Bagman – For Kenneth McKenna (3″ CD-R, Skum Rex)

Originally, this little guy must have come with all of the Doodshoofd stuff I received in the mail. Because of its small size, I put it in with my other mini-CDrs and it must have sat there all unreviewed and lonesome until I found it the other day cleaning out my room. So for Bagman and Skum Rex, I couldn’t simply leave it without being reviewed! Bagman is Steve Bacon, and it’s listed as a power electronic/noise project, but on For Kenneth McKenna, Bagman seems to be working more in the harsh noise/harsh noise wall territory with lots of crunch and a little feedback. Kenneth McKenna was a killer who committed serial murders and is attributed with creating snuff films of young girls being killed.

“Puppy Love” starts things off with crunchy static texturing interspersed with some great feedback tones that play overtop of the static. There’s also some vocal samples underneath it all, very much incomprehensible, but they all come together for a very harsh mix that serves its purpose as a welcome opener. “Snake Feast”, too, retains that static crunch, but it often levels out with a bass tone that’s difficult to listen to when loud. The static crashes like waves, and Bagman sure knows how to get that static to sputter nicely. The power electronics kick in towards the end with vocals and blistering squalls.

“Hand of Death” breaks up the album nicely with a dark and dreary drone of wailing electronics and surging static punctuating the mix. It’s a great track on its own, but when paired with the crunchier, meatier harsh noise on this release, it works very well not just as an interlude but as a refreshing change of pace. “Gator Bait Ten” adds more power electronics power to this release with spoken vocals overtop of very stuttered static; unfortunately, For Kenneth McKenna concludes with a very annoying track, “Sated…”, of high-pitched feedback, which used to be somewhat extreme for the genre but has now become kind of old hat after its overuse. For this release, it really doesn’t do much in the context of the other tracks.

Overall, though, this older release from Bagman has some great static worship. It’s more harsh noise than power electronics, but both of those genres overlap on For Kenneth McKenna for some excellent noise. It’s too bad that the album does end on such a sour taste, but then again, serial killers generally don’t find a good end.


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