Many dissenters have criticized the hypocrisy of organized religion – particularly Christianity – in musical lyrics: Sinéad O’Connor lambasted child abuse by clergy, R.E.M lamented a loss of faith; Pet Shop Boys recounted the trauma of being labeled sinners for simply being themselves. It is a common theme for artists to sit in their own gardens of Gethsemane, grappling with the big questions about higher power and our own moral responsibilities. As yet another school shooting took the lives of innocent children this week and courtrooms across the land continue to manipulate the masses under a corrupt brand of Christianity, the questions of Clang Quartet’s “The Abortion Card” ring loudly: where is the love? What is this hypocrisy doing to us? And how does someone who has so brutally never fit in with his church, his peers, or noise music as a whole find the drive to keep going?
With this mesmerizing industrial performance, we see a man wrestling with his beliefs in a peaceful religion at odds with a terrifying political agenda. Clang Quartet’s intense, Expressionist-themed, monochromatic performance art is juxtaposed with stock footage of cathedrals, holy relics, saints and ecclesiastical architecture – a veritable journey through art history and the de-evolution of Christianity itself. He laments a world that has corrupted Christ’s compassion in the name of political power. In his moving words, he apologizes for those harmed by vitriol in the name of Jesus.
Delivered like the Lord’s Prayer, “The Abortion Card” begs for forgiveness for the contradictions in modern Christianity.
“What most Christians consider being ‘Christian’ these days is NOT a representation of what Jesus says in my opinion,” he argues. “I simply feel that we’ve turned our backs on basically anyone who is not like us, or someone in our immediate church family. I hear people say that their church is open to all people, but I know people personally who would be asked to leave their church if they visited, and one of those people is probably going to be me. I have a major problem with people who refer to themselves as pro-life, but seem to only focus on unborn children. In other words, they focus only on people who can’t disagree with them, dress differently than them, can’t believe or disbelieve in God, etc., but when these children are born, suddenly that love just disappears. Then they treat these children the same way they treat the adults they don’t approve of. Pro-life should mean life period – not just pre-birth, shouldn’t it?”
No matter what one’s own religious beliefs are, most can agree that the current path is not working for humanity at large. Clang Quartet’s underlying message is to go within, search within your own hearts, to refrain from casting judgement on others, and to live by the Golden Rule.
Self-described as “Harsh noise, drums, Performance Art For Jesus since 1997,” Clang Quartet truly cannot be contained by genre. A true industrial renegade from Stokesdale NC, Scotty has performed with artists like Mike Watt, Acid Mothers Temple, Z’EV, and countless more. The song comes from the upcoming album “A Slow Death For The Peacemaker” available 4/11/23 via Strange Mono.
Scotty has been persevering under the moniker of Clang Quartet for over two decades, all the while refining his long form improv performances with homemade instruments, sculptures, masks, and divine inspiration. Scotty believes in the work and what he puts out into the universe. He also believes in humankind’s overarching search for peace through art and expression. Clang Quartet’s output can at times be as ugly as it is enthralling, and as brutal as it is endearing.
A Slow Death For The Peacemaker marks another step in the transitional sound for Clang Quartet. The use of lyrics, a more targeted approach to composition, and a directness of subject matter propel Clang Quartet into a new era. Building on his last release 2021’s Judge Thy Neighbor, Love Thyself, Scotty drilled down creating a more concentrated sound.
All the proceeds from sales through Strange Mono are being donated to Second Harvest, a hunger relief charity that serves North Carolina.
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