Helmed by lead vocalist and lyricist Caroline “Crab” Bennet and producer and multi-instrumentalist Jake “Jark” Lichter, digital hardcore dance punk duo Stice require no introduction. Dubbing themselves “dial-up netscape nightmare fodder” and “zolo-horrorcore for the TikTok generation,” the duo rapidly accumulated a cult following in 2019, combining the abrasive fever-dream production stylings of Machine Girl with the bizarro green-screen visuals of 100 gecs, their cracked-out lyrics ping-ponging off of sinewy walls of honking synths, clanging percussion, and PS2 video game samples.
Starting off this past summer with a bang, the duo struck while the iron was hot and announced a new album titled Stice’s Satyricon–which was just released yesterday via Ramp Local–unleashing the album’s chaotic lead singles, “I Need Cash!!!” and “Touch the Cloth.” The latter is a pulsing, chirping synth-laden rumination on suffering from explosive diarrhea, a perfect representation of how the group can take a song with grotesque lyrics full of low-brow potty humor and–thanks to Bennet’s melancholy vocal tones and Lichter’s ethereal fever-dream production–spectacularly transform it into an oddly beautiful psalm where Bennet laments her “suey guts” (“Gimme piece of the cloth/gimme all that you ought/gimme shit gimme piss gimme moss”).
The album’s third single, “Boogie on My Funky Grave,” accompanied by a Blair Witch-esque nightvision visual, is another standout moment on the album. Lichter’s off-the-wall Zach Hill-like production is accompanied by sirens and buzzing bass, glitching drum machines, and Bennet’s high-pitched yodeling vocalizations.
On “I Need Cash!!!” Bennet sardonically delivers the opening lines in a mock valley-girl accent, “Big pussy/Big ass/You know that I need cash!” On the surface, “I Piss Myself” may sound like a silly MySpace-core rager, but a closer look at the lyrics will reveal just how sinister in tone the song actually is. Bennet calls out rape, murder, racism, and addiction within the first three lines of each verse, equating “pissing yourself” with the visceral paranoia of constantly being reminded just how close everyone is in proximity to the evils of the world. (“When I think I’m thinking/I piss myself, I piss myself”).
The album as a whole is a melange of sprawling, violently confrontational digital hardcore pop. And need I mention the lyrics, the lyrics. On “Satyricon,” the group combines urgent desire with bodily functions with lyrics like “Every time I pee, I cum religiously.” On “Honk If You’re Honky,” the lyrics go “Sucking a stump and calling it maple/Look whos fucking me under the table.” It’s hedonistic and transformative, right on par with Black Dresses’ Devi McCallion declaring that her “pussy’s like a bulldozer.” Enter the wonderfully unhinged universe of Stice, if you dare.
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LISTEN TO STICE’S SATYRICON