PAIN – Coming Home
What Peter Tägtgren (Hypocrisy) presents on the new Pain album has got to be a joke. The good news is that the songs are not all cut out from the same cloth. With some fillers (A Wanna Be, Pain In The Ass (we’ll get to that one), Black Night Satellite, Natural Born Idiot), most of the material proves that when Peter wants to create actual music, yes, he can. Whether it is the sardonic opener "Designated to Piss You Off", a fun, heavy metal song based on southern rock riffs with fun lyrics that could pass for a joke on a Hypocrisy album, or the closer favorite Carl Sagan-inspired lyric-driven "Starseed" (actually a genuinely great song), or the militaristic "Final Crusade" that heavily borrows from Marilyn Manson’s "Beautiful People" and djent but could slip in almost undetected on "Catch 22", the proof is in the pudding that the immensely talented Hypocrisy mainman still got it when it comes to creating cheesy sleazy tongue-in-cheek industrial/goth techno metal parody of In Flames circa 2011. There is also a number of "soulful" songs, such as "Absinthe Phoenix Rising" that could give Tom Petty a run for his money and the Ozzy Osbourne-tinged title track ballad. I also have to admit that Peter’s vocals are first class, even if he does tend to mimic Ozzy Osbourne on nearly every song.
Now, two of the songs deserve a dishonorable mention (and a half a point cut from the overall score) for the lyrics so insanely idiotic I had to quote them here: "Call Me" and "Pain in The Ass", but it could be because while I do enjoy a good joke I detest sleaze such as "I love you as long as your mother loves me back…Call me, like a genie in a bottle, I”ll rub you the right way" (I’m sorry, Christina Aguilera, you positively cannot sing on the next Hypocrisy album just because you sound like Ozzy Osbourne) "With PayPal and cash, I wanna be your backdoor man." That last line, hold your marker there, folks, as we get to the low of what the fuck is the low of what the fuck. Yes, I realize this IS a joke band that has tracks like "Supersonic Bitch", "She whipped" and "Dirty Woman", and I have heard my share of asinine lyrics but these take the the literal motherfucking cake: "I’ve been trying everything to feed my kicks, spanking old ladies, giving it all I’ve got" (and the coup de grâce) "Move back and forth…Don’t fuck around, now, turn around don’t let me down…you’ve got to let it out (excuse me, let WHAT out?)…I’ll be your pain in the ass (nevermind)…I’ll be your designated driver from behind…Scream I’m here to please, I’ll be your pain in the ass…Been standing on all fours dressed like Batman…juggling tits bigger than…"…oh, you get the point. And all the while he sounds like Ozzy, so if Ozzy is listening to this he is probably setting himself on fire as we speak. Yes, THAT Ozzy. Out of respect for the man who brought us masterpieces such as "The Fourth Dimension", "The Final Chapter", "Hypocrisy" and "An Extreme Taste of Divinity", to quote Brian Griffin from "Family Guy": what the hell, Peter, what the hell?!
Do you need this? It depends on what the meaning of "need" is. This is hardly essential 2016 purchase even in regards to Pain’s past endeavors. It could all be forgiven provided we will get another killer Hypocrisy album but consider, perhaps, what Peter himself sings, interestingly, on the title cut: "My head is empty and I need a break. I have to be hungry again to breathe and create." You’re so right.