punish yourself
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punish yourself

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Punish Yourself's web page reads : "If you don't like machines, just fuck off. If you don't like guitars, just fuck off. If you don't like gay people, just fuck off. If you don't like, sex, drugs & violence, just fuck off. But if you want cyberpunk, this is the right place.". Indeed. Throwing together a savage mix of S&M culture, anti-american politics and horror based references, their crazy-fast brand of music is quite devastating. Sexplosive Locomotive begins with "gay boys in bondage", an introduction to the fusion of hostile guitar and feral beats that forcefully burn through the entire album. Such real agression is actually what keeps the disc solid. The bratty vocals of "gimme cocaine" are quite effective when peppered with the violent sounds. The disc also features a bonus live track of "rock'n'roll machine", a song with guitar additions rivalling Ministry's glory days. You don't need the video to tell you that these guys put on a great show. However, if you don't like powerful performances, I guess you can just fuck off.

- Mike Addair


Slowing down the speed, but cranking up the volume, Punish Yourself stay true to their brand of erotically-charged, horror-drenched industrial rock, even throwing in a bit of variety into the mix.
At first glance of the band's fourth album, one might get the impression that Punish Yourself has done little to stray from their established formula. Indeed, this French band still dishes out an aggressive barrage of warped synthesizers mixed with grating rock & roll propelled by erotic lyrical and visual energy. However, Gore Baby Gore! shows the band progressing into slower territory, allowing their songs time to ferment with the audience as they listen instead of hitting them hard and fast like a musical drive by. That's not to say the band has mellowed; far from it. Punish Yourself still pummel their way through your speakers with the force of a jackhammer with fake sexual appendages attached for a good sonic fucking.

Gore Baby Gore! may be slower on speed, but is no less heavy than any of the band's previous albums. From the first scraping guitars and battering ram percussion of "Come On Come On," the party begins loud and hard with a bite-sized industrial rocker. "Dead-White Skin" follows as the sleaze quotient is raised during the verses while the track builds up to an almost melodic and utterly haunting chorus with the vocals building to an almost painful screech. The same can be said for "Worms," which could almost be a darkwave track if not for the layers of noisy effects and marching drums, but once again with an eerily melodic chorus uncharacteristic of Punish Yourself. We get a touch of some urban jazz atmosphere with the saxophones on "Sister Apocalypse," giving the song a pompous and sexual quality befitting a pimp donned in the wardrobe of a typical rivethead. This track, along with the oppressive EBM synths and beats of "Gun," the pornographic lounge vibe of "Las Vegas 2060's," and the racing rhythms of "Mothra Lady" could easily have fit alongside songs on the band's previous album, Sexplosive Locomotive.

The album shows the rowdy rockers progressing into an experimental realm with some interlude tracks; from the squeaking feedback-laden guitar noise of "VXI (The Tower)" to the soothing erotic ambience of "VIII (Strength)," Punish Yourself proves with Gore Baby Gore! that they are no one-trick pony. The European edition of the album includes The Voodoo Gun Night Live DVD, a treat for the eyes and the ears, showing the band's boisterous black lit performances in all its depraved glory. Alas, American audiences will have to miss out on this feature, but no matter. Listening to Gore Baby Gore! will surely provide you with enough zombie pinups and porno rock energy to get your juices flowing. Whether your place is on the dance floor or the mosh pit, Punish Yourself knows how to deliver the goods. - Ilker Yucel


Zombies pinups and porno films bathed in black lights make this French band one to watch out for lest they rape you in the eye socket.
When one thinks of noisy industrial rock, France may not be the first nation that comes to mind. Nonetheless, from France comes Punish Yourself, a band that presents an audio and visual extravaganza the likes of which haven’t been seen or heard of in some time. If you were to combine Atari Teenage Riot’s digital hardcore sound with the raucous and sexually explicit sound and imagery of Bile and Lords of Acid, with just a pinch of Rob Zombie’s schlock horror visuals, you might have an inkling of what Punish Yourself look and sound like. On their third album, Sexplosive Locomotive, the band further refines their formula. The music is characterized by a barrage of warp speed synthesizers and drums, guitar riffs that penetrate your ears like a chainsaw to the skull, and vocals so loud and obnoxious they would make hardcore punks cower in fear. On top of that is the band’s inimitably aggressive imagery; black lights, cages, makeup, and as much nudity as their audience is willing to dish out, Punish Yourself’s stage show looks like an orgy of zombies.

With songs like “Gay Boys in Bondage,” “Primitive,” and “Holy Trinh Thi” (named after French porn star Coralie Trinh Thi, who also co-wrote the band’s own comic book…yes, they have a comic book!), it’s not difficult to tell the band’s predilections for complete erotic abandon. The band is unapologetic in its promotion and encouragement of deviant sexual practices, putting the playful lyrics of Lords of Acid and the Genitorturers to shame. Not that Punish Yourself is devoid of humor. On the interlude “Eastern Western,” the band manipulates samples of our illustrious and infamous commander-in-chief with CNN samples to create some disturbingly funny phrases such as, “Make no decision,” and “You’re either with the military, or you’re with CNN.” Suffice to say, some conservative American audiences may be put off by the seemingly brazen anti-American statements made on songs like “CNN War” and “U.S.D. (We Are Ready),” or even in the promotion of illegal drug usage on the straightforward rocker “Gimme Cocaine.” Then again, it’s safe to make the assumption that Punish Yourself is far from being a conservative band anyway.

Included on Sexplosive Locomotive is a bonus live video of “Rock ‘n Roll Machine,” which should give those unfortunate enough to never have seen the band’s live show a glimpse of just what sort of audio/visual torture Punish Yourself dishes out to its audiences. While the music is not particularly anything new in the realm of noise-ridden industrial rock, the band plays out its formula in fine fashion, showing no signs of holding back where other bands would. The term “Sex, Drugs, and Rock ‘n Roll” has become something of an anachronism in this day and age of safe sex and the postwar on drugs; Punish Yourself are out to change that and bring back the subversive attitudes of old with the force trauma of a battering ram to the brain while having electro shock therapy on the genitals. Punish Yourself is not a band for everybody, and the music on Sexplosive Locomotive will surely frighten and offend many. But if you have an open mind, and the eyes and ears for the extreme pleasures and pains in life, then you’ll certainly be able to handle this album. - Ilker Yucel


This is the first chance that I have had to listen to a DTrash release and from the reviews that I’ve read of some of their releases they are either hit or miss. So with no real exceptations, I popped in Punish Yourself’s latest release Behind the City Lights (Live). Now let me throw in a disclaimer here. I have done so far. About the only real information other than the track titles that I can pull from the notes is that the material on the disc was recorded live between 2001 and 2003. Anyway the music itself reminds me of Atari Teenage Riot in a lot of ways, as they have loud screamed male and female vocals and the music is loud and distorted into an almost unbearable level… almost but not quite. The drums are fast and almost indistinguishable between tracks as each one has the basic fast rhythm. Thrown into the drume barrage are some very hard synth chords that incite foot stomping. For pure aggression this album is great… these guys would fit perfectly in on Alec Empire’s Digital Hardcore label. Don’t let the word « live » shy you away from purchasing this one either as the sound quality is superb for a live recording as there are only light crowd noises that are only really heard when the music dies out. From the sound of this disc these guys can put on one hell of a good live show. So, if loud and fast hardcore gabber industrial is your thing you won’t be disappointed with this effort put forth by a band that deserves more exposure.
- Industrial Nation


Discography

Cult Movie (album) (2007)
Gore Baby Gore (album) (2006)
The Voodoo Gun Night (live DVD) (2006
Crypt 1996-2002 (2005)
Sexplosive Locomotive (album) (2004)
Behind The City Lights (live album) (2003)
Disco Flesh Warp 99 (album) (2001)
Feuer Tanz System (album) (1998)

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Bio

Punish Yourself have been touring Europe with their neon-light lit bodypaint show for ten years now, slowly building a strong fanbase, especially in the french cultural area (France, Belgium, Switzerland). After 6 studio albums, they are often compared to Ministry, Atari Teenage Riot or Nine Inch Nails, but their music actually owes much more to “ B-Series ” bands like White Zombie, The Cramps or The Lords Of Acid, or electronic ancestors like Skinny Puppy or Front 242 (Jean Luc Demeyer, F242’s frontman, has been joining Punish Yourself onstage quite often in 2006 and 2007). Their heavily electronic-clad sonic violence always interlaces with humour and subcultural imagery (zombies, cyber-voodoo ande fetish werewolves from mars !). Ultra-heavy dance beats, ultra-heavy guitars, and a real sense of decadent fun : this is the band most kids dream of. But PY’s audience is much larger than the average teenage crowd... Goths, metalheads, rivetheads, punkrockers, gay activists and glam lovers mix easily in this audience.