SS

Descente E.P.

Year Released: 2014
Format: 7"
Label: Nerdcore
 
Reviewed by Alex Hannan on May 13, 2016
The two short songs on this 7" hang suspended amidst cinematic shimmering and looming sounds, which open and close the record and occupy the break between tracks. The songs themselves are short, nihilistic blasts, without much repetition. The first one opens with blast beats, transforms into descending skeins of chuggy riffs, and is over quickly. The second has a more blackened crust sort of feel, with tight, focused intro ideas and pounding main sections. It's eerie and effective. The packaging is lavish for such a small amount of full-band music - with an oversized, thick card sleeve, a screenprinted b-side, a 48 page booklet, it's a lot of chocolate box and not many actual sweeties - and it focuses attention on the content of those songs. "Descente partie I" and "Descente partie II" are both charred little offerings, contemptuously spat out. "Personne n'en a rien a foutre de ta gueule. / Tout le monde s'en branle de toi, / de ta petite vie." (No one gives a fuck about your face / No-one thinks you or your little life are worth a shit.) The other one runs (in full, and roughly translated:)

No-one in front there, just you.

You're full of you, and you alone.

The carcass.

Empty!

-

Descent.

-

Pull yourself together, no-one there.

It's you in the mirror!

You're alone, completely.

Like us (all)

Vague misanthropy, stormtrooper namedropping, logos with sig runes in. A certain amount of button-pushing going on here. Besides the lyrics, in the booklet there is a citation in French from the author Bernard Noël about a publisher who created beautiful books but wasn't concerned with selling or distributing them, just put them out blindly into the world. The book it comes from is apparently concerned with the passivity-inducing decimation of thought and culture by modern democracy. Over the page there is a little eulogy in German about how the label guy has come to really dig the member of VEUVE SS that he has come to deal with, and how great the guy's art is. It is good, by the way, subtly horror-inducing black and white artwork, featuring the human body, often distorted, collaged and layered.

The band talked about their name in a poorly translated interview: "The idea was to play an abject feeling . An inconsistent coupling of two words. The ignominious work , the unspeakable , the cursed , the filthy , repulsive, the turbid , the emetic . Smearing his feces to everyone.VEUVE S. S. is the discomfort , the murky , unhealthy . All the feelings that we reject.A widow is sad , you're more likely to have compation forher , I think. But the widow of a SS , you don't know what to think of it, you got more pins ... have to pity ? blame her? Surely a bit of everything .The "SS" is not a schoolboy joke or an ironic reference to the Third Reich , it is true used in the first degree , as something really tight, not cool! It is not a Nazi , it is really fascist , we could be called Polpot Widow , it would have been the same.This is no laughing matter , irony is crap. It serves to conceal a big empty of thought. We can afford to say anything and everything hidden behind the second degree .The use of Nazi imagery does not interest us necessarily , strictly speaking it is for us a reminder of what we see , or screws. This Widow SS , at this time, it is this old carrion train that rode . This old goodwill that parasite. This is the old political tradition of revenge , the old easy discourse that comes and goes , who arrived with the severed heads of kings in Europe. This resentment reference to history , beyond the provocation which apparently spring, but not wanted."

This opaque explanation after the fact seems to have some substance, although I'd like to read the original untranslated words, and they link to a number of interesting authors and philosophers. But copy / pasting other peoples' content over a fairly one-dimensional lyrical stance is not that successful an artistic tactic for me. And the thing about the flirting with taboos schtick is that it's a knackered old horse from having been trotted out by so many idiots, aiming for notoriety, flattering themselves that they're so independent and brave to be doing leering juggling tricks with history's atrocities, looking down on the "sheep" who disapprove, crowing over any hypocrisy they are able to provoke. And that legacy leaves a bad taste whatever subtleties of intent you try to garnish it with. Maybe that's what they're aiming for.


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