Loss Decay And Insanity
Former Sanction This guitarist and singer Nick Carter unleashes his inner torment through a new one man project. Heavy.
For those who are aware of Nick’s previous work with Sanction This, that would be a good jumping off point for Sickness. For those who don’t, we reviewed their last album in 2019. Nick has been unable to continue with his brothers in the band for health reasons, and while Sanction This have found a replacement, Nick has not slowed down on creativity.
Sickness is a clear continuation, or a fork, of Sanction This. Like Sanction This, the sound of Sickness draws heavily on Rudimentary Peni and Killing Joke. The music we love forms the foundations for the music we make. While it is part of a continuum, with many of the same ingredients, Sickness exists in its own right and his its own identity. There is more intensity as Nick takes an even deeper dive into themes of insanity and religion, sometimes both in the same song. Isn’t any religion just collective insanity that has reached such critical mass that it can be accepted as normal?
As he reveals in the beautifully printed 8″ booklet, the album is “mainly about insanity and railing against some of the things that are causing it”. Assisted by the team at Grow Your Own, Nick’s striking art adorns an A4 pack containing the 8″ lyric book, a postcard and the CD in a cardboard cover. This is more than music, it is a whole art package.
In common with Peni, there is a horror aesthetic to many of the lyrics. Titles like The Crucifake are all part of the word play that moves rapidly from playful to sinister within the lines. This collection of songs unashamedly reveals his complexity. Serious, angry, funny and fragile.
This is how punks do heavy music. Rambling bass lines, driving riffs, dark minor chords, heavy in sound and in meaning…the 11 songs career through 75 minutes of music including plenty of sonic experimentation. Eerie, acoustic arpeggio and keyboard that could have been lifted from Hawkwind in the 70s or The Damned’s Black Album on the title track. The sound of old school phones (you know, with a circular dial) and mobile phone tones through Echo FX to create an otherworldly soundscape on No Signal. Feedback that emulates the disconcerting sound of Crass’s Reality Asylum at the close of Confinement (interesting given that song’s stance on religion). A montage of samples which pit the brain as machine to be tweaked by technicians on Memories of My Sanity.
Physical copies are limited in number so get in quick if the download won’t satisfy your needs.
Listen to the album or download it on Bandcamp. You will have to ask via the bandcamp page about CDs as they are being handled outside of that platform.
All words by Nathan Brown. You can read more from Nathan on his Louder Than War archive over here.