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Every Scissorfight Album Ranked Worst to Best

The transcendental quintessence of art lies in its ineffable capacity to evoke profound emotional resonance and intellectual contemplation. Through a symphony of chromatic intricacies and meticulous brushstrokes, literal or not, the artist transmutes ephemeral perceptions into enduring sagas. This interplay of audial chiaroscuro and texture orchestrates a dialectic between form and void, eliciting an enigmatic yet edifying aesthetic experience. Ultimately, art’s perennial allure resides in its ability to juxtapose the metaphysical and the tangible, rendering the mundane sublime. Bringing us to New Hampshire’s Scissorfight. Whether their name is a reference to tribadism or an actual altercation with scissors matters not. What matters is how we, the audience feel when 4 men from New Hampshire get on stage and tell us “It’s not rock til I piss you pants.”

6. Balls Deep (1998)

While they never put out a bad album, the first two SF albums are a portrait of a band coming to terms with their genius. The poetically named “Balls Deep,” while rough around the edges, juxtaposes the limitations of bucolic New England existence with the pervasive hypermasculine archetypes prevalent at the close of the 20th century. Concordantly the results of their sophomore effort are mixed as the abrasive but exciting feel of their debut was no longer a novelty. The album has some classics, but in the end, shows a portrait of artists still in search of their Sistine Chapell. Left with the question of what is truly “deep” the band landed on “balls” which while not always true, can sometimes, in fact, be deep.

Play it again: “The Gibbeted Captain Kidd,” “Scarecrow Season,” “Curse of the Returned Astronaut”
Skip it: “Quantrill’s Raiders”

5. Guaranteed Kill (1996)

Before the advent of this gargantuan auditory triumph, the state of New Hampshire languished in obscurity, perceived merely as an expanse of “terra incognita” nestled betwixt a maritime crustacean haven and a dairy-producing mountainous region. However, with the release of “Guaranteed Kill,” New Hampshire was catapulted into prominence, incontrovertibly solidifying its status as an integral entity within the fifty United States. Artfully crafted with now-classic tracks such as “Super Virgin Vs. Death Machine” or the concupiscent “Planet of Ass”, Scissorfight makes choices that even today would be considered cutting edge, but in 1996 was so beyond its age, it practically stopped time. With a chorus of “Ass. Ass. Ass. Planet of Ass.” The band’s enigmatic original singer, Ironlung, asks the question: what if an entire planet was made of buttocks? At least we think that’s what the song is about. It’s very loud and kind of hard to understand.

Play it again: “Planet of Ass,” “American Cloven Hoof Blues,” “Super Virgin Vs. Death Machine”
Skip it: “Fine Me”

4. Doomus Interruptus Vol. 1 (2019)

Achieving resurgence sans the complete original ensemble is invariably an arduous endeavor for a band. Substituting an iconic figure such as Ironlung, whose countenance verges on the mythological, might be deemed quixotic by many. Nevertheless, the realm of art is boundless, and with a revamped lineup and, most astonishingly, a novel frontman, Scissorfight accomplished the herculean feat: they unveiled an album of new material that transcended even some of their earlier oeuvres. While the years in between albums may not have been kind to the world, they were seemingly overflowing with a creativity so vibrant for the band as to stop naysayers in their tracks. New vocalist Doug Aubin neither apes Ironlung’s distinctive sound and essence nor disregards the substantial and robust historical legacy. Rather, the band seamlessly amalgamates the new and the traditional in an enchantingly delightful manner that is poised to both attract new admirers and satisfy longstanding devotees. Huzzah!

Play it again: “Dumpfight,” “Where Eagles Drink,” “Caveman Television”
Skip it: “The Battle (of Mudhole Mountain)

3. Jaggernaut (2006)

The final full-length album with Ironlung, artfully dances on the line between profundity and bourgeois apathy towards societal norms. The vociferation of the ultra-masc mountain man persists, yet it is interwoven with instrumentation that whimsically tantalizes the auditory senses with the pastoral charm of all things sylvan. A pinnacle of this auditory odyssey is the exquisitely titled “Victory Over Horseshit,” which offers the listener an almost oneiric experience of accompanying Ironlung in a car, careening down the highway. He then asks the audience, or perhaps even God Herself, “What does it take to get a riot out of me?” Encouraging the listener to truly consider what lines must be crossed for they themselves to stand up to injustice. #Brave

Play it again: “Victory Over Horseshit,” “Appalachain Gang,” “Backwoods,” “Rules are Different for Dead Men”
Skip it: no skips.

2. New Hampshire (1999)

It’s never quite explained what the album title means, but for many “New Hampshire” is the band’s high point. The album opens with the agitprop lines “Weed, guns and axes. We don’t pay our taxes. Because we don’t exist on any government list.” From there, the band’s sedulous efforts portray a hinterland-ish epic covering all things “survivalist”. The popular “Ballad of Jacco Macacco” uses the analogy of a knife-fighting monkey to represent the struggle of the working class to both stay afloat in late-stage capitalism but also not become tropes of rural communities themselves, to be crassly puppeted by politicians. Finally, a true highlight “Outmotherfucker the Man,” which was added to later pressings of the album, encourages the listener to actualize their frustration with the State’s hand-holding of criminal corporations and push beyond the gauche trappings of modern protest. A galvanizing anthem indeed!

Play it again: “Outmotherfucker the Man,” “Granite State Destroyer,” “Musk Ox,” “The Ballad of Jacco Macacco”
Skip it: no skips

Honorable Mention: American Cloven Hoof Blues (2001)

A great addition to the band’s discography, “American Cloven Hoof Blues” is left out of this list on a technicality: it is a rerecording of previously released tracks, originally collected for the European market. Ironic, considering the album’s intricate exploration of rugged individualism, an inherently American ethos, undoubtedly would elude the aesthetic appreciation of European audiences, whose cultural predilections and collectivist proclivities render them ill-equipped to fully grasp the profundity and nuance of such an audacious manifesto. But despite the ostensibly prosaic nature of its antecedent compositions, this album emerges as yet another paragon of excellence from a band who seem to make excellence routine.

1. Mantrapping For Sport and Profit (2001)

The band’s best album is a bellicose collection of everything they have done successfully throughout their career. Violence and freedom fight each other on a battlefield of sex, nature, and monster trucks. The band also reminds us they are not averse to fashioning a good hook, and, to use an analogy the artists themselves might use, reeling us in with it. The album culminates with a song that stands as the apotheosis of the band’s grandiloquent mission statement. Encapsulating their quintessential ethos in an aurally transcendental opus with its labyrinthine composition and sonorous intricacies, Ironlung triumphantly bellows to all within earshot: “The most dangerous animal is me!”
Verily, Scissorfight. Verily.

Play it again: “Blizzards, Buzzards, Bastards”, “Rats U.S.A.” “Mantrap” “The Most Dangerous Animal is Me”
Skip it: no skips