TISM - De Rigueurmortis1

TISM's most recent album, released early 2002 by Festival Mushroom Records.

A play on the French term 'De Rigueur', meaning 'required by fashion', and the Latin term 'Rigor Mortis', describing the stiffening of the body after death. The Result is a term that can be used to describe just about everything in modern culture, from the staleness of pop music to the entirety of our overly consumer-driven society. Essentially a pretty new term for an already explored (albeit still pervasive) paradigm.

   “We call this album De Rigueurmortis because we feel
   society is being paralysed by something far worse than anthrax.

   It's being paralysed by grooviness"
         -– Humphrey B. Flaubert2

Unfortunately, like the culture that TISM are mocking, they too seem to have gone stale. This album lacks the aggressive guttural wit of their earlier albums, of the TISM we loved. The concepts are clichéd and the lyrics are really just restatements not only of what they have said before, but of what everyone else has been saying for the last decade. They don't like techno, scooters are annoying, reality tv sucks; we've heard it all before. But don't get me wrong, a lot of the tracks are still very witty; especially Thou Shalt Not Britney Spear, which asks the ever pertinent question: How can I get into the pants of someone who's declared that they will remain chaste? And of course, the same great titles and lines like 'Would the Last Person to Leave Please Turn Out the Enlightenment?' and 'Come Back DJ. Your Record is Scratched'.

Musically, it’s the same disco beats that we really saw develop in their previous album, WWW.TISM.WANKER.COM3. That album was criticised by a lot of die-hard fans for being too poppy. This album is even more so. Very catchy, but nothing really amazing. Some tracks are a lot better than others, some tracks seem to go on for a very long time (Come Back DJ. runs a very long loop at the end, but can arguably be justified), others have simply brilliant samples (If You're Not Famous at Fourteen, You're Finished features samples from Countdown). Its not classic TISM, but its still TISM.

Having said that, TISM are a band driven more by wit, shock value and slander than by real critical talent, and they’ll be the first to admit that. In this case, it seems that they’ve lost some of that, and in places it becomes painfully clear that there’s not much without it. On the other hand, it’s still a TISM album, it’s still catchy, and its lyrics are still witty, if a little clichéd.

   "This, then, is De Rigueurmortis; The most expensively recorded, self indulgent, confusing of TISM’s career.
   De Rigueurmortis – Three years in the making and 15 seconds before the critics will have it all worked out.
   De Rigueurmortis – Simultaneously the most challenging and most throwaway album you’ll hear this decade.
   De Rigueurmortis – Buy it, it’s the done thing. And if you don’t, you can get fucked for starters."
         -- Making of De Rigueurmortis4

The album was released with a bonus disk, 2Pot Screama – A 41 Minute Rock Opera In One Act, and a making-of CD was available at promotional events. This is TISM’s first album published by Festival Mushroom, after extensive arguments with Shock Records. The album consists of 14 songs, with 17 tracks of filler and spoken word pieces, including several interesting cameos. The format works quite well, achieving a good balance between the catchy singles and the satirical spoken word pieces we’ve come to love.

Highlights include a spoken word track by Derryn Hinch, a favourite target for TISM in previous records, which is a reply to a piece by Ron on Great Truckin' Songs of the Renaissance5, where he tells us that "Things can’t be all that bad, 'Cos Derryn Hinch went to jail" (Derryn Hinch was an outspoken Australian radio presenter who spent a week or two in gaol in 1986 for revealing the name of a priest who had been charged with sexual assault of minors]. The reply has Derryn Hinch stating that "Things can’t be all that bad, when TISM’s album fails".

Overall, a solid album, but they had better do something interesting next time; nothing new to see here, I'm afraid. If you're a fan, you don't have much of a choice, go buy it. If not, go buy Truckin' Songs. But show some backbone - don't buy best off.


   "We immediately direct everyone to track nineteen.
   It is in fact, intermission, which is the seminal moment on the album - the lynchpin.
 
   Three minutes of silence."
      -- Humphrey B. Flaubert6

 

Track Listing7 [Unlisted Tracks]:

  1. [This is Bullshit]
  2. If You're Not Famous At Fourteen, You're Finished
  3. Five Yards
  4. [ Plastic Trumpet I]
  5. Ten Points for a Razor Scooter
  6. [ Plastic Trumpet II ]
  7. Thou Shalt Not Britney Spear
  8. Would the Last Person to Leave Please Turn Out the Enlightenment?
  9. [ Another Suburb ]
  10. [ Dear Moby ]
  11. Schoolies Week
  12. [ The Horse Not the Horse Shit ]
  13. [ Genius is Different ]
  14. [ John Williamson ]
  15. Come Back DJ, Your Record is Scratched
  16. [ Raver Boy ]
  17. Boot Party
  18. [ I, a Star ]
  19. [ Intermission ]
  20. Channel Turd
  21. Fatboy Slim Dusty
  22. [ Journo Boy ]
  23. [ Sell Out ]
  24. Honk If You Love Fred Durst
  25. [ Brainy Boy ]
  26. X-Treme Sports Can Kiss My Arse
  27. [ Princess Diana ]
  28. Fourteen Years In Rowville
  29. [ Derryn Hinch ]
  30. [ Plastic Trumpet III ]
  31. BFW

Bonus CD:

  1. 2 Pot Screama: a Rock Opera in One Act

 


Sources:    
1De Rigueurmortis. TISM. Compact Disc. Festival Mushroom Reocrds, 1988.
   
2Quoted in an interview with Humphrey by Meort, Tsunami Mag Online Edition. http://www.tsunamimag.com/2001/November/interviews/tism.htm, 14 June 2002.
   
3WWW.TISM.WANKER.COM. TISM. Compact Disc. Shock Records, 1998.
   
4The Making of De Rigueurmortis. Recorded/Mixed Matt Bauer. Compact Disc. Festival Mushroom Records, October 29.
   
5Great Truckin' Songs of the Renaissance. TISM. Compact Disc. Shock Records, 1988.
   
6Quoted in an interview with Humphrey by Meort, Tsunami Mag Online Edition. http://www.tsunamimag.com/2001/November/interviews/tism.htm, 14 June 2002.
   
7Track listing taken from Victims of TISM, De Rigueurmortis. http://www.victimsoftism.org/, 14 June 2002.

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