A Prayer Under Pressure... Of Violent Anguish

In an age of hard rock accountants and charlatans, here's the genuinely modern article.

Break out the garlic and holy water, light several candles, and open the Bible, Tairrie B returns. The Los Angeleno who once recorded a rap album for Eazy E's Ruthless Records, and later formed rap/metal pioneers Manhole, is in fine, demonic fetter here. Not so much a sophomore album as a full-blown exorcism, 'A Prayer Under Pressure...' just goes to show how far Catholic guilt, feminist rage, and focused hatred can go.

Heavy is not the word. With volcanic riffs and slowcore, steam-hammer rhythms, the stage is set for Tairrie to change her voice from Valley Girl-gone-wrong to something more horrible. In full throat, she conjures up testosterone from somewhere, and sounds even more maniacal than ever. And there's no flab or waste. The concise attack of 'Beauty Fiend', the threats-cum-dares of 'Stick It To Me', which reach a pinnacle of disgust on 'Miss Ann Thrope', are all conducted well within four minutes.

All through the experience, an ordeal that takes in macho gender-reversals of Nick Cave's 'Do You Love Me?' and Black Flag's spluttering 'My War', innocent bystanders will wonder exactly what sparked My Ruin off in the first place.

In an age of hard rock accountants and charlatans, here's the genuinely modern article.
8 / 10

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