City Slang: “Chemical Wedding” revisited

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Shit, has it really been 15 years since Thrall put out Chemical Wedding? Well, yes it has. See, the thing about this album is that it sounds as fresh, invigorating, intimidating and uncomfortably deviant today as it did back in ’96.

The personnel, of course, are immaculate. Led by the inimitable Mike Hard (God Bullies) and bass-lass Karen Neal (Queen Bee), Thrall were picked up by Jello Biafra’s Alternative Tentacles label, a connection that inevitably helped them develop a cult following around the world.

Of course, Hard and Neal don’t like to make anything easy and the band broke up before they reached its absolute potential. They stuck together though, forming They Never Sleep. Now that band’s on hiatus too.

So what about the music on Chemical Wedding? Well, anyone familiar with Hard’s vocals will know that his approach is akin to a cross between Zappa and Jello. He’s like a psychotic uncle, with a crazy tale to weave.

Picking out tracks is hard. This album should be experienced in its entirety. For example, the blend from the mental “Psychic Attack” to the submissive “I’ll do What You Say” is so perfect, it sounds like two stage of the same song, like a fucked up “Bohemian Rhapsody”.

Thrall were a tremendous for a short while back then. Everyone moved on, but the music remains and this album still sounds perfect.

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