Sammy the Seal

“No sex until marriage!”

In vinyl on Monday, 10 October, 2011 at 12:10

Song: Welcome to Paradise
Artist: Front 242
Album: Front By Front

Thanks to cousin Michelle for playing this song to my siblings and I twenty-some-odd years ago. It was hilarious then, and it’s hilarious now. It’s comprised of audio sample of assorted televangelists and other, well, false prophets. I’m not overtly anti-religious, but I still remember the news from my 80s childhood, all the financial and sex scandals involving religious figures. Clearly, piety can be faked and is therefore suspect. A great gig, though, if you don’t mind selling your soul. The idea of mandating “no sex until marriage” and then getting caught with hookers seems, I don’t know, hypocritical as fuck. And yet, these people continue to have followings. Humanity and its sentimental retardation, sigh.

Anyway, this is a great laugh. Pretty much every sample is perfectly used, these guys did a bang-up job. It’s hard to single any one out, but I especially like the guy who doesn’t actually say “hallelujah!”, but “hallelu!”, as well as “in the name of Jesus!” Man, is he selling that, or what? If I were weak-minded, I’d buy. Not to mention some of the samples make no sense; they make me wonder what the context was. (E.g. “Don’t tell the devil”– what the hell?) The music is good too. Great production, sampling, cutting, editing, etc. Kinda danceable, too. I’m not sure why, but I like the mini-breakdown after “no sex until marriage!”, those beats sound so good. What a dramatic moment, he’s so damned authoritative! The whole song stops cold for that sample. (Possibly a coincidence, but that’s the exact chronological midpoint of the song.) The use of guitars is awesome throughout as well, especially in the latter half of the song. The way they screech and wail behind “no sex until marriage”, “hey poor…”, “come in, Jesus”, and “in the name of Jesus!” actually lends those lines a bit of dramatic weight. Like at 3:27, 3:35, 3:51, and many other times, it’s like “fuck yeah!” It could be taken as an endorsement of that stuff, if it weren’t so clearly taking the piss out of it.

However, the same stuff that’s amusing is also just plain creepy. For one, that laugh! Ick, that sounds like the laugh of a Satanic pastor, not a Christian one. And the “the Bible says…” and “Jesus is the son of God” guys. When I hear people with voices like that, I imagine someone who’s never been laid, at least not without having paid for it. How can you hear that and not think of Sarah Palin being protected from witchcraft? Self-flagellation– “oh God, I’m a sinner, I deserve to go to hell”– isn’t terribly endearing either.

Genuinely disturbing and genuinely amusing. What a good time. Thanks again, Michelle.

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