Friday, February 20, 2009
THE NO W.T.O. COMBO - LIVE FROM THE BATTLE IN SEATTLE (1999)
The NO W.T.O. COMBO was a one-off supergroup assembled by Jello Biafra (DEAD KENNEDYS) and Krist Novoselic (NIRVANA, SWEET 75, FLIPPER), and also featuring Kim Thayil (SOUNDGARDEN) and Gina Mainwal (SWEET 75). This set was recorded in the wake of the chatoic 1999 World Health Organization Ministerial Conference in Seattle. In the wake of the chaos that ensued, those of you familiar with Biafra's work will be none too surprised at the venom he spews throughout this performance. Those of you unfamiliar with the "Battle of Seattle" should take full advantage of Wikipedia and YouTube, and have a look at the price of supposed freedom in Amerika. That said, even during these optimistic times in the good ol' U.S. of A., I find the majority of Biafra's work very current and relevant, and the NO W.T.O. COMBO project is no different.
The music? I've always found Kim Thayil's playing interesting, in a rabid-dog-that-sleeps-at-your-feet kind of way. The two originals here, "New Feudalism" and "Electronic Plantation" have an almost BLACK FLAG-esque ugliness to them. Thayil is clearly channeling both Greg Ginn and East Bay Ray on these tunes. The highlight, though, is a song I've always loved: "Full Metal Jackoff" (originally recorded by Biafra with D.O.A.). Thayil's able to slide into Greg Ginn mode throughout the performance without sacrificing the pummeling nature of the riff. The performance is so tight and ferocious, it's easy to get wrapped up in the music and not realize it runs over 16 MINUTES!
1. Battle in Seattle
2. Let's Lynch the Landlord
3. New Feudalism
4. Electronic Plantation
5. Full Metal Jackoff