Rush Hour of the Gods
Five cult fanatics released lethal sarin gas on the legendarily overcrowded Tokyo subway system at the height of rush hour on March 20, 1995, killing five and injuring fifty on the whim of a self-proclaimed prophet who sought to either hasten the apocalypse or overthrow the Japanese government.
Self-described “Sacred Emperor of Japan” Shoko Asahara’s brutal terror attack was part of Japan’s “rush hour of the gods,” a cultural malaise that birthed a host of competing religious cults, some benign quests for enlightenment and others truly malevolent.
A year after the attacks, British crust punkers Doom, back with yet another of their famed lineup overhauls, turned their own jaundiced eye on religions with their own Rush Hour of the Gods.
Expanding on Total Doom’s Discharge worship, Rush Hour of the Gods features longer songs, a second guitar and generally more polished production.
Rush Hour’s trebly guitar tones slices like a rusty hacksaw through the album’s 11 tracks before giving way to the better produced songs from the split with Cress. The simple, repetitive, sing-along chorus of “Death Trap” is an especially fine example of later Doom’s ability to pen a catchy tune.
Doom’s one attempt to break up the dun dun datting, though, was a bit of a misstep. The sampled voices and bleeping, blorping music of the title track, however, serves as a reminder 12 years later that plopping a bleeping, blorping song in the middle of a scathing punk assault is still usually a really, really bad idea.
Despite that faux pas, Violent Change did the crusties a favor by putting Rush Hour of the Gods back in circulation. But while there’s no denying Doom’s place in the crust punk pantheon, some PR flacky (wait, wait, a PR flacky for crust?!?!?!!? Wtf???) got a little over-excited while penning this hilariously hyperbolic ad copy spotted at Interpunk:
“Doom single-handedly created the Crust Punk genre that is currently enjoying a huge resurgence and their influence on the current scene is comparable to Slayer’s influence on the current thrash metal revival.”
Maybe if you ignore Amebix, Crass, Flux of Pink Indians, Disrupt and a host of others. Doom’s ripping assault already assures their place in punk Valhalla, so there’s no need for ridiculous exaggeration.