Pardon my French, but My Life as a Woman by NYC’s Couch Slut is one batshit fucking crazy album. And as I tend to feed off the music’s energy as I write, pardon the rest of my French in advance. This is also the part where I kick myself in the (soiled) ass for not getting wise to the album until long after I should have. Probably had something to do with that super provocative cover. I believe my wife said something along the lines of “Jesus fuck! Don’t let the kids see that!” It might be a while before I let my girls listen to it too. Such things lead to nightmares.
Couch Slut grab you by the fucking balls (or whatever body part is deemed most painful) and toy with your sense of normalcy like a killer whale tossing around a seal in a steel cage with psychoses wrapped in razor wire laying all over the place. By the time it’s over sanity is but a fleeting memory and your body is left just as broken.
Musically you can’t really pin it down, or hold it down for that matter as it’s a sickening, squirming beast of feral hardcore, sludge and disorienting noise. As if that weren’t enough, Megan O’s horrific screams explode with intensity, often breaking under the pressure.
Every track is worthy of mention as each has the capacity to blow your goddamn mind. But breaking them down like that would be far too structured for this mindfuck of an album. You’ll hear huge breakdowns with the band crushing on one plane while one guitar tattoos the spine with sharp tremolos on another, or repeated, heavy-handed haymakers battling with nerve-wracking, squealing feedback. Just to start.
Elsewhere you get sludgy plodding or wicked mid-paced stomping, raucous cacophonies of aggression and fancy, and Megan’s pseudo-rambling adding to her screams of total and absolute catharsis. You’re subject to painful rawness and shifting momentum throughout, from heavy post-hardcore to sludge to all out noise. The whole time Megan’s territorial pissings frighten away the weak and fragile.
It’s all over the map. It’s weird and uncontrolled. Melody meets distorted reality. Freestyle sax shows up. Doom casts a dark shadow and unpredictability is par for the course. It’s angular, noisy, discordant and seriously fucking mental in all the best ways.
My personal favourite and perhaps the most straightforward track is “Replacement Addiction”. It’s got this speed-punk freakout leading to a highway groove that smashes through walls of insanity in slow motion, eventually breaking into some killer hardcore with Megan tearing out her own lungs because who needs to breathe anyway?
My Life as a Woman is definitely the stuff of nightmares. Not fantastic ones though, real life nightmares. Ones that break down the mind and reform it in twisted new configurations. It’s desperate, unsettling, and wholly physical on one level while mentally scrambling on the other. It’s an exhausting album bound to affect you in indescribable ways.
Crank it up, break some shit and let its insanity become your insanity.
Fuck me, I need a drink.