Kitchen Knife Conspiracy
"Worst Case In Stereo"

(Self-Released 2003)Kitchen Knife Conspiracy - Worst Case In Stereo

It proved impossible to ignore the artwork adorning Kitchen Knife's Conspiracy's Worst Case In Stereo. The cover features a Beavis-and-Butthead-quality pencil sketch of a bloody toilet bowl overflowing with severed limbs, all bony and dripping with blood, along with a boom box and what looks like seaweed. A large brown rat drools over a decaying head, while two meathooks dangle from chains affixed to the back wall. On the back is a stained glass image of an altar boy sucking off a robed priest. The CD itself is emblazoned with goat's-head pentagrams and the promise/threat "Urine for a treat."

So, are you expecting me to say I was disgusted? That the music was as revolting as the images on the cover? Fuck no. The problem with "Worst Case In Stereo" is that the contents of the CD aren't nearly perverted enough. When a band shows me mutilated limbs coming out of a toilet on the cover of their album, then by God (sorry, by Satan!) I want to hear some mutilated-limbs-coming-out-of-a-toilet music!

What does Kitchen Knife Conspiracy actually deliver? Mostly warmed-over, late-'80s Megadeth and Anthrax riffs, some death-metal burping so stale you can smell yesterday's backwashed Pepsi on the singer's breath, and a far-below-Danzig attempt at heavy metal blues. "If you come inside / you might lose your mind!" warns vocalist John Prosenjak. Having been desensitized by three decades of Ozzy Osbourne and two decades of Cannibal Corpse, I don't think my mind was ever in danger while listening to Worst Case In Stereo.

On an album largely devoid of highlights, there's actually one moment that almost justifies logging on to K.K.C.'s (glad they didn't spell conspiracy "Konspiracy," or that abbreviation would really look bad) website and ordering yourself a copy. That would be the band's cover of Nirvana's "Something In The Way". The track opens with sampled news reports of Kurt Cobain's suicide (a different one in each speaker -- pretty freaky when you're wearing headphones), leading into a pummeling grindcore interpretation of the original, with one vocalist (a guest identified as "Fred") singing the lyrics in a relatively clear, Cobain-like style and Prosenjak doubling him up in a good n' grimy death-metal croak. It's one of those so-ridiculous-it's-genius novelty covers that you just have to include on the next mix CD you make for your best friend's birthday. Nine or ten more like that, and "Worst Case In Stereo" just might have lived up to its bloody-diarrhea wrapping.