Due to unforeseen circumstances, I could not include the January entry in the Sub Pop singles club in what’s become a monthly look at the CDR and Sub Pop clubs, because as of today, January 30, it has not arrived at my door. Which is a shame, because early reports claim that it’s great, a welcome addition to a, so far, lukewarm series. I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt and blame the snow for the delay. So without further ado, the undisputed intercontinental champions of the world: The Unholy Two.

The Unholy Two
“Altamont 1969” b/w “Beirut 1983”
Columbus Discount

If you think that the placement of the Unholy Two’s “Kutter” on our year-end singles list was a fluke, or an inside job, you’re partly correct, but also completely wrong. Granted the myth of the Unholy Two as an actual band has been perpetuated in the dive bars and porcelain buffets for years in the Columbus Underworld™, and anyone in earshot of lead ram-jam Chris Lutzko in that time would have been very suspect, but “Kutter” arrived, at many doors, on wax, in flesh, and that was a feat worth rewarding, because Allah knows we weren’t going to get another ear-bleed of this sort again.

Well, I’m not motioning a phantom blowjob in my cheek right now, because the Columbus Discount Record Singles Club™ promised another Unholy Two document in their subscription back when it started in September, and just as the Gaza vs. Israel cage-match started heating up for prime-time, they delivered. I’m not exactly sure if that was coincidence or some Nosferatu speculation on the part of Lutzko. As a result, the pairing of “Altamont 1969” with “Beirut 1983” arrives as Obama steps into office, a gripping winter overcomes the Midwest, and all of the sudden the Unholy Two transform from pigfuck hucksters into competent political commentators in the course of a 7-inch.

Well, “Altamont 1969” starts things off with a beat that could double for the beginning of Audio Two’s “Top Billin’” or the standard skittle tub-thump of that blues band from Chicago that used to fry bacon behind the drum kit (Cash Money). From a local database, it’s the Bassholes “unholy” tripe. Soon that skeleton magnetizes the real rally for the Unholy Two, and that’s besides the rudiment two-note back and forth of the meaty melody—it’s the sonics involved. And it’s the way the gel happens. There in the smoke of agent orange a fascist death-march is forged, the illegible Mussolini-fist-raise vocals rising into ether madness, the guitars coalescing into a buzzsaw, and the sound of what is perhaps the crowd raising their fists in return or rioting into a coup. That’s the fine-line the tunes of Unholy Two straddle. Behind a teapot dictator such as Lutzko, Adam Smith (on obliteration_ and Bo Davis (laying significant apocalypse landscaping) put up a cloud of disorientation that fits perfectly for this environment of ambiguity from dear leader.

Even on the B-side, “Beirut 1983,” there’s propaganda in a title. Methinks the bloodshed was more, so the Unholy Two go for less, surveying the wasteland after the wasting. In picturesque remembrance, the studied and spaced song sounds like dirty bombs far off in the horizon. If those followers of the Two need a come-down, three songs in is ample time. This, though, could reveal a guilty Lutzko love for Spiderland and fingerbanging at all-ages Rodan shows. After the fact, he’d probably pass it off as post-post jibber, then pile in the framework for the full-length. No explanation needed, surprisingly “Beirut 1983,” with the Unholy Two in quiet mode, manages to gleefully offend. In the waning moments especially, as Smith, out of nowhere, solidifies the presence of said “band” with a grimy, ‘70s, solo that defies local legend that the Two is a fluke.
Kevin J. Elliott