May 2013: the first Crystal Meth factory is found in Yorkshire. November 2013: Petrol Bastard release Terrible Problem. Coincidence? Possibly, but this techno-punk has to be fuelled by something and you don’t get this kind of swearing juvenilia without taking something a bit stronger than Horlicks. Sounding as dangerous as The Prodigy wish they could be, and throwing a nod to The Macc Lads with their incivility, this is a car-crash showroom of heavy beats, distorted loops, and loud angry shouting about whatever it is they are saying under their over-driven vocals. The beats and energy keep it on track as party music, with some very danceable elements, but the heaviness ensures it’s not something that will get casually thrown on the stereo.
The subject matter is filthy, rusted degeneracy: the track titles of “I spent my rent money on tentacle”, “If you die in Batley do you die in real life?”, and “The 90’s were shit (I shate on a Gameboy)” tells you everything you need to know. It’s not funny enough to make you laugh (except possibly in shock) but its amusing and real enough to get a wry smile out of you. The stylisation and lack of compromise means that when it fails (specifically the track “Fiat Multipla”) it gets annoying very quickly, however the low points are few and far between. The mashing off drum and bass, breakbeats, dubstep elements and noise also makes it not the easiest of listens as at points it sounds like they are trying to do everything all at once. Then again they appear to be aiming for disorientation and confrontation in their sound so it is highly effective on that front.
Mostly you're going to experience a lot of noise and fury and filth. Either you're going to find it caving its way into your heart, with you coming back for more, or it's going to piss you off and you'll never want to hear it again. Either way you will have a definite reaction to it and that is exactly what the band is after.
No David Bowies were harmed in the production of this album.