COUCH SLUT

Me­gan Osztrosits isn’t here to toe the line. And, with their vit­ri­olic blend of punk and metal fury, nei­ther are Couch Slut

Metal Hammer (UK) - - New Noise - WORDS: RICH HOBSON

EVEN AT ITS

most vit­ri­olic, ex­treme mu­sic has of­ten tended to­wards the the­atri­cal when ex­plor­ing hu­man­ity’s most de­spi­ca­ble el­e­ments. Couch Slut by­pass this, not so much shin­ing a light on our in­ner dark­ness as bran­dish­ing a blaz­ing torch of fury against it, cov­er­ing top­ics in­clud­ing ad­dic­tion, suf­fer­ing and sex­ual vi­o­lence.

“Pretty much everything [we sing about] comes from a real place and from real events,” says vo­cal­ist Me­gan Osztrosits. “It’s all rooted in hon­esty. There have been plenty of shows where, af­ter­wards, young women will share hor­ri­fy­ing sto­ries of sex­ual as­sault or trauma, and that’s very hum­bling.”

“It’s a very spe­cial thing,” agrees gui­tarist Kevin Wun­der­lich. “Peo­ple feel com­fort­able enough to share that with Me­gan, hav­ing heard her do her thing.”

Watch any live clip of the band on YouTube and you’ll likely see the same thing; the band pulling out a crush­ing mix­ture of hard­core, death metal and noise punk while Me­gan min­gles with the crowd, con­tort­ing her­self as she un­leashes an­guished howls as though be­ing ex­or­cised. In many ways, she is. “Cathar­sis is a for­tu­nate by-prod­uct of [what we do],” says bassist Kevin Hall. “But, although it’s nice that cathar­sis comes with the live show as­pect, I also think it’s about hav­ing fun.”

“Oh, I def­i­nitely go out and have a lot of fun!” Me­gan agrees. “But at the same time, I’m so nat­u­rally, in­her­ently pissed off about so many things that when it comes time to play, I just end up scream­ing about those things. If I wasn’t in a band, I’d be scream­ing on the street.”

There’s no deny­ing that there’s still plenty to scream about in the mod­ern mu­sic scene, with racism, sex­ism and sex­ual mis­con­duct all hot-but­ton top­ics that have come to the fore in the last 18 months alone. Me­gan doesn’t beat around the bush as to whether more needs to be done to root out these prob­lem­atic el­e­ments. “Very much so! It would start with be­ing hon­est… but if it were up to me it would be pub­lic castration!”

While the rest of the band voice their dis­sent (and hor­ror) at such a take, drum­mer Theo Walker of­fers a more mod­er­ate re­ply. “When you de­bate about sep­a­rat­ing art from the artist, it’s eas­ier if you have an artist who can draw a line be­tween them­selves and what they cre­ate. There are some mu­si­cians who are des­per­ate to be one with the mu­sic and its mes­sage, and I don’t know how you’re able to sep­a­rate them.”

Hon­esty and lack of pre­tence are cru­cial to what Couch Slut are all about. And yet, chat­ting to them as they laugh and joke to­gether, it be­comes ap­par­ent that there’s much more to them than just be­ing an­other un­der­ground provo­ca­teur act. Yes, their de­but al­bum My Life As A Wo­man fea­tured an il­lus­trated cumspat­tered phal­lus, and they def­i­nitely aren’t beat­ing around the bush with songti­tles like Rape Kit or Split Urethra Cas­tle – or lyrics like ‘I will fuck you/Now you’re dirt’, for that mat­ter – but at the heart of it all is a sense of pos­i­tiv­ity, of com­mu­nal heal­ing through ab­so­lute fury.

“I be­lieve ev­ery per­son has an in­her­ent worth and dig­nity,” says Theo. “Even if that’s not true, it wouldn’t hurt to be­have as though it were.”

“Al­ways be your­self and be nice to other peo­ple,” agrees Me­gan. “Un­less they’re dicks. If they are, ruin their lives.”

Sounds like a fair trade-off to us.

“WE SHOULD HAVE PUB­LIC CASTRATION”

CON­TEMPT IS OUT NOW VIA GILEAD ME­DIA LLC

Couch Slut: ex­or­cise mu­sic

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