Underworld: Second Toughest In The Infants– Sometime in 1995, Karl Hyde, Rick Smith and Darren Emerson went underground for reasons unknown. When one goes underground, you emerge as one of two things: A vampire who will live forever or a ninja, ready to destroy armies. It seems that once below the surface, they sacrificed and bled to become stronger to avenge the death of their entire clan at the hands of a cackling merciless dictator. Their days filled with the grime of tunnels, with the grease of black mold. The Proletariat within them, feeding on thousands of push-ups and regimens with no room for the gentle Wednesday. They hallucinate, fabricating the end to this ordeal; slowly gutting the devil who burns and singes their nerve every time they gasp for air. Equally important in this muck, they must know how and when to strike their target. Revenge leaves no room for the forgotten key or the dull blade.
Underworld has spent their days in unflinching preparation and the days, there have been so many of them. It’s all here, bound tightly in volumes of collected agonizing detail. The chair to which this knave will find himself tied has been expertly fastened to concrete with braces so tight, movement will lacerate and fracture bone. The tools to pick him apart chosen for their depth to spoon out everything; to ensure pain. Their victim now clenched under Hyde, Smith and Emerson’s arms. He has been dragged, heels losing flesh as they grind the loose gravel while he begs and screams for mercy.
There will be no kindness. As Second Toughest In The Infants breathes, its purpose is to curdle your blood. It’s a spinning void fast engulfing everything that surrounds it. Stand against it; peer into its reflection and watch as your face is ripped straight from the vessels holding you together. The record itself is so brutal and piercing it’s hard to imagine that its creators escaped its gurgling womb. As it stands, Second Toughest In the Infants makes the most potent and bruising post-punk statement since This Heat‘s Deceit. A record with few equals… 10/10