Knekelhuis / Netherlands / 2022
Across two 7”s, Death Or Glory (1982) and Death Rocks (1983) and one 12”, Anguish (1982) Jimmy Smack carved his own bleak chasm amidst the LA Death Rock scene that he inhabited. After decades dormant in the crypt, Knekelhuis finally compiles Smack’s full recorded output, providing it a lavish place to rest on the Death Is Certain LP.
While his local punk contemporaries pursued aggressive hardcore and political punk, Jimmy Smack donned corpse paint (before it would later become synonymous with the European black metal movement) and found a home performing in venues like the Anti-Club, amongst other subterranean dwellers Christian Death, Dead Hippie and 45 Grave.
Even within this lurid milieu, Jimmy Smack stood alone. Hating Life (from Death Rocks) easily locates Jimmy within the negative-punk and KBD lexicon. However his recordings, consisting of voice, rhythm box and electrified bagpipe drones, otherwise veer closer to other-worldly avant-garde rituals. Jimmy’s background in theatre and performance art helping inform not only his menacing stage presence, but also spawning the singularity of his sound.
Death Is Certain comes housed in a printed inner sleeve featuring rarely seen archival photos, liner notes by Cooper Bowman and excerpts from an interview with Jimmy Smack conducted by Juan Mendez (Silent Servant).