Score Superjoint Ritual's first two albums on limited-edition colored vinyl and deluxe CD at Revolver's shop.
Superjoint Ritual — the sludgy hardcore supergroup founded by Pantera's Philip Anselmo, Eyehategod's Jimmy Bower and drummer Joe Fazzio — aren't for the feint of heart. Bashing together the breakneck speeds and spit-hocking energy of Eighties hardcore and the gigantic sludge riffs that Bower and Anselmo's other bands popularized in the Nineties, the band's crucial first two LPs, 2002's Use Once and Destroy and 2003's A Lethal Dose of American Hatred, yielded an utterly destructive heap of punk-metal mayhem.
In honor of Superjoint's debut LP turning 20 in 2022, we asked our readers to pick the single best song from throughout their relatively short but undeniably sweet discography. The top five vote-getters are ranked accordingly below.
If you've never heard Superjoint Ritual, then "Everyone Hates Everyone" is a great place to start. The third track on Use Once and Destroy begins with a sprightly one-two-one-two punk rhythm, but eventually succumbs to the churning power of Jimmy Bower's sludgy riff, who writes a bluesy mosh-part that just keeps dragging its knuckles until it sounds like an Eyehategod or Down jam.
One of Superjoint's most well-known songs, "Waiting for the Turning Point" jostles between a catchy California hardcore chord progression and train-crashing-into-a-wall levels of metallic mayhem; a powerviolence blast in the song's midpoint and a down-tuned outro groove that's as moshable as it is fit to chug a beer to.
"4 Songs" indeed packs a whole 7-inch's worth of ideas into one six-minute track. Recalling the disjointed and abrasive vibe of Black Flag's later material, this Use Once and Destroy centerpiece is a scatterbrained journey between fiery hardcore blazes where Anselmo screams with a black-metal rasp, noisy instrumental bridges and low-and-slow sludge dirges.
"Grow your hair as long as a hippies/But we're not hippies, we're slippies/Like the Manson Family." Those are the words Anselmo snarls in the breakdown of "Dress Like a Target," likening himself to the infamous serial-killer social outcasts and sounding mean as hell while doing it. With metallic leads and avalanching drums, it's one of the heaviest moments on A Lethal Dose of American Hatred — and one of the best.
"It Takes No Guts" was cranked into millions of impressionable young ears via the Tony Hawk's Underground soundtrack, but the Use Once and Destroy standout is way darker than its skateboarding association leads on. Lyrically, it wrestles with the trauma of incest and abuse, and Anselmo screams so wildly loud and violently over its stomping, scathing instrumentation that you wouldn't be out of pocket to confuse it for a Converge jam. It earns the top spot.