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September 23rd, 2009 NATHAN CARSON | Music Stories
 

Primer: The Accüsed

     
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Formed:
1981 in Oak Harbor, Wash. (but widely considered as being from Seattle).

Latest release:
This year’s The Curse of Martha Splatterhead, featuring exactly one original member (guitarist Tom Niemeyer), but produced by Billy Anderson (Melvins, L7, Neurosis, Mr. Bungle, et al.) and issued on Southern Lord Records. Most of its 14 tracks clock in at under two minutes.

Sounds like:
The Accüsed. This is quintessential crossover—the white-line nightmare of blurring speed where punk and thrash metal meet. The band has always called its music “splatter rock” because of its obsession with gory drive-in movies.

For fans of:
D.R.I., early C.O.C., the Germs, old Metallica, Municipal Waste, Evil Dead II.

Why you care:
Forefathers of the Seattle heavy music scene, members of the Accüsed were a key link in the chain between early Northwest hardcore bands like the Fartz (an early outlet for future Guns N’ Roses superstar Duff McKagan) and grunge-era heavyweights like Skin Yard, Gruntruck and Tad. In the ’80s, the group got more metal as it progressed, retaining the tempos of British hardcore acts like the Exploited while thrashing in step with a growing U.S. metal scene that included Slayer, Metallica and Metal Church. Taking a cue from Iron Maiden’s album-cover mascot, Eddie, the Accüsed introduced the zombified Martha Splatterhead character on its first release. She reappeared on a host of subsequent albums, usually depicted brandishing an edged weapon dripping with her victims’ blood and brains. Though no original members have stuck with the reunion besides founding guitarist Tom Niemeyer, a curious assortment of Seattle talent is filling out the ranks: Singer B.R.A.D. Mowen was the drummer of doom-metal icons Burning Witch, current Accüsed drummer Mike Peterson is the loud-mouthed skinsman for Sean, and bassist Dorando Hodous of Lesbian rounds out the bottom. With undeniable hardcore history fueled by modern metal pedigree and the hippest heavy label in the underground at its back, the Accüsed continues to splatter well into its third decade.


SEE IT: The Accüsed plays Satyricon on Saturday, Sept. 26, with Lords of Light, Sin Vida and Elitist. 10 pm (late show). $8 advance, $10 day of show. All ages (bar with ID).
 
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