Bad Copy

Record Review

The Eradicator – The Eradicator

Football sucks! Tennis sucks!

The Eradicator

The Eradicator

October 13, 2017
Stonewalled Records

About a year ago I made a gig poster for a show that a band called The Eradicator was playing. The only things I knew about this band were that they were coming out from Chicago and were friends of friends of mine. Innocent me had never seen the Kids In The Hall sketch with the same name, so I had no idea what to expect. Before they went on, I met this guy named Andy Slania. Nice guy, good haircut. Not long after, someone in a fresh polo shirt and short shorts stormed the room, sporting a black ski mask and wielding a squash racket. He hoped the stage, strapped himself with an electric guitar, and started screaming at the crowd. It was nothing vulgar, but a loud introduction. He was The Eradicator! His first song was called “The Eradicator”! That song was from an EP called The Eradicator!

He played obnoxious punk songs by himself with accompanying recordings emanating from a nearby laptop. I noted people around the room laughing at this creepy weirdo yelling at us about squash. After playing no more than fifteen minutes, he declared he had a cab waiting for him and ran through the back door, leaving all of his gear behind, except his racket. The joke didn’t seep in until my new pal, Andy, showed his face to pack up the gear that The Eradicator had left behind. Andy is to The Eradicator as Clark Kent is to Superman. Never in the same place at the same time.

I took the CD home and listened to the songs a hundred times each because they are genuinely well-crafted hardcore-punk songs that happen to have a silly overarching theme. Even still, I wondered how far this gimmick could really take someone. What happens when it’s time to put out a full-length album and the whole premise of your music is based on a tiny segment from some dead TV show? Well recently, The Eradicator made his triumphant return to answer those questions on the latest album released from budding Stonewalled Records. And basically, I shouldn’t have had any doubt that this, like any other style of music, could go as far as good songs can take a band. Surprisingly, each one is packed with good grooves, witty lyrics, a sprinkling of electronic samples, and a cohesive story surrounding a lovable/hateable character.

The opening track, “I Am The Eradicator” is a reminder to old fans and an introduction to new ones of who The Eradicator is, a narcissistic squash aficianado, because of course tennis is for pussheads. This transitions nicely to “One Rung At A Time,” a classic moshable hardcore jammer that further proves how truly full The Eradicator is of himself. According to him, we’re just “specks of dust on his quest” to move up the ladder. He continues his destiny on “The End Of The Line” where he intentionally injures his opponent to end their dream and advance his own. Track 4, “I’m A Squash Man,” is probably the best of the collection and has a really fun accompanying music video. This is the quintessential Eradicator song as he illustrates destroying the hopes of others and declaring anyone that likes football, tennis, badminton, volleyball, or basically any game other than squash, a “pusshead”. Next is the closest thing to a love song as you’ll find here. “Squash Queen” finds our ski-masked friend relishing in his feelings for his number one cheerleader, his racket. Side A of the album closes with the third part of the squash trilogy, “The Grandfather Of Squash.” The gang vocals punctuating his long lineage of squash players (mom, dad, aunt, sister, grandfather) are catchy and really get a crowd going.

“I Live, I Die, I Live Again” kicks off side B with a borderline powerviolence song that boasts a blastbeat and killer breakdown. Definitely the most chaotic song, there’s little more than feedback over the growled verses, but it’s energizing. That tone switches quickly on “It’s Your Right” when The Eradicator breaks things off with a former love to focus his time on rising up the ladder. Next is a 47 second thrasher, “Wake, Hydrate, Baby Aspirin, Squash A Pusshead, Stretch, Sleep, Repeat”, that’s sole purpose is to incite a circle pit, and brutally it does so. 

On “My Mighty Scream,” the narrator can’t help but to rip on someone else’s squash game atop electronic drum beats mixed with the sounds of a game of squash, mid-match. “Stop Dreaming, Start Living” is my other favorite song and is bizarrely inspirational. After name-dropping Michael Jordan, The Eradicator encourages the listener to stop moping around after a defeat and to “stop dreaming, start living, get up, don’t be a pusshead.” Undeniably, those are words to live by. Perhaps the biggest outlier is the closer, “Civilian/Champion.” It has the slowest and simplest melody on the album and begins with a deep, melancholic, singing voice unheard elsewhere so far. He’s sad being an unknown and mundane civilian which he repeats as the music fades out to suddenly squealing guitars and one last scream of “I am a champion!” as if The Eradicator just realized again that he’s the greatest squash man in all the land.

The album ends on a high note and displays enough diversity in the songs to make me believe that this could be just the great beginning for the band. For being so tongue-in-cheek concept-wise, the playing and writing is actually quite masterful. There’s no denying that a lot of care and effort went into this. I’ve never been a huge fan of comedy bands or albums, but The Eradicator shines bright on this debut full-length LP. They have pushed a joke that I didn’t think had a lot of steam to comfortable but fresh territory. The songs are just plain good fun to listen to. What started as a nod to a Kids In The Hall character has started to evolve and take on a life of its own. In fact, when you combine the EP, LP, and music videos, there’s more material here than the TV show ever offered.

If you like goofball hardcore punk-rock with tons of energy and distinct visuals that go along with it, you need to pick up this Eradicator album. If you’re going to Fest, don’t be a pusshead and miss seeing the band live. It might take a minute to click, but once it does, trust me that it’s a treat. Oh, and grab that special hot sauce by Soothsayer while you’re at it. It’s so choice.

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  • Edward says:

    Rally liked their music video!

  • a orb says:

    hell ya

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