Cum The Raw Prawn - Cosmic Psychos (Desperate Records)
There’s something reassuring about a new Cosmic Psychos record. It’s about ageing disgracefully and all that. The fuzz bass, careering guitar lines and shout-spoken – no, drawled – vocals about beer, drinking and other everyday pursuits wrap themselves around you like a favourite blue singlet on a sweltering December day.
No Psychos record is radically different from another and therein lies the comfort factor. If you’ve been paying attention, by now you know exactly what you’re going to get. There’s more verbal abuse here than Caitlin Jenner taking a post-operative vacation at an ISIS-controlled holiday resort.
You’ll either immerse yourself in “Cum The Raw Prawn”, their ninth studio album, or run the other way. If it’s the latter, it’s not that the band could give a flying fuck. They just do what they always do – which is take a bow and literally bare their arses to fans and foes alike. It’s that simple.
“Cum The Raw Prawn” is the Psychos’ most ribald record. Sole constant member Ross Knight even breaks into an apology (of sorts) at one stage. He ends up telling you to go and get fucked in the end anyway so it’s not like he’s getting soft.
If you’re from outside of Australia you’ll struggle to get your head around the title. Roughly translated it means: “Attempting to mislead.” The Cosmic Psychos would never try to do that. Knighty lays it all on the line in “Bum For Grubs” with lyrics like: “THere’s more to me than beer and pubs/Take me home and I’ll check your bum for grubs”. It only goes downhill from there.
“Better, Not Bitter” consists of little more than an industrial-strength riff, a grinding rhythm and repeated lyric: “Fucking bullshit maaaate.” There’s enough fuzz and off-key charm in “Fuckwit City” to drive the message home. “Toothbrush” is a piledriver (pun intended) that might give you second thoughts about dental hygeine.There’s something to offend everybody.
Like a seasoned drinker, the Psychos know how to pace themselves. Drummer Dean Muller’s given the microphone on “Cotton Mouth” and the change-down works a treat. He’s a helluva force behind the traps as well. Mad Macka has long settled into the guitarist’s job and applies the blowtorch in all the right places.
Most of these songs plough through the sonic paddock like a Massey-Ferguson driven by a farmer with a death wish but there are diversions to break the flow. There’s a pissed singalong (“Didn’t Wanna Love Me”) and a dishevelled noisiest (“Ack-Ack”) - but not one power ballad. No surprise there.
Cosmic Psychos long crossed over from beer barn staple to institution. "Cum The Raw Prawn" smacks of them going out of their way to outdo themselves in the offensive stakes. Whether that leaves them anywhere else to go is immaterial. What matters most is that your stereo goes to 11 and your bible-bashing white bread neighbours are going to suffer. Big time.