Now more than ever, it appears that we as a species are toying with our welcome on this planet, by endlessly sinking into deeper realms of depravity and destruction. We annihilate our lives as we type away at our screens, directing our impeaching fingers out towards politicians and the media for the degradation of our general moral compasses and the bastardisation of mother nature. But every so often we are granted a glimpse into the true reality. We were merely pointing at ourselves all along. Us. The collection, all responsible for our own slow rotting persons. We are the cause of our planet’s deterioration into this disastrous muck. We have pushed her too far. And if there ever was any artistic evidence of this downturn, Mensvreters would be the final monster. They are the impurest of outcomes that we as a society have created. They are a reflection of the darkness which has continued to prevail for too long, and may very well be the final shard which proves that we are living in our last days. Because where could we possibly go from here?
On a theatrical plain, Mensvreters are a cartoon nightmare. Blurring the line between the most repulsive corners of horrorcore and the bloodiest brutalities of death metal without falling victim to some hybrid cliché, their presentation alone will prove far too nauseating for most of our blinded children, who will turn their phones off or change the channel before dealing with this fronting duo. Identities are obscured by scars which resemble burn wounds as they educate the masses about the finer details of eating babies, mutilating genitals, and the many various extra curricular activities one could explore using their bodily fluids alone. Such debaucherous subject matter picks away at the scabs of discomfort while their antisocial antics are disguised beneath the youngest spoken language in the world (Afrikaans, primarily found in the artists’ homeland of South Africa), and buried under the user-friendly label of a “comedy performance”. And certainly, it is funny. You will laugh, albeit through feared eyes and gaping mouths, relatively aware that if you don’t accept this worrying behaviour on a comedic level, it becomes nearly impossible to digest in any other manner.
One could be forgiven in assuming that such an obscene premise is purely for gimmick’s sake—a farce set to shock attention from the masses, who may confuse their image as a tool, used to overshadow any need for real talent, or to perhaps distract any lack of prowess with an onslaught of vulgarity. But upon listening to Menvreters’ debut album, Gevaarlikste Bende, you are quick to learn that this is not the case, as suffocating below their native tongues which vomit out words of encouragement towards infanticide and smoking pubic hair, there is a deeper level to what they do. Most predominantly, the production is no joke. The beats are well thought out to assist the task at hand, complete with horror-esque samples which molest the flavours, never allowing the listener to settle on any safe mood, or even settle whatsoever. Sometimes (on songs like Mensvreeter Mens or the title track Gevaarlikste Bende), they attack with an old school American hip hop vibe. Other times (on Babababooti or Kom Speel Met My, for example) they deliver the pain you’d expect from a more hardcore metal approach. And then occasionally (found on Ek is Mal or Hoekom was Ek Geboore), they roll over to expose their softer side like the rotten underbelly of a fruit, all of which is enough evidence in itself to prove their vast craftsmanship. Complete this variation with the loveable TV icon Zet standing as their DJ, dancing around like a possessed puppet and injecting the performers with stem cells when they grow weary... and you have no choice but to accept this outfit as something beyond just an ugly face. They are hardworking, skillful, and very serious about what they do, which should scare you even more.
Perhaps the world is not ready for Mensvreters just yet. Perhaps the criminal themes or the exclusive dialect will alienate most viewers. But please do not be worried if you don't understand what they are saying. Rather, be grateful for this language barrier, as it is here to protect you. It is all so much safer this way.