Spin #54 : Slipknot : Iowa
SUNDAY DROP - SPIN #54
Our 54th Sunday drop this week is the second studio album from the Nine, 'IOWA' by Slipknot. I did try and mix it up a bit this week after last week's mellow spin and didn't realise that Slipknot become the first band/artist to feature twice as one of our Spins. If you haven't checked out our review of 'We Are Not Your Kind' then please click this link after you read this one. This time, however we are going back into their earlier stuff when Joey and Paul were still alive. Now if you don't know this about the band, they hail from the United States of America from Des Moines, Iowa. They get a lot of inspiration from their home town and felt the need to name their second album after it. I was researching the state of Iowa and apparently they are known for their Snickers salad. If you are reading this and have any insight into that salad, please write in and let us know.
For this review I chose our set up in our front room because the weather has been absolutely beautiful....minus the humidity, countless bugs and having to mow the lawns every couple of days. If you are reading for the first time, the set up in our front room is the smaller of the two - Marshall Woburn II speaker and AT-LP60XBT turntable (connected via RCA and not using bluetooth). I like it because I can soak up the weather by the window but if it gets too hot, I may have to swap over to the loungin (what our children call the loungeroom).
Image : Paul Gray, Shawn Crahan, Sid Wilson, Jim Root, Corey Taylor, Mick Thomson, Chris Fehn, Joey Jordison and Craig Jones
If you really want to be creeped out whilst listening to 'IOWA' then place some headphones on for the first intro track of '(515)'. It goes for about a minute and involves Sid Wilson letting his emotions go due to his grandfather passing away. It was so raw and brutal that they decided to make it the intro, even though it was recorded on the final day in the studio. Probably not the greatest one to play at night or for the kiddies, so thankfully I am spinning this one on my own today. There have been some disturbing and weird things happening in our house recently and some things I just can't explain. Have you ever had strange things happen in your home that are unexplainable?
While you are thinking about that, the stylus is making its way to the start of second track called 'PEOPLE = SHIT'. I was gobsmacked to research that this wasn't one of the singles released from the album to be honest, possibly because of the profanities used. This would have to be my favourite track on the album and I know that my sister also loves this one. The start makes you feel that it is going to be another '(515)' but quickly changes your mind when Corey Taylor (The Neck) starts screaming the opening verse, " Come on down and see the idiot right here. Too fucked to beg and not afraid to care. What's the matter with calamity anyway? Right? Get the fuck outta my face. Understand I can't feel anything, It isn't like I wanna sift through the decay. I feel like a wound like I got a fucking gun against my head, you live when I'm Dead. One more time, motherfucker!". I remember hearing this track when my sister played it on CD, probably around the age of 11 or 12 and was blown away by the rawness, aggression and energy. It can be a very powerful song to play to release anger and focus it by singing or drumming along. Whilst this track is playing, I am fascinated by the production quality of 'IOWA' and how similar it is to the original release on vinyl. If you haven't already gone out to purchase this one then I suggest you do soon. Slipknot albums have been very hard to come by in recent years and not sure when they will repress them again.
Roadrunner records and Slipknot have now parted ways, meaning the last cash grab the label could do was to repress their entire back catalogue before leaving. The release of their 2022 album, 'The End, So Far' or 'The End, For Now' for some presses could be referring to the end of their time with Roadrunner records and not that it is the last album from the band. Who knows? Only the Nine do really. The heavy drums of Joey Jordison come smashing through the Woburn II speaker on next song, 'DISASTERPIECE'. The lyrics are confronting to start this one but are somewhat memorable and fun to sing along with. I don't know how they find the energy to make this style of music and their live shows are just insane, if you haven't had a chance to see them. I know they are hosting Knotfest in Australia at the end of March 2023 and they will be joined by the likes of Megadeth, Parkway Drive, Trivium, Northlane and Spiritbox to name a few. If only the cost of living wasn't getting more and more expensive by the week (which is getting absolutely ridiculous these days). I've really scaled back buying any records other than Waxx Lyrical's Record of the Month subscription because of the cost of living now. If you are feeling the struggle too, reach out for a chat or a vent. I love the guitar work of Jim Root and Mick Thomson on this album and feel that they bring solid riffs consistently. If you haven't had a chance to check out Taylor and Crahan's kids band called 'VENDED' then I highly suggest you look at their EP's on Spotify. At some moments it's as if Corey is singing (not his son) and Clown is doing his thing on percussion (not his son behind the kit).
The raw ending leads into the first single released from the album called,
'MY PLAGUE'. The drumming and percussion work really stands out on this track and I like the pacing of Taylors vocals when he sings, "You fucking touch me, I will rip you apart. I'll reach in and take a bite out of that shit you call a heart". It also showcases Taylors clean vocals. I read that sales of 'IOWA' were going well until the events of September 11, 2001 happened. Once that happened, sales fell off a cliff as no one was in the mood for buying music. I didn't realise that this was the case and the album was released so close to that world event. I do always remember that the album 'God Hates Us All' from Slayer was released on the actual day the World Trade Centre towers fell. If you haven't read my review of 'God Hates Us All' - Check it out here as we chose it for our 29th Spin. The last song on Side A is called
'EVERYTHING ENDS'. I wrote about this song but when reading over what I wrote to proof read, I noticed that it had disappeared. So frustrating. I like the opening lyrics from Taylor, "You are wrong, fucked and overrated, I think I'm gonna be sick and it's you fault. This is the end of everything, you are the end of everything. I haven't slept since I woke up and found my whole life was a lie, motherfucker. This is the end of everything, you are the end of everything". I like this song and annoyed that my original notes have succumbed to the glitch gremlin.
Time to flip LP 1 for Side B and hear the explosive track 'THE HERETIC ANTHEM'. I love this song and when they played it live back in 2016, the crowd was going off their heads. Somebody donate us a drum kit and a sound proof room haha because I have the urge to drum to this one. At the moment we just don't have the room or money but that is a future dream that we are working towards. I remember showing my son this track a couple of years ago, probably when he was 2 years old because the introduction has them counting down from eight. They do however make a mistake and count instead, "eight-seven-six-six-six-five-four-three-two-one-zero". That count in as everyone slowly comes in to the track is so memorable and you can't help but sing the chorus to this one. If you haven't seen Sid Wilson live and all his antics, you will have to look him up on YouTube.
So something that was creepy that happened last night occurred right on midnight, I mean to the exact minute. Originally we thought the baby monitor had turned on with our daughter crying but it was the television turning on in the loungeroom by itself, which was super eerie. Now if a bug had of crawled over the remote, it would have to have some weight to it because I can stand in front of our television with the remote and not get it to turn on every press of the button. Also, if it was a brownout then the alarm clock next to my bedside would have reset to indicate loss of power. I really don't know how it happened to be honest and if this has happened to you please let me know. It also doesn't help that it was so muggy last night and our daughter deciding to start screaming like a toddler for the first time. Just as Night Kat Kiz and I were dozing off, she screamed like a banshee and it made both of us sit bolt upright. The track ends with Taylor asking "What's it like to be a heretic?".
The second song on Side B 'GENTLY', is a song they released on their first album called 'Mate. Feed. Kill. Repeat'. Yes, it was their first album and recorded without Corey Taylor on vocals or major label assistance. Released originally in 1996 but changed slightly before it was included on 'IOWA'. If you were lucky enough to get your hands on the 1000 pressed, congratulations. The band as we know it now made the barcode numbers the name of their first song on major label debut 'Self-titled'. The stylus slowly moves into the big single from this album called 'LEFT BEHIND' and straight away you can tell that this one gets played at all their live shows. I love to drum along to this one when I am sitting down and listening along and the use of clean vocals compared to the songs that preceded this one really makes this song standout. This song is actually about the time in Corey Taylor's life when he was homeless and living underneath a bridge in Des Moines. It is referencing all the friends he came across during that moment in his life and glad that he was able to turn his life around. I know that he has felt the need to attempt suicide multiple times and if you or someone you know is in a similar situation, make sure they know they have other options and you are there to talk.
Last track on Side B is called 'THE SHAPE' and the name reminds me of what they call Michael Myers in all the Halloween movies. I felt very Korn vibes on this one when the chorus is being sung, "Separate, I've lost my only way". I think it is because of the layers you can pick up more on vinyl, but the bass of Paul Gray is freakin' awesome on this one. Time to put LP 1 into its slipcase and place LP 2 onto the turntable. What have you thought so far of the album? Greatest Slipknot album?
'I AM HATED' leads of the second LP with the differing vocal sound which reminds me a bit of 'SPIT IT OUT' on their self-titled album. Catchy as hell lyrics and probably the better song on this side. There were just too many lyrics to write down for this one so I am hoping that you read along at home as this song is killer.
To be honest the next couple of songs on the album are ones that I probably skipped or didn't remember as well when I was listening as an 11 or 12 year old. Coming back to them now on vinyl definitely improves the listening experience of some of the lesser known tracks. 'SKIN TICKET' sounds almost like an instrumental filler track at the start until Taylor starts some very sinister and creepy spoken word lines, "Come see my cage, built in my grain". I dare you to listen to this one late at night with a decent pair of headphones on and have your back to an open room or sitting looking down a long dark hallway......super creepy. Probably not one that would ever be played live by the band and coming in at almost 7 minutes. The next song, 'NEW ABORTION' starts off with some fine sampling as always of Wilson before the heaviness comes in. Listen carefully to all the layers on this one and it definitely picks up the mood after the last song.
I like the next song but it does feel like 'METABOLIC' is the end of their energy levels and exhaustion has taken over. There are moments where this could be a huge song for them but is it overshadowed because it's at the end of the album? I think slightly, yes. Time to flip over the LP to Side D now and listen to the 15 minute self-titled track, 'IOWA'. Another one to listen too with a decent pair of headphones if you have them as there is a lot going on on this song. It sounds like there is a carnival going on or people are screaming slightly to the gusts of wind at the beginning. I recognise Taylors laugh and it sounds like he could be laughing at people locked in a cage possibly? Taunting them more than likely with the long dreads hanging down over his mask. I didn't realise until researching but apparently Taylor recorded this song's vocals whilst in the nude as he cut himself with glass and induced vomiting. I have no idea why in the hell he felt the need to do all of that but it definitely makes the track unique.
All you have to remember is Slipknot made this music is reflection of how they were feeling at the time, and that feeling was very low. Apparently during or just after the recording of this album, they were pretty over being in each others space and couldn't wait to finish. A lot of energy and emotion put into a record can leave you numb and empty. Thank you for coming along this Sunday with myself and the Nine. I hope that you enjoyed the album and maybe got to hear it all the way through for the first time or first time in a long time. Don't forget to mark it down in your calendars for next Sunday as we spin something a little different to this weeks choice. Thanks for getting involved in the MWSP guessing game each Wednesday too and let me know if the clues are too easy or hard and I will adjust.
Until our next Spin, be Kind to maggots (Slipknot Fans, not real ones) and be Kind to your Wax!
SLIPKNOT, ROSS ROBINSON
SPEED PLAYED AT
33 1/3 RPM
SLIPKNOT (SELF-TITLED - 1999)
VOL. 3: (THE SUBLIMINAL VERSES) (2004)
WHAT IS IT//KILL IT EP - VENDED (2001)
PEOPLE = SHIT
RATING OUT OF 5
WHAT'S INSIDE THE RECORD SLEEVE
2 x TRANSLUCENT GREEN LP IN SHINY GATEFOLD. LYRICS PRINTED ON RECORD SLEEVES AND IMAGERY OF BAND
" Come on down and see the idiot right here. Too fucked to beg and not afraid to care. What's the matter with calamity anyway? Right? Get the fuck outta my face. Understand I can't feel anything, It isn't like I wanna sift through the decay. I feel like a wound like I got a fucking gun against my head. You live when I'm dead. One more time, motherfucker" People = Shit - Side A
LP 1 / SIDE
PEOPLE = SHIT
THE HERETIC ANTHEM
LP 2 / SIDE
I AM HATED
The spectacular live show of 'The Nine'