Intercourse - Halo Castration Institute LP (Color Vinyl)

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In a nod to the iconic line from the film Stand By Me, the album's opening track and first single, "Where Losers Go to Die," kicks off with frontman Tarek Ahmed bellowing: "Hey man, want to see a dead body?" What follows is an eerie The Jesus Lizard-esque dirge that slips into a Neanderthal breakdown, serving as a perfect introduction to Intercourse's world. Choosing brutish simplicity as their weapon of choice, the band prowls the shadowy fringes of noise rock and hardcore, a zone also occupied by the likes of Chat Pile and Couch Slut. "We’re too weird for a lot of the hardcore scene and too aggro for the weird scene," states Ahmed. The band's sole founding member, Ahmed wields a singular vocal style that smashes the line between the sublime and the ridiculous. With a strangulated roar, almost cartoonish in its unhinged glory, Ahmed spouts painfully direct, often poetic, lyrics about the pain of existence. His songs reference a litany of characters from his own past, growing up in the backwoods of Connecticut as an Egyptian kid in the post-9/11 years, and from the annals of true crime – hitman Richard "The Iceman" Kulkinski, bulldozer enthusiast Marvin Heemeyer, and Bjork stalker Ricardo Lopez, to name a few. A 2021 write-up from No Echo hailed Ahmed as "a brilliant wordsmith I aspire to someday match in skill." Of the album's first single, "Where Losers Go to Die," Ahmed states: “The song is about trying to fight your own existential dread and realizing how futile it is. Life sucks, it only gets worse, and all anyone will offer you is clichéd advice." The song's official music video is a lo-fi slice of unease that matches the song's anxiety to a tee. "I directed the video and our guitarist Sean edited it," says Ahmed. "We were going for a 'Blair Witch' vibe and I love how the vibe matches the album art." Halo Castration Institute is Intercourse's ninth release in less than a decade. The album was recorded at Dead Man’s Blade studio in New Britain, CT by Ryan Pelegano, and was mastered by Mike Moschetto.