Album Review

Corydon Ronnau is known among lovers of deep scum for singing in Sissy Spacek, his ongoing grind-noise project with John Wiese. As Obstacle Corpse, Ronnau performs solo with one of two instruments he's invented: either the HIV (pronounced “hive”), a guitar with heavy springs that run over the pickups in place of strings, or the HIV+ (pronounced “hive plus”), a bass guitar with springs nailed to its neck and some of the wiring torn out. c'est la vie, Obstacle Corpse's new one-sided 12-inch record, has a cumulative effect, starting out with a thin metallic clangor, quieting down ominously for a spell, and then introducing a giant death-note that builds more and more horribly until the moment when it tears your spinal cord out of your butthole with seriously unfortunate results. Corydon says it was recorded with the HIV+, but one great thing about Obstacle Corpse in performance is that you can never figure out how exactly he is creating all that sound, and the same is true on this record, which is a single take with no overdubs and two edits. It delivers that rare experience you only get from the finest noise productions: simultaneous feelings of absolute stone cold terror and perfect stoned calm, which is probably what it's like to drown. Resignation does seem to be the theme of the record: it's called “c'est la vie,” and the etching in the matrix says “SHIKATA GANAI,” which is Japanese for “Fuck it, dudeā€”let's go to the beach.”

Troniks' website is Copies of c'est la vie are still available from RRRecords ( and Hanson Records (

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