“The record is called TVMALSV,” says Chicago-based industrial music legend Chris Connelly of COCKSURE, about the new album out August 26, 2014 via Metropolis Records. “It’s sensory overload. Do NOT listen to it whilst driving. It’s the opposite of Pharrell’s ‘Happy.’ It’s every drug deal gone bad rolled into one. It’s a high speed film of a mechanical bull. It is ‘f*** you for not smoking’, ‘f*** you for not drinking.’ It’s the thing that makes Tarantino films look like Scooby Doo. It’s the house guest that drank everything and wet his pants.” As one of the central figures in seminal industrial supergroup Revolting Cocks, Connelly joined forces with Jason C. Novak of DJ? Acucrack to create Cocksure. “We were trying to find a name that sort of referred to the Revolting Cocks but added a new swagger,” he says. “I was struck by inspiration one day sitting in this bathhouse…”
With huge aircraft hangar-sized mechanized rhythms and bone-crushing, limb-severing noises, Cocksure bridges the gap between Wax Trax!-era industrial and the future sounds of mass corruption. TVMALSV embraces the pummeling sounds of midnightdance beats and machine-gun rhythms that made that classic Chicago sound so vital to the underground dance scene and updates it even more subversive song subjects. With no unsavory stone unturned, everything from carjacking to credit card fraud to online porn addiction to botched plastic surgery finds its way into the songs. “I have found that the internet has introduced me to a broader pallet of topics,” Connelly explains. “There have always been transvestite hookers; it’s just easier to FIND them now. There have always been drug dealers; there are just more ways to sell them. And let’s not forget the Alladin’s cave of cybercrime… the seedier, the better!”
From the percussive onslaught of opening track “Skeemy Gates” with Connelly’s trademark Scottish gruff punctuated by Novak’s propulsive beats, to the late 70’s punk-styled “Ah Don’ Eat Meat, Bitch!”, to the reggae-tinged closing track “Cokane In My Brain“, TVMALSV is an adrenaline-fueled romp that is relentless and punishing.“TKO Mindf***” features Richard 23 of Front 242 and founding member of Revolting Cocks. “It’s funny, perusing a recent list of top 10 radio bullsh** music, almost every one contained a ‘featured’ guest vocal,” says Novak. “But back in the heyday, anytime those guys wanted to try something like that, they had the balls to call it something new and put it out on wax, creating a whole new identity for it. Personally, when I think of classic WaxTrax!, I think of Jean Luc and Richard 23’s vocal interplay. They were like the industrial Chuck D and Flava Flav! So when we wrote ‘TKO’, I couldn’t help but hear that familiar call-and-response style in my head, and thankfully Richard was game.”
“We did not really set many parameters,” Connelly says about collaborating with Novak for the album. “I made it clear to him that, as far the ‘old‘ Revolting Cocks went, there was a lot of unfinished business for me. So, without picking up where we left off necessarily, I wanted to acknowledge the 20 year gap and THEN pick up.”
“I wanted it to feel like Chris and I woke up from a 20 year coma and walked right into a new studio,” adds Novak. “Considering how much time I spent trying to emulate the Wax Trax! vibe when I first started writing tracks 20 years ago, there was a plethora of archives to pull out of the dusty drawers and look to for inspiration. My goal was to update those ideas with more current electronic production styles, but at the same time never acknowledge any particular EDM genre. No f***ing dubstep drops, hip hop synths or breakdowns. Nothing cute.”
With Chicago as its backdrop, Chris Connelly has been a fixture in the industrial music scene there for the last three decades, best known for his hand in such luminaries asMinistry, Pigface, Killing Joke and, of course, Revolting Cocks, among many others. In addition to his musical fluidity, his revered memoir Concrete, Bulletproof, Invisible, and Fried: My Life As A Revolting Cock (ISBN 0946719950) which bares his legacy in the scene from his beginnings in Finitribe to his involvement in the multitude of bands to his solo career, will launch its second edition at the end of the summer as well. Long out of print, the new revamped edition includes a brand new forward, more photos and graphics, additional stories and a new cover and will be available in eBook form read by Connelly himself. Electronic maven Jason C. Novak has been instrumental in leading DJ? Acucrack and Acumen Nation, as well as running seminal label Cracknation. Both being longtime residents of that city’s fertile music scene, it was only a matter of time before Connelly and Novak collaborated directly. “This is Chicago. We have been in each other’s orbits for years, but we first started collaborating when Jason organized the COLD WAVES festival,” recalls Connelly. “He was integral in getting Revolting Cocks to reform at that. I felt like it was time to move on from playing old Cocks material and create a new monster.”
With their signature sound intact and a whole new range of targets, Cocksure is poised to take the Revolting Cocks to the next level. “Our sound never went away, just like classic martinis never go away,” he concludes. “People will always be discovering it, trying to mimic it, watering it down to make commercials for some lame-ass car or sports drink! COCKSURE is us using what we know and helped create but without looking back at it. We want it to apply to now, lyrically and musically. People have shorter attention spans, different drugs, different habits. There is no shortage of violence and disaster!”
Cocksure will also be performing this fall with Front 242, who celebrate their 30 year US anniversary in New York on September 24, and also in Chicago on September 27 as part of the Cold Waves festival.