There is a dark nihilism that seeps out of every caustic note and abrasive surge of Bataille’s grim so-called anti-punk. This is a band driven as much by ideology as they are by the need to create harsh, violent, confrontational music, and their guiding principals are scrawled across the group’s online walls like so many slogans torn from the pages of some bleak manifesto. “Revolt and Despair.” “It shall all end in death.” “This is not punk rock. This is theology.”
The band recently unveiled their self-titled sophomore release, and while it maintains the same acerbic ferocity and induces a similar level of vomit-inducing revulsion as its predecessor, there’s little doubt the band has sharpened their songwriting into a sound that is slightly more palatable, if no less corrosive and visceral. Case in point is “The Monster Demands,” a punishing noise and feedback-laced track fueled by screeching guitars, storming drums, and deadpan vocals. The accompanying video, an unsettling black and white affair created by singer John Lloyd Hannah, matches the song’s aura of unease with a steady barrage of foreboding footage that ranges from the macabre and sinister to the perverse and occult.
“What plagues my mind is the profound feeling of irrevocable alienation, not merely in the material sense, but also in the metaphysical and theological,” Hannah tells us via email. “It is the alienation not only amongst other individuals or in the throes of class struggle, but from oneself, from society, and from the cosmos or any conception of an absolute principal that, even if it is to exist, is in some way lost to us in its occultation. Yet I can not make any declaration that would cleave my own subjectivity; life and its myriad of tributaries and tangents exist only within the gaze of the other. In this sense I feel it’s also worth noting the words of Miguel de Unamuno, which I stumbled upon first in Guy Debord’s Panegyric, that ‘I am not selling bread, I am selling yeast.'”
Bataille’s self-titled LP is available now via Army of Bad Luck.
Bataille has a pair of shows coming up. The first is tomorrow, April 1, at the Drunken Unicorn in support of Horse the Band and Graf Orlock. That show is SOLD OUT. The second is Monday, April 3 at the Earl in support of Street Sects. NAARC and Gregorio Franco are also scheduled to perform. Doors open at 8:30 p.m. Admission is $8. 21+ to enter.