Let’s just get this out of the way first: The Slaughter Slits have one of the most abhorrent names in all of music. It’s difficult to get past, especially since their debut album’s title, Ripped, Raped and Torn Apart, isn’t much better. Even if the Slaughter Slits released the greatest album of all time, I’d still have to deduct one point for picking a name that even the most hardcore fan would have trouble defending.
Labeling themselves as “Scandinavian Blacktronica” (which sounds like one of James Bond’s lesser known 80s adventures), The Slaughter Slits actually formed twenty years ago, in 1998. It makes one wonder if, in all that time, they ever considered changing names to something that wouldn’t alienate nearly every promoter right off the bat. Their chosen sound could be better described as industrial, hovering somewhere between Skinny Puppy‘s more experimental moments and Death Grips’ modern in-your-face attitude. But while those bands threw the musical handbook into a paper shredder, The Slaughtered Slits play it safe, ironically. Ripped, Raped and Torn Apart rarely hits the level of musical anguish that this genre often demands. It’ll appeal to a very select group who occupy the fringes where the sun doesn’t shine, but this group is so small and exclusive that The Slaughter Slits will have a hard time impressing them. If they want to break through, the band should focus on individualizing their sound and image, rather then depending on their offensive band name to get them noticed.
It’s not all bad. Funny song titles like “Become Satan Then We’ll Fuck” and “Secret Special Agent – Secret Special Whore” are good for a dark laugh, and there’s something hilariously perverse about giving a track called “Ripped, Raped and Eaten by Dogs” a clean radio edit. “The Fucking Carousel,” probably the album’s best track, has an attention grabbing guest rap section courtesy of The Nomad Nipples, but Ripped, Raped and Torn Apart is just too ugly to get into. Music like this should be ugly, of course, but when the highs and lows don’t hit their marks, the zeitgeist is gone. Sections of The Slaughter Slits material would fit well into a darkwave mixtape (or as the soundtrack to a violent relapse) but when they are presented in album form, the result will test even the most jaded listener’s patience.
In an age where groups like Ho99o9 are redefining what we think of as industrial, and the old guard are slipping into vintage territory, there isn’t much room left for a middling group like The Slaughter Slits.
Written by Max Morin
*edited by Kate Erickson