CROATAN: Violent Passion Surrogate CD [harsh female vocals, frighteningly bizarre alternative rock, 19 songs] Check samples


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Bizarre affair in Man’s Ruin Records. Female vocals and songs like “”Your Friend IN The Cowbay Hat (The Viagra Song), “”The Sun Will Burn You If You Try To Eat It””, etc.

Croatan ?-“ Violent Passion Surrogate
Label: Man’s Ruin Records ?
Format: CD, Album
Country: US
Released: 1998
Genre: Hardcore, Noise, Punk
1 Blastoff 1:16
2 Career Day 2:54
3 Fast Eddie 3:14
4 Violent Passion Surrogate 2:20
5 Army Of God 4:31
6 Stop Me Before I Think Again 1:39
7 Why Do You Think They Call It Dope? 3:55
8 Contagion 2:14
9 Till Voices Wake Us And We Drown 3:03
10 Storyteller 3:42
11 Discontent 2:59
12 Quentin Gets A Watch 2:47
13 The Chase 3:30
14 Your Friend In The Cowbay Hat (The Viagra Song) 2:36
15 The Sun Will Burn You If You Try To Eat It 2:27
16 Double Yellow 2:40
17 Carnivore 3:32
18 Tonight No Nightmare 2:51
19 Splashdown 1:15
Duration 53:25

Drums -“ Mark*
Guitar, Vocals -“ Jenny*
Producer -“ Croatan
Recorded By -“ Bill Gwynne

High Beam Online Zine:
It takes a few listens to get a grip of where this two piece? from Cincinnati are coming from but once you do this is truly a great record of feedback and noise with raw and harsh female vocals cruising over the top of the chaos. While there is an obvious punk rock influence in there you cannot compare them to any band in particular. Croatan are Croatan. Starting with the wall of noise that is Blast Off they then hit full throttle with tracks such as Career Day,Stop Me Before I Think Again and Contagion.Tracks such as Fast Eddie,Army Of God and Till Voices Wake Us And Drown lean more toward the slowish groove side of the band and tracks such as V.P.S and Why Do You Think They Call It Dope? are in a different league again.This CD is a nineteen track effort and the high paced chaos continues to rein on tracks such as Storyteller, Discontent, Your Friend In The Cowboy Hat and Carnivore. Track 13 The Chase is a very interesting song that highlights the frantic drumming nature of Croatan while Double Yellow is a fine piece of groovy rock and is probably the highlight of the album for me. In a fitting way they close the album the same way as it was opened with a wall of noise titled Splashdown.This is a CD well worth checking out if you are into something a little different. Croatan just jam out the songs on this CD giving it a totally raw feel,it is pretty loose but this is obviously how it is meant to be and while the vocals do get a little piercing at times this is chaotic sound at its finest and will please fans of noise and feedback.

Reviewed by Jeb Taylor
Yet another frighteningly bizarre record from the sickos at Man’s Ruin. “”Violent Passion Surrogate”” might sound like 10 heavyweight thugs kicking their instruments down the stairs, but is actually the product of just two individuals named Mark and Jenny from Cincinnati.Quite how the two of them managed to create such a venomous racket isn’t clear, but you know they aren’t messing around. Feedback-drenched opener ‘Blastoff’ sounds like the Butthole Surfers attempting to breed with brooding sludgemeisters the Melvins, but best of all is ‘The Sun Will Burn You If You Try To Eat It’ – a track so chaotically random in its approach that it’s unclear whether it can actually be classified as music.One part genius, nine parts insanity.

Reviewed by James Sherry
deathtodeadthings zine:
This Cincinnati duo comprises of Jenny (bass / vocals) and Mark (drums), so the comparisons with godheadsilo are inevitable, that is if ghs really let themselves go and employed a girl to yelp and scream. Croatan have a more varied style, relying little on mechanical structures and they kick up a lot of dust. The only draw back is that there is a hell of a lot of stuff here, 19 songs in 54 minutes, but in small doses it is devastating. [7]

Reviewed by Ian Webster
Sludgy, noise and angst filled prog metal from Cincinnati OH. Drummer Mark Light’s wild bashing and guitarist-singer Jenny Grey’s throaty hollering and minor-key riffery slightly resembles that of Babes In Toyland, only scarier. The duo’s new noise-filled album Violent Passion Surrogate gives local duo Jucifer a run for its money.

Flipside #120:
The Ohio brother and sister noise duo are back with their spooky, grindy, guitar-ridden sound. Man, this girl can wail. Jenny has a great feminine (none of that “”manly”” chick stuff) and the sound is just plain strong. The album opens with a nice, noise-drenched intro, then “”Career Day.”” distorted guitar, and that fun tribal – Babes In Toylandesque feeling drums. I really dig Croatan, some people I know can’t tolerate it, but it’s sort of fun, sloppy, and nauseating and I really like it. Their trademarks are the way they play their instruments. Distorted guitar, and those loud drums as I described above. My significant other tells me “”they are like a less melodic Painteens.”” The metal shows on “”Army of God.”” Pure metal, baby – grindy mean and EVIL! It’s really hard to describe them, just when I think I have it, something happens and the metal shows, or the grindcore, or the Babes In Toyland obnoxiousness. “”Why Do You Think They Call It Dope?”” is a spooky song, draining distortion and a very dark feel. I think my one complaint is the recording quality and mixdown. It gives it a sort of a ratty, more boombox feel, and I think if they had a better mixdown, and such, then it could have sounded tighter – still noisy, and sloppy – but Croatan would get their due. They are keen though, one of a kind in their loud way, and I think they’d scare any non-believer who saw them live or heard the album. But alas, Croatan has a special place in my heart.

Reviewed by Miss Sarah A. Stierch
What is raw production is also raw energy which makes for raw listening. This one is like really chapped lips; hurts like hell but fun to pick at. Girl vocals vs. gritty guitars make this record an uneasy listen, barely tolerable unless you’re in one of those hurt small animals moods, in which Croatan make music to commit heinous acts by. 19 tracks in all from this Cincinnati duo. Made my ears bleed in a good sorta way.

Reviewed by Zack Negative
Here Be Monsters – Mar 99:
Take the best Bikini Kill track you can think of ripped apart, painfully experimented on, then partly reformed and aggitated. Add Earth + Suicide atmospheres and change the speed a lot……oh and top off with metallic thumpings and feedback guitars!!! “”Violent Passion…”” is music for our selfish 90’s, for playing in the dark at full tilt with the neighbours hammering on the walls whilst you’re hiding in the corner, pissed and snivelling! A joy…!!!

The Fritz – Music and Entertainment:
Man, Croatan sounds old. Not in the broad-based way that, say, Sloan sounds like 1971 all over again, but in a specifically time-locked way, when late 70’s no wave collided with pre-cross over american hardcore – we’re talking ’82 or ’83 here. Sounding like a band that might have shared the stage with 8 Eyed Spy at CBGB’s back in the day, Croatan take mainlined Black Sabbath-Flag riffs, clattering death march drums, squalling feedback, and vocals that sound like the lovechild of Geddy Lee and Lydia Lunch and compress them into one bleak and dirty record – a highly enjoyable and thoroughly endorsed spiral of violence.

Reviewed by Nathan T. Birk
The Chatanooga Times:
Croatan’s ultra-heavy mix of rhythmic hardcore and bombastic metal riffs defines one of the sharpest detours from conventional hard rock in recent years. Comprised of singer-guitarist Jenny Grey and drummer Mark Light, the Cincinnati group’s sound, while heavy throughout, veers from primal thrash to noisy, industrial blasts of feedback with enough control and imagination to draw the listener in. Their latest record, “”Violent Passion Surrogate”” is sonically the group’s most realized effort to date. The majority of VPS bristles with raw, unrestrained rock. Grey’s scream/growl in the post-punk vein has acquired a stronger presence that lends “”Why Do You Think They Call It Dope?”” and the LP’s title track a new sense of urgency. Bolstered by a wall of thick guitar and Mark Light’s frenetic drumming, Croatan is emerging as quite a creative powerhouse, most notably on mid-tempo cuts like “”Double Yellow”” and the overdriven groove of “”Tonight No Nightmare.”” Lyrically, themes of suspicion and despair may seem unapepealing, but with a liberal dose of humor and no shortage of riffs, Croatan’s catharsis can be anyone’s.

Reviewed by Chris Zelk – Online Reviews:
Feeling seriously fucked in the head today? Want to feel even more mental? Then slap “”Violent Passion Surrogate”” by CROATAN into the old CD player. Mark and Jenny make up this Cincinnati outfit, and this reviewer is certain that they were abused as children. Possibly even as adults. The music is heavy and dark with a pretty cool groove, then all hell breaks loose when Jenny begins to “”croon.”” Put this one on in the dark after the kids are asleep. I hope this CD sells so CROATON can afford some “”help.””

Reviewed by Fred Dixon
Midheaven Mailorder:
More knuckle-plodding, metalatated pain rock from these Cincinnati dement-wads. Nineteen brutal tracks of ear-damaging feedback, fucked-up female vocals, and pounding drum bursts. Nothing pleasant about it. ***

Midheaven Mailorder Review Page
All-Media Guide:
Depending on your perspective, Violent Passion Surrogate is either incredibly inspired or an exercise in noise for the sake of noise. Croatan’s alternative rock is definitely noisy, but it isn’t mindlessly noisy — it’s music that lead singer/guitarist Jenny brings a lot of conviction to, as well as a lot of angst. The duo’s songs are dissonant, abrasive, intense and forceful, and Jenny’s screaming, tortured vocals bring them to life in a most vivid way. At times, Jenny is a little too self-indulgent, but she brings so much conviction to her outbursts that you can forgive her that shortcoming. Think of Lydia Lunch at her most searing, and you’ll have some idea of where Jenny is coming from. Obviously, music this off-center isn’t for everyone, but those who are daring enough to go along for the ride will find that Violent Passion Surrogate has a lot going for it.

Reviewed by Alex Henderson
Metal Review:
Croatan is a mixed bag to say the least, from the bio’s description: “”Damaged feedback, demented female vocals, ploddingly brutal metaloid rock drumming…”” one would expect a female fronted Eyehategod or Buzzov*en. Musically, Croatan sound more akin to a louder, sloppier Babes In Toyland, Hole when they were slutty, obnoxious and couldn’t play worth a shit and from time to time, the Melvins, with their excessive use of feedback and occasional slowness. Croatan are by no means crap, rocking in a way that a lot of rock has disregarded, and they are definitely damaged and severely fucked up. They should have little trouble appealing to fans of any of the aforementioned bands.

Reviewed by Chris Gramlich
Alice’s Records:
An unholy, indescribable racket of feedback, demented female vocals and noisy garage standard rock. A harsh and painful experience like the least listener-friendly bits of the Melvins meets old Hole outtakes.

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