The creation of noise or grindcore can be considered art, when executed with flair and creativity. For example, Merzbow is the audio equivalent of surrealist Salvador Dali, and Nasum would be a fair approximation to the mentally disturbing Edvard Munch. Anal Cunt, on the other hand, are the eleven year old boys who think the height of hilarity is to scrawl cock and ball pictures on the desk at school. Yep, don’t expect much in the way of music when you play an Anal Cunt album, and you won’t be too disappointed. ‘Top 40 Hits’ is a pastiche of those awful old K-Tel records which had titles like “40 Pan Flute Favourites” or “’70s Swinging Samba”. The album starts with 30 seconds of piercing feedback, which morphs into muddy, distorted grinding noise. Sure, there’s guitars and drums here, and Seth Putnam’s ever present tuneless shriek, but there’s zero definition between instruments, very little which sounds like discernible musical notes.
The best thing you can say about Anal Cunt songs is that they’re short. If you hate this song, it’ll be over in a few seconds. Chances are though, you’ll hate the next one too, and there are 40 of them crammed into 38 minutes on this album. The band very rarely planned or wrote anything before recording, so a lot of what you hear is spontaneous and improvised, which explains a lot of the sloppiness.
However, occasionally, just very very occasionally, something resembling a song emerges from the din, and perfectly skewers its target, while still being as offensive as possible.
If you listen to this and get offended, it’s your own fucking fault. There are plenty of clues as to the contents, like the band’s name, the band’s logo, the album title, the song titles, the band’s reputation. If you don’t like racism, misogyny, and generally offensive, nonsensical lyrics, then why the fuck did you listen to this in the first place?
There are a few covers on here, although “cover” is too strong a word for a ten second bite of Elton John’s “I’m Still Standing”. “Theme From The A-Team” is quite recognisable, and fucking heavy, and thankfully, Seth shuts up for 45 seconds. ”Stayin’ Alive (Oi version)” is hilarious, and the vocals are more a Lawnmower Deth-esque bark than the Bee Gees’ fucking horrible falsetto. And the closer “American Woman” is better than the Lenny Kravitz version, if you don’t mind not being able to understand the vocals.
‘Top 40 Hits’ was somewhat of a transition for Anal Cunt, moving from the artless noise of their early material toward the provocatively offensive blitzkrieg of their later career. The best way to appreciate this album is to simply read the song titles in a record store, have a chuckle, put it down, and buy something else. Even if you get the joke, this isn’t really worth paying for.