Hot Dogma liner notes


                           HOT DOGMA
                      This Is Serious Mum
         available on both long play record and compact disk

              Being their second full length record.

           THEIR OTHER long playing record being GREAT 
                 One other record, being FORM AND 
                    MEANING REACH ULTIMATE 
                    COMMUNION, and several 
                     and various singles, 
                          precede this 

              The Guide To Little Aesthetics, a 
                  book, has recently been
                      P U B L I S H E D

  It is hard to view TISM's Hot Dogma outside the context of
the events which immediately followed its release.  In the
wake of the Great Depression of the 1990's and the atrocities
of world-wide democracy, TISM's ill-fated masterwork became a
searing testimonial to a world that was crumbling around them. 
It is only now, in the wake of 1990's nostalgia, that this
album, ironically TISM's least successful at the time of its
release, is being re-discovered by a new generation of rock
  Of coursed, TISM disappeared without trace only months before
America exploded into a group of self governed democratic
states and world leaders were selected on the basis of album
sales.  The secret horrors of the 'free world' only became
apparent much later as we learnt that Bono, from the Memphis
offices of his 'Love Party', had financed the Vatican's
nuclear strike on South Africa, and Roger Waters, leader of
the 'Concept Album' party, had been instrumental in the
rebuilding of the Berlin Wall.
  The sinister idealism of that age is nowhere better exposed
than in this doom-laden prophetic tour de force.  Yet little
is known about the making of the album other than the
malicious gossip of the rock industry, which swallowed up and
discarded TISM in a mire of propaganda and revised history. 
Only today can we put the shattered pieces back together to
analysed the true significance of Hot Dogma.
  The Nietzchian swirl of 'The TISM Boat Hire Offer' opens the
exhausting journey of Dogma.  When Humphrey B. Flaubert
screams "I just want a leitmotif that can float" he is
verbalising and emotion all adolescents have felt, even if
they are not aware of the meaning of 'float'. 
'Existentialtism' neatly closes the chapter on Camus opened by
The Cure's 'Killing An Arab' when Dela Hot-Droix Bun muses: 
"I'm The Outsider.  I break the law.  But here's a tip - the
book's a bore".
  'While My Catarrh Gently Weeps', TISM's sequel to the
Beatles' 'Rocky Raccoon', makes a passing nod to the popular
style of that time, known as 'acid house', itself a rehash of
two 1970's fashions- disco and symphonic rock - and a
precursor the 'Lederhosen-house' that we have today.  The
1990's were a particularly vapid period musically, but TISM's
incoherent, jack-booted rendition of the style prevents it
from sounding dated today.
  The twin guitar assault of 'They Shoot Heroin, Don't They?'
is reminiscent of early Stones and Flaubert's confessional
chorus - "I've got the jockey on my back" - echoes Jagger's
flirtation with steeplechasing and the satanic underworld of
equestrian showjumping.  The title of 'Dazed and Confucius'
gives a hint as to the guitar playing influences of TISM's Van
Vlalen, although there is no documented proof that Confucius
did in fact play the guitar.  In the four part trilogy, 'Kevin
Borich Expressionism', TISM continue their homage paying to
Australian cultural icons begun with 'Doug Parkinson Sings
Christie Allen', and continued with their reference to
"Roberts; Sandy" on 'I'll 'Ave Ya'.  Couplets of searing
insight abound in 'Whinge Rock'; "Dostoevsky knew it hurts to
the marrow/Stuck in a lane without a right turn arrow".
  Of course, this flippant contempt for 'issues' is prevalent
throughout 'Dogma'.  Why were TISM so vehemently opposed to
this lyrical trend?  Again, we must consult the pages of
history for our answer  Before the days of TISM, not everybody
was singing about 'issues'.  Even Phil Collins, who became
British Prime Minister after sales of his 'Even Black
Musicians Respect Me' went multi-platinum, once sang
meaningless pop songs.  But by the 1990's things were
changing.  By the turn of the century, 65 per cent of world's
population were aged between 25 and 40, and the remainder were
teenagers.  With the teenagers tranquillised 'en masse' by the
fake rebellion of heavy metal, 'respected' artists became
frighteningly powerful.  Tracey Chapman and Suzanne Vega were
largely responsible for sensitive folk music dominating
electoral trends for over ten years, until Chapman disgraced
the genre when her affair with Axl Rose was made public.  Even
famous sessionmen Milli Vanilli cross-dressed in a bid to
corner the black Germanic male lesbian Euro-disco-folk market,
and netted million sales and a major party nomination for the
White House.  When Michael Jackson was incarcerated for the
assassination of Paul McCartney, only TISM were left in the
void between heavy metal and 'issues' music.  What was going
on?  Either TISM were the only intelligent artists not
singing about something important, or they were the only
stupid artists not playing heavy metal.
  It was this very act of distancing themselves from
'respected' artists that made TISM the pariahs of the rock
industry - reviled by critics, mistrusted by fellow musicians,
loved only by a dwindling group of followers.  Producers
Blyton and Maddy were black-banned by the industry for many
years after working with the band.  Blyton was only able to
work again when he publicly renounced TISM at a rally in
Georgia, and Maddy disappeared, reportedly still living a
nomadic surfer existence today.  Engineer Malcolm Dennis was
tracked down by a zealous journalist some ten years later. 
Dennis, living with his mother, was heavily sedated and
remembered no such band.
  It is so tragically ironic that TISM, the very band scrubbed
from the history books at the time for having no desire to
contribute anything of importance to its generation, stand as
the only band of its generation worth remembering.  Their
songs argued some chilling points:  Was it possible that rock
musicians weren't intelligent enough to shape world
thinking?  Was it possible that rock albums weren't meant to
be pored over in search of layers of meaning and deeper
parallels with the human condition?  Blasphemy!  But TISM
strode onwards, forging their path into obscurity, and 'Hot
Dogma' was the flag they waved.
  In 'The TISM Nightsoil Cart And Horse Blues', Dela Hot-Croix
Bun sings a simple love lyric and then wilfully debases it,
ending all hope for redemption from TISM's obsessive nihilism. 
('I'm Gonna Sit Right Down And) Whittle Away My Furniture'
further emphasises this, when Flaubert's only solution to the
world's problems was to turn his dining table into a pile of
shavings, and Cheese, as studio legend has it, produced a
guitar part that was to revolutionise future attitudes towards
the instrument but then had it submerged to an inaudible
position in the mix.
  'The TISM Finance Plan Offer' presents a multi-layered vista
of Van Vlalen's sublime guitar, whilst the lyric outlines the
despondency at the core of TISM's lack of a world view: "What
do you get from the brotherhood of man?  No repayment, no
interest".  As the song segues into 'Leo's Toltoy', we go back
to Hitler-Barassi's childhood for the beginnings of this
disenchantment, complete with 'Streets of San Francisco'
guitar from Van Vlalen, who tosses off one style after another
with no remorse for the guitar aficionado.  'The History Of
Western Civilisation', with its cameo blues harp appearance by
Jon St. Peenis, zeroes in on the western suburbs of Melbourne;
those willing to be duped into thinking that this song
provides us with a geographical context within which we can
examine TISM are quickly disappointed: "I've never been there
of course.  It's what I've heard."
  'My Generation' and 'I Don't Want Tism. I Want A Girlfriend'
both affirm family life as the true mark of a revolutionary,
but TISM later include family life in the witches brew of
their unrelenting contempt.  'Get Thee In My Behind, Satan'
harks back to 'Whinge Rock' with its obsession with the right
turn lane, and refers to Young and Jackson's, a hotel in the
centre of the old business district of Melbourne until it was
destroyed by a Right-to-Life terrorist attack.
  In 'We Are The Champignons' the subtle art of song lyric is
brought under the microscope by Hitler-Barassi's "that last
verse contained an eye-rhyme".  Of course, he is referring to
what is also known as a consonant rhyme between the words
'food' and 'good' in the third verse.  It reminds one of
Shakespeare, in sonnet CXVI.
Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments.  Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds
Or bends with the remover to remove ...
  Or indeed of John Donn's 'Song':
Go and catch a falling star
Get with child a mandrake root
Tell me where all past years are
Or who cleft the Devil's foot ...
  Hitler-Barassi' analysis of TISM's use of this technique is
succinct: 'This latest effort - it's pretty drab."  But surely
the deliberate irony of his comment is not lost on us.
  TISM not only present us with a poetry lesson, but remind us
of history too.  In 'Let's Club It To Death' Cheese
despairingly cries "My friends call me John, but you can call
me Breaker Morant".  Cheese's pain wracked vocal delivery is
one of the many surprises on the album, and this line evokes
the image of TISM as honourable outcasts, figures turned upon
by their own society, just as Morant himself was.
  Several historical figures are alluded to in 'Let's Form A
Company'.  As St. Peenis' haunting saxophone weaves through
the song, Dela Hot-Croix Bun sings of Sting and Bono and
refers to Bond University, which was established in the late
1980's to cater largely to business careers.  This implication
that the words 'Bond' and 'university' are paradoxical is
quaintly anachronistic given later events which saw
universities becoming 'Entrepreneurial Training Schools',
largely in the Bond mould.
  Finally, the album reaches its climax: an almost cheerful
'Life Kills' takes on a darker note as Hitler-Barassi,
seemingly unaware that the song had finished behind him,
continues his unrelenting diatribe, descending deeper, deeper,
deeper into a morass of invective, railing at the very core of
human existence, until orchestration swirls around him and he
is drowned out by the funereal march of 'Pus Of The Dead'. 
Les Miserables, the most shadowy of all shadowy figures of
TISM, chooses this, the most apocalyptic moment of the album,
to bask in the spotlight.  Miserables is a fleeting, enigmatic
presence on the album, and rumour had it that he spent little
time in the studio, clinging to his belief that a song ceases
to be a song after the moment of its creation.
  Miserable had of course warned his fellow band members a
number of times about the danger of making their stanceless
philosophy known.  Although Miserables escaped much of the
slander and persecution that followed most of the others to
their penniless graves, it is widely held belief that he was
the driving force behind TISM, the philosophical heart of the
  The phrase "Cette chanson c'est magnifique? Non!" is the
cornerstone of 'It's Novel. It's Unique. It's Shithouse', the
final, almost afterthought highlight of this incredible opus. 
Antique record collectors will have spotted the title of this
song appearing on at least three occasions on past record
sleeves or labels.  It is almost the dying gasp of breath, the
quintessential coup de grace on an album that comprises a
lifetime's intense thought and planning, and now stands
unsullied as a flag in the sea of mediocrity that was 1990's
popular music.
  Hitler-Barassi's "I'm dying" motif appears on three of the
album's tracks, and is delivered in the despairing voice of a
man running out of time.  After the predictable critical
panning and not so predictable modest sales of 'Dogma', TISM
embarked on an ill-fated tour of the US.  They had barely
completed half of the dates when Hitler-Barassi mysteriously
disappeared.  Unsubstantiated rumours abounded.  Was he
kidnapped by the 'Women Against Lyricists Who Don't Use
Imagery' guerilla forces, as many feared at the time?  Popular
belief was that Hitler-Barassi, who had long been suffering
from socropholosis and delusions of insignificance, had gone
completely insane.  Nevertheless, his mid-tour disappearance
left the band with massive debts.
  The remaining members who foolishly remained in the US were
arrested 10 days later for violations of the newly legislated
'Tastefulness Act', which carried a death penalty in certain
states.  A bitter and exhaustive court case followed.  The
band were stripped of the legal rights to their name and
declared bankrupt.  Dela Hot-Croix Bun and Van Vlalen stayed
on to appeal against the decision, and the case dragged on for
another six months until the two were deported.  Dela Hot-
Croix Bun managed to rebuild his crippled finances and begin a
modest business career.  However, Van Vlalen was visibly
affected by the traumatic events and became obsessed with
eating, dying two years later of heart failure, a grotesquely
overweight travesty of the great man he once was.
  Cheese reportedly fled to the Himalayas and was never seen
again, whilst St. Peenis turned to a life of petty crime,
spending much of the next ten years in and out of prison,
until he was badly disfigured in an accident with Milliner's
Solution in Pentridge's J Division. Flaubert was not seen or
heard of for twelve years, until he surfaced in Austin, Texas,
attempting to put together a TISM covers band with members of
ZZ Top.  The project collapsed when he was arrested and
detained by the local police.  However, he managed to escape
to Mexico, where he lived as a vagrant and died in ignominy. 
Only Miserables, who became a highly acclaimed artist in the
new field of repetition-engineered sculpture, retained his
self-respect and continued to be creative after the collapse
of TISM.
  The tragic demise of TISM can be seen clearly today for what
it was - a witch hunt of the worst kind, made even more
poignant by the incisive brilliance of 'Hot Dogma'.  The album
stood alone in its time and gathers artistic momentum with
every passing year.  Now there are TISM appreciation societies
scattered around the globe and every would be credible artist
list 'Hot Dogma' as an influence.  How can it be that mankind
is so suspicious of the real truth; that it is so willing to
ignore the harsh, unremitting beauty of true art?  Must art
imitate lift so slavishly?  Must art be in all the popular
colours of the time?  Must art 'taste' nice?  TISM's art was
intricate in its simplicity, eloquent in its bluntness, sweet
in its unrelenting bitterness.  Was this how TISM really saw
the world?  Les Miserables, the only surviving member of TISM,
when asked about 'Hot Dogma', brings a tear to one's eye with
the underlying nostalgia of his reply:
  "'Hot Dogma'?  Rot, basically.  I don't know what all the
fuss is about."

                                E. J. Whitten

                         HOT DOGMA
                     DRAMATIS PERSONAE

GAVAN PURDY               |
MICHAEL LYNCH             |-- Lords of Klein Manor
PETER BLYTON                  A landed gentlemen
LAWRENCE MADDY                Judge
MALCOLM DENNIS                Judge Maddy's adopted ward
NICK MARSEN               |
YAHN WILDERBEAST          |-- Buccaneers
MARK WOODS                    Constable
SEBASTIEN HARVEY              Long lost son of Gavan Purdy
DAVID McLEOD              |
LINDA McLEOD              | - Tragic lovers
GENRE B. GOODE                Token Black

Roman and Volscian Senators: All at 3RRR.  Patricians,
Lictors, Soldiers, Citizens: All who have participated in
stage and television performances.  Servants to Lords of Klein
Manor and sundry attendants: Yuki Wada, Leon Zervas and Hugh
Williams.  Clowns, fools, performers in dumb show: TISM.

------------- Director: The Economist --------------

                SYNOPSIS: ACT ONE

                   WHINGE ROCK
                   LEO'S TOLSTOY

                SYNOPSIS: ACT TWO

                  MY GENERATION
               LET'S CLUB IT TO DEATH
                 LET'S FORM A COMPANY
                     LIFE KILLS
                   PUS OF THE DEAD


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