I’ve never been to a show in San Diego, but I often imagine what it’s like. In my vision, there’s a tiny, cramped art-space packed with two groups: those who know the Locust and those who worship the Locust. The members of the latter group, having heard of the band just recently via an Alternative Press article, is new to the concept of “noise-core” and clings to whatever they’re given. For them, Love in the Fascist Brothel, the second full-length from San Diego’s Plot to Blow up the Eiffel Tower, is perfect.
A flimsily stylish romp through now-weathered territory, Love in the Fascist Brothel is full of sexually charged lyrics and an ambiguous disdain for authority, making it about as offensive as the Sex Pistols’ reunion tour. And it’s quite a shame. On previous efforts, including their 2003 debut, Dissertation, Honey, the Plot seemed driven by musical experimentation and allegiance to DIY. Instead, the band signed with Revelation, a hardcore label with the ethics of a major, and produced this.
For fans of post-hardcore and noise, Love in the Fascist Brothel is easy listening, treading water somewhere between the work of Arab on Radar and older releases by the Blood Brothers. These reference points sound wonderful on paper, but they are the bane of the Plot’s existence. From the incoherently trebly guitar work to the predictably erratic drumming, almost every element of the record comes and goes when expected. A brief glimpse of innovation is found in the sparse use of sampling on “Lipstick SS,” but it’s not nearly enough to redeem such a tired album.
Perhaps even more irritating than the musicianship are the conviction-lacking vocals. The lyrics on “Love in the Sex Prison” and “Angry, Young and Rich” are sung with a forced sass and convey ideas taken straight from a ninth-grade poetry reading. Unsurprisingly restricted to concepts of promiscuity and “revolution,” the record’s lyrical content is summed up in its title.
Love in the Fascist Brothel is flawed and boring, offering watered-down versions of experimental hardcore and progressive politics. But the band and label need not worry: there is a definite market for this sort of thing on the shelves of Hot Topic across the country.