The Unholy Two
“Cut the Music (I’m the Nightstalker)”

As a prescript, Columbus’ Unholy Two don’t practice what they preach. Former accusations of misogyny, bigotry, and general hate are unfounded, as Chris Lutzko and his increasingly toxic band are merely ciphers of sensationalism. Like the pulp novels and tabloid headlines consumed by a scandal-starved nation, The Unholy Two are merely giving the people what they want, even when they don’t know they want it, even when they can’t possibly open their eyes to look. So with a record as nihilistic and carnally rich as $kum of the Earth, where exactly is up? What’s more gruesome than a serial killer, and who’s more of a boogy man than Richard Ramirez? The ante is doubled on “Cut the Music (I’m the Nightstalker),” and though the cover is adorned with the faces of the Nightstalker’s victims (exploitation for art-fuck’s sake), don’t think of The Unholy Two as advocates of such primal behavior, just storytellers exposing the underbelly no one wants to mention or revisit. Lutzko is, however, an elitist and a no-regrets egoist, and for all intents and purposes a softie to boot. It’s his shock-and-awe tactics that justify these traits and put him high above the class of ugly punk in which he’s enrolled.

If you’re looking for the current torchbearer of highly abrasive and equally demented scorched-earth punk, look no further than “Cut the Music,” as it simply rules and is beyond compare these days. Beyond Lutzko’s dirty, prankish propaganda (that’s just bait to get you to put the record on) there’s a formidable band taking shape before your eyes. The song’s guitars actually sound like desperate screams of terror. The rhythm commands you pay attention to the ground beneath you. It is extreme noise terrorism—think Cherubs, Man Is the Bastard, Melt Banana—of the highest order, cut expertly with the wits of a perfectly choreographed bout at Wrestlemania (circa 1988). To that wit, The Unholy Two is smuggling an actual “song” underneath the unnerving histrionics on display. No guarantee that you’ll be humming “I’m the Nightstalker” whilst mowing the lawn, but you’re certainly going to be having night tremors that use this as the soundtrack. Seriously, it’s time to sell your Locust records if you haven’t already.

“Razor” may be the lesser of the two evils here, if only because it appears to be a companion to “Kutter,” The Unholy Two’s debut single from 2008. Nonetheless, parts of me want to compare the visceral stabs of Unholy Two to Slayer or something more threatening like Carcass. Surely they didn’t set out to thrash, but it’s impossible not to hear similarities in the massacre of shredding employed by the anonymous guitarists of Lutzko’s pack, intent on scrambling the function of the tune. Did I just say “tune” in reference to this band? Yes, I did. There’s a new found professionalism on this single that eclipses the amphetamine-fueled, GG antics of $kum of the Earth. Most prognosticators couldn’t have imagined The Unholy Two would make it past the debut album, and the epiphany herein signifies a line most thought Lutzko would never cross. Dare I say iconic? Like those before him—from The Frogs to Deicide to The Urinals and Pussy Galore—he’s got the chops to back up all the shit-slinging and controversial in-jokes. If this is any indication, they’re gearing up for a monster of a second record. This is merely foreplay.
Kevin J. Elliott