Music Reviews

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Artist: Everything Goes Cold (@)
Title: Vs. General Failure
Format: CD
Label: Bit Riot Records (@)
Rated: *****
Well, this is something else...surely not what I expected, caught me completely by surprise, and I wouldn't want to give everything away by spoiling all the surprises on this album, but surely the truth must be told. Although Everything Goes Cold is led by former Psyclon Nine member Eric Gottesman, the people involved in this album are a veritable potpourri of industrial music luminaries, from the players now in the basic band (Kenny Pardo ' drums; James Webb ' guitar), to former member Conan Neutron (keyboard), and additional players (James Perry ' guitar; Daniel Myer ' vocals; Steev Dinkins ' guitar & programming). I shouldn't even have to mention where most of those guys are from; if you have a decent working knowledge of industrial music, you should probably already know. The music on Everything Goes Cold Vs. General Failure is no less of a potpourri, but the kind that sneaks up on you from behind like a thug in a bad neighborhood at night, smacks you upside the head with blunt object, kicks your punk ass to the curb, all the while spewing hilarious anecdotes about how fucked up the world is. He didn't want to roll you for your dough, he just wanted you to listen.

Okay, maybe that's a far-fetched analogy, but by the time EGC is finished with you, you WILL feel like you've been bruised, battered and wised-up a little. The first encounter, 'Defrosted,' lays down some drama piano chords over a hip-hop beat and a cold wind a blowin' with a loop of the appliance delivery guy's chorus from Dire Straits's 'Money For Nothin'. It doesn't exactly prepare you for the chaotic industrial metal of 'Abort' but when the vocals come in, it's like Devo on steroids, and then some'¦.a whole lot more pissed off and aggro than those spud boys ever could have been. It's manic, frenetic, raucous and chaotic. Blast-beats everywhere, machine-gun guitar, and balls to the wall. I should mention (for those who care) that EGC lists the BPM of every track on the CD, which ranges from 72 to 190 ('Abort' was 190.) 'Don't Quit Your Day Job' is the anthem of everyman who works a shitty job. Daniel Myer of Haujobb is credited with vocals on this one, but I couldn't determine exactly where. Anyway, it's a strong and solid track that has crossover potential into the alt market.

When I first saw the title of the next track, 'I Sold Your Organs on the Black Market for the Purchase of a Used Minivan,' I laughed my ass off before I even heard it. Gotta love an industrial band with a sense of humor like this. The song is almost as funny as the title in a warped sort of way. In an indictment of the relatively small value of human life vs. money in society dumbed down for Joe Sixpack. Eric Gottesman rants and raves over a background of guitar-enhanced electro-industrial chaos-mosphere. Imagine Nine Inch Nails on an STP/meth cocktail. There is a LOT of shit happening here'¦and then'¦out of nowhere, a Tex Avery cartoon with little singing and dancing owls transitions into 'The Droids You're Looking For'. I'm not even going to cite the Family Guy sample that makes up the bulk of this track (with appropriate electro-industrial backing), you're probably familiar with it anyway. Well, somebody had to do it I guess.

'Bitch Stole My Time Machine' has a nifty ostinato string section intro before the guitar charges in and sets the pace. This is a very cool, if a little sample-happy (well, the whole album is a little sample happy, to an extent) tune about how too much tech really might not be such a good idea. You get the appropriate samples on 'Unleash the Kraken,' but at least it isn't overdone. Usually, I'm down on, rather than down with dialogue samples in industrial music, just because they're so overused, but somehow they work on this album and enhance rather than detract. Just the way it works out, so don't get worked up about me contradicting myself.

Gottesman's harbinger of post-apocalyptic doom voice usually operates in rage and enraged mode as well it probably should, but sometimes takes on a different, more processed tack for effect's sake. The music isn't all guitar-heavy either. There are plenty of synth electronics to glue this juggernaut of dystopian diatribe together. Just before the finale, you get a brief respite from the onslaught on 'Refrozen'. 'Fail' subtley reprises and incorporates the short 3 note piano riff from the prior track which sums up all the cynicism and disgust from the past 40+ minutes. What have we become? How did we get this way? What are you going to do about it? What CAN we do about it? This is the REAL rage against the machine, not some watered-down rap-rock commercialized pile of crap. Buy it. You won't be sorry.



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