credit: Allan Hayslip Photography
Brutal Juice was formed in the early 1990’s in Denton TX by Singer/Guitarist Gordon Gibson, Drummer Ben Burt, Guitarist Ted Wood, Bassist Sam McCall, and Singer/ Performance Artist Craig Welch. They developed an intense, sometimes frightening style of music that blended the complexity of prog-rock, the raw rebellion of punk, and the sheer sonic heaviness of metal, The band released records on Jello Biafra’s politically charged Alternative Tentacles label, among other indies, and eventually released their sprawling major-label debut “Mutilation Makes Identification Difficult” on Interscope Records, to critical, if not commercial acclaim.
After several years of touring in North America and Europe, with bands such as Gwar, Neurosis, Toadies, The Meatmen, and others, Internal conflicts and changes in the record business eventually tore the band apart in the late ‘90s, but with time old wounds healed, and the band re-formed, originally for yearly New Years reunion shows, and eventually they decided to write and record another album.
The resulting “Welcome to the Panopticon” is more focused and refined in it’s melodicism, and trades much of the lyrical abstraction of earlier material for a more explicit and descriptive message: baroque forays into profane, paranoid mythologies, and stark denunciations of current systems of oppression.
“A lot of our songwriting has definitely gotten more overtly political over the past few years, but it’s a natural progression, I think. As you grow older, your ideas become a little more focused, and so should the message” explains Gibson, “I write about the things I feel strongly about. But I also enjoy creating and exploring my own ‘metal mythology’ —thats the fun and sort of whimsical “fantasy” side to the band, which, if you’ve followed us for a long time, has always been a part of who we are—we’re dorks!”