Listen: Stice – Stice’s Satyricon

By Devon Chodzin

Photography by Shin Kurokawa

In 2019, one of my best friends from college directed a play. The title escapes me, but I will never forget the show itself. It centered on two young girls who grow obsessed with a dead dog carcass.

They worship it, and in return for its blessing, they are willing to kill. To market the show, the cast and crew pasted all over the play’s promotions: “Let girls be gross.” That play was okay, but Stice takes that mantra to the next level on Stice’s Satyricon. Stice’s Satyricon overwhelms me with every listen; I feel like I have a fever every time I hear it. It’s freaky and fun in a way that makes me ask: “why do I feel so sticky?”

In Stice’s world, bodily (mal)functions abound, with and without volition, and it’s impossible to know what’s gross or what’s run-of-the-mill. It’s a shitposter’s dream, blending hyperactive production and beyond-absurd lyrics. When “Ollygoshawda” commences with Caroline Bennett (aka Crab) hollering “Give me what I need,” I know I’m in for a thriller. The next track, “I Need Cash!!!,” eerily catches me; Bennett’s urgency comes across all too well. Over this summer and fall, whenever my friends have been looking for something “cursed,” this is what I’ve been sending them: we have a laugh about a track that starts off with “big pussy, big ass,” but what really keeps us listening is the arresting production. It sounds like a car crash made to be ogled at.

At first, I’m anticipating that “I Piss Myself” will similarly make myself laugh, and at first listen, the chorus does — how else am I supposed to react to hearing “I piss my fucking pants” in the middle of an electronic hardcore breakdown? But on second, third, fourth listen, I realize we’re getting a nasty tour through the worst of the worst people – sexual assailants, avowed racists, professional bootlickers – and who’s left to celebrate but the piss-drinking fiends Stice knows from trolling web forums. In a world where the worst people seem to have the most power, my friends and I can’t help but agree that all we want to celebrate are the weird.

 

Stice’s Satyricon overwhelms me with every listen; I feel like I have a fever every time I hear it. It’s freaky and fun in a way that makes me ask: why do I feel so sticky?

Tracks like “Touch The Cloth,” which is literally about diarrhea, and “Screaming Like Shittt” showcase Caroline’s vocal range. While she’s talk singing for most of the record, there’s no denying she can get her voice way up there – there’s no better stress-validating exercise than hearing someone scream “Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!” with an operatic soprano. My friends and I don’t care if that’s tech manipulation – we’re doing our best to hit the high notes right alongside her. 

Stice have managed to create a supramodern record that stumps me with every listen – I hardly have the brain power to wrap my head around frenetic lyrics that juxtapose orgasm, death, piss, and just about anything arguably “taboo.” But importantly, it’s fun – my friends and I agree that we’ll be spinning this at the Halloween party, the ideal place to dance to music so vile. It surpasses my expectations in ways I didn’t know I wanted.

Devon (he/him) is a Cleveland-based event organizer. He loves radical theory, loud guitars, and hash browns. He lives on Twitter.