At the sorry game of "good bands with terrible names", 3-Way Cum might take the fucking biscuit. A few months ago, I had mentioned that Slimy Venereal Diseases pretty much shot themselves in the foot, but as corny as their moniker was, it still indicated that they were a grinding band. 3-Way Cum, on the other hand, picked a name fit for an embarrassing porngrind band reeking of sexual frustration, while they actually were a top-notch Scandinavian crust outfit, certainly one of Sweden's very best in the 90's. Blimey if that makes any sense. I guess one may argue that something got lost in translation, a bit like Raped Teenagers was fortunately not a band about child pornography, but they probably wanted a name that expressed the idea of "being young, skint and fucked by the system in 1984" and ended up with one of the most horrible things to type on Google 30 years later. I am honestly clueless about the meaning of the name "3-Way Cum", since there is nothing sexually graphic or sexist in their lyrics. One of the band members must have lost a bet after a drunken party and had to use that name for his next band.
Anyway, 3-Way Cum's existence stretched from 1993 to 1997, four years during which they recorded one full Lp, two Ep's and two split Ep's, one of which (with State of Fear-worshipping Another Oppressive System from Connecticut) would be released posthumously in 2001. The line-up comprised two members of Sauna, an early 90's crustcore band most famous for their split Lp with Disrupt, and that, incidentally, also had a bit of a strange name, and had the drummer of Warcollapse. So even if you have never heard about 3-Way Cum, these connections will already give you some idea about their sound.
Truth be told, 3-Way Cum didn't exactly start up as an all-out crusty madness band. Their first Ep, the really good "Battle of opinions" from 1993, successfully walked the thin line between furious Swedish hardcore and ENT-type crust, an exercise that many attempted in the 90's but that few did as well as 3-Way Cum. Fast, powerful Scandicore, not far from Asocial, enhanced with crusty dual vocals. Not as heavy and meaty as Hiatus, but faster and more hectic. "Battle of opinions" exemplified the great potential of blending crust and Swedish hardcore and can be seen as an early blueprint of what would come to be known as "scandicrust". 1996's "Killing the life" Lp, released on Sound Pollution like the aforementioned Ep, seemed to validate the fact that 3-Way Cum's essence was located in classic Swedish hardcore. With its cleaner, rocking production, that somewhat makes me long for the rawness of "Battle of opinion", the Lp tended to indicate that 3-Way Cum were efficiently using the same songwriting formula and even, if anything, that they were slowly drifting toward a more pronounced Swedish hardcore influence in terms of sound. And then, the following year, the band recorded "The last cumshow?" (I am not even going to try to understand the title of this Ep).
I already wrote on Terminal Sound Nuisance that Sweden, like Finland or Italy, has not really produced a lot of proper crust bands. Of course, you have the mighty Warcollapse, G-Anx or Dom Där had their crust moments, and Counterblast's "Balance of pain" is arguably one of the best metal crust Lp's ever... Very often however, what people lazily call "Swedish crust" is really just heavy Swedish hardcore with harsh vocals (and there's nothing wrong with that type of punk-rock obviously) but lacks the specific groove and tension of proper crust. But "The last cumshow?" precisely has these two things. This fantastic Ep, without the shadow of a doubt, epitomizes Swedish crust, meaning that it is a distinctively Swedish adaptation of Disrupt/ENT's crustcore. Not unlike Warcollapse, they crustified the Scandicore influence and even the metal breaks nod to classic Swedish death-metal. This Ep is absolutely glorious, with enough beat variations to keep it from being redundant and a sound that is powerful, crunchy but spontaneous. The vocals are more upfront than on their previous recordings and the combination has never worked better. They sound like a disgruntled bear with a sore throat is having an argument with a chain-smoking wolf in a pub. The songs are actually pretty catchy as well and are bound to stick with you for the rest of the day (they are still difficult to hum to, but you get the gist).
To some extent, this Ep can almost be seen as the logical progression from Sauna's crushing "Ei Leiki" demo tape from 1991, although it was recorded much later. In any case, "The last cumshow?" is certainly as good and powerful as vintage Warcollapse and that's not a small thing. It also reminds me a little of 2000's crustcore band like Visions of War in terms of impact and intensity. The lyrics are your usual mix of politics (antifascism and animal abuse) and misanthropy, with the song "Slowly we rot", being about the decaying of the human body, infertility and and loneliness. The artwork is one of a kind with stylized drawings of anonymous but smiling bodies. I am not too sure about the cover though... You can see one of these faceless characters being tied down and blindfolded by an Hitler-looking geezer, who is also chaining a fake smile unto the poor fellow's face. There is a camera at the bottom that suggests that this is meant to be photographed. Was it the band's vision of the phrase "say cheese"? I'll go for that.
This Ep was released on Elderberry Records, a label responsible for putting out records from top Swedish bands like Dom Där, Warcollapse, G-Anx, Tolshock or Counterblast, which makes it Terminal Sound Nuisance's favourite Swedish punk label ever. Elderberry even did the Extinction of Mankind/Misery split Lp. I love you guys. Following 3-Way Cum, the singer Pjär played in Parasit and in Raised By Drunks, and Kalle kept doing what he does best with Warcollapse.