If you were one of the lucky handfuls of people who got to wrap their ears around Citizen‘s Manifesto for the New Patriot album from 2005, you already have a bit of an idea where one-man grindcore blitzkrieg Matthew Widener is going with his new baby, Liberteer. Or not. Manifesto… was originally supposed to come out on Earache/Codebreaker, but someone dropped the fucking ball hard and it never really did. Then, when Widener scored an association with Relapse via Cretin [he plays bass alongside vocalist/guitarist Marissa Martinez and drummer Col Jones; Matt also used to play in Exhumed back in the day] and the band he helps and hangs with, the County Medical Examiners, Manifesto… was supposed to see the light of day then. Didn’t happen there either.
Widener, possibly sick of sitting around waiting, took the bullshit by the horns and created Liberteer and their – well, his – fan-fucking-tastic debut album, Better to Die on Your Feet Than Live on Your Knees. Imagine insanely catchy grindcore driven by military and national anthem-like themes, accented by major-key riffing and super-pissed off lyrics calling the oppressed 99% to arms. It may be a theme and mood that’s been percolating in grind, punk and hardcore since the beginnings of grind, punk and hardcore, but packaged in a way you’ve never heard before. Unless, that is, you heard that Citizen album. Better to Die on Your Feet… is set for release January 31st and despite there being another eleven months to go, I’d be very, very surprised if anything else topples it as my personal album of the year.
Hellbound tracked down Widener and decided to forego the usual interview bullshit for a round of that time-honoured favourite, word association. You know the drill. Ready, aim, go…
Bell. Ha. No, I see the color yellow for some reason.
Freedom and distraction, equal parts.
Couch-surfing. Old friends.
County Medical Examiners
Mistakes of machismo.
Shoulder-slung penis with awesome paint job.
Mystery, hidden heart of music.
Maximum Rock and Roll
Cool kid elitism.
Smile and nod, secretly judge.
Embarrassing. Citizen of what?!
Mostly hilarious, subtly forlorn.
Stiff upper lip.
Ancient, imbibe and be one with past.
My headache medicine. Also, horny times.
Hard reset button.
My biggest supporter.
Existential truth, purest realization of metal.
Purification. Toughest drink to swallow.
Check in next week for part two of the word association fun…