Music Reviews



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Artist: CRIA CUERVOS (@)
Title: Leitfossilen
Format: CD
Label: Mystery Sea (@)
Rated: *****
This release follows Cria Cuervos appearance on the split sampler (together with Bio and The Beautiful Schizophonic) on the portuguese label Thisco. This new cdr is out on Mystery Sea and if you never heard about this label I think you'd better give a check to their full catalogue. I think this guy is on the right way to find his "personality" or at last that's my impression while listening his "concrete-isolationism" or maybe "field-droning" is better. Call it the way you want but the matter of "Leitfossilen" remains the same: no "melody" (just some distant drones completely absorbed by the audio "landscape"), every once in a while the scenario is randomly (not so "randomly" anyhow) crossed by new sound-sources kept in a constant and slow evolution. There's a great "bushido" (read "self-discipline") sensation carved inside these suites. Imagine Main gone "bad", or the isolationist answer to the "H.I.A.+Biosphere" project, and what if I say Thomas Koner and Eclipse caged in the ice of the arctic sea? This music somehow presents a constant duel between the composer's idea and the patience of the listeners and you can bet Eugenio Maggi should have had a lot of fun while trying to bring the listeners into a "desolated place". This record is far from the "music where something is happening all of a sudden" idea, elements are slowly and accurately combined like if it was a classical-piece. Koner once said: "My music becomes fully connected to my retirement from external life", I can't say if Cria Cuervos has the same opinion about his music, but that's the impression that "Leitfossilen" can give.
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Artist: Pillars of Nein (@)
Title: Apathy
Format: CD
Distributor: CD Baby
Rated: *****
Apathy is the self-released debut of Pillars of Nein, a guitar-oriented industrial rock band hailing from Portland, Oregon. Pillars of Nein is the project of Chuck Nein (vocals), Angel (guitars), Keith Sommers (keyboard/drums), and Chelle Beck (backing vocals). With Apathy, Pillars of Nein deliver an impassioned and intense release that sounds professional beyond anything you might expect to hear from an unsigned band.

Apathy walks a very fine line between alternative and industrial music and succeeds in doing justice to both. The highlight of this release, for me, is the compatibility of Chuck Nein and Chelle Beck’s vocal work. Nein’s vocals bear a remarkable resemblance to Bush’s Gavin Rosdale, and Chelle Beck’s strong, seductive backing vocals are the perfect match to an already commanding presence.

Apathy is a perfect balance of aggression and beauty, shifting from melancholic keyboard/piano themes to crushing Rammstien-like guitar sequences without a moment’s notice. Pillars of Nein have figured out the formula to both the alternative and industrial genres, if they can further harness that formula there will be no end to their potential.
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Artist: Things Outside the Skin (@)
Title: You Knew It All Along
Format: CD
Label: Facility records
Rated: *****
Brooklyn experimental music project Things Outside The Skin are back with a new full lenght CD that represents a definite evolution and improvement over their previous, more dark, release. "You Knew It All Along" packs together twenty-three tracks of cutting edge aggro-electronica that mixes together experimental vibes, aggressive electronic music, aggro-industrial attitude and mechanical noises, all complemented by a refreshing and intelligent political punk attitude... The band reminds me of australians Eye, but if you don't remember them, you might thing of T.O.T.S. as a well mixed cocktail of Skinny Puppy, Pop Will Eat Itself, Consolidated, Godflesh, Sloppy Wrenchbody, Flugschadel, Headcrash, Ministry and other similar bands. All these comparisons are very fitting, for one reason or another, and it's up to you to find out how these influences are mixed together. A good occasion for that, would be their visually-enhanced live shows. If you don't live in NYC, they'll be on tour in November to support the release of this record. Don't miss out.
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Artist: VV.AA. (@)
Title: Crash01 - Crash Frequency Compilation Vol. 1
Format: CD
Label: Crash Frequency (@)
Rated: *****
Crash Frequency is the name of a new community of bands out of Down Under, Australia. Force through unity, so could maybe the motto sound. It is target to help each out, sharing opportunities, organizing gigs, doing promotion – simply to speak with a mighty voice of a whole Electro/Industrial scene – no matter if and where the bands are signed or not. So this 10 tracks represented by the members of this community is a first mutual sign of life, I must say, a musically very diverse one. ANGELSPIT, opener on this comp and a driving force of this community start with a danceable, classic Industrial inspired track, distorted female vocals and some guitar riffs, comparable somehow with an act like MMTM. ANGEL THEORY is surely one of the most acclaimed and known act here, signed to Australia’s Ground Under Productions, and here present with a good remix done by New Zealand’s THE MERCY CAGE (signed now to DSBP) of their track "Ease the Pain". Next remarkable piece comes from THE CRYSTALLINE EFFECT which combine beautiful female vocals with Electro and some Trip-Hop elements. Globally nice done and finally no wonder, that the Polish label Black Flames picked them up. Australia’s Gothic-Rock legend IKON is also available here and can satisfy with good vocals and a rich amount of electronics. LUX VOLTAIRE prove that there is enough humor in Down Under with a track name in German "Ich liebe mein Oberheim" – well, music seems to produced with synths of this manufacturer. Best track to me – obviously following trendy hypes like Futurepop – is the piece of RESURRECTION EVE, also signed to Ground Under Productions. Well worked out sequences, no minimal structures, good vocals made an easy to following track of this mentioned genre which deserves a wider recognition. Also TANKT offer a good and diverse piece with "Bush on Fire" – be sure that they do not referring on forest fire. Unfortunately this comp stops after 10 tracks and almost 49 minutes. I can see on the members list that there are a lot of more bands involved, and especially my personal favorite STARK is missed hard here. Anyhow, there are a lot of different music styles here and a nice proof of activity and life still to come from Down Under. Next releases in co-operation of this community are already in plans, look out for this comp as well as for new releases by ANGEL SPIT, TANKT, IKON or THE CRYSTALLINE EFFECT.

Track listing:

1.ANGELSPIT – Head Kult (Head Fuck Mix)
2.ANGEL THEORY – Ease the Pain (Placebo Mix by THE MERCY CAGE)
3.THE BOM – Machine Men
4.THE CRYSTALLINE EFFECT – Why Do I Hate Myself?
5.DANDELION WINE – Begin Journey (Rejiggered)
6.DOMINO THEORY – Kill You
7.IKON – Psychic Vampire
8.LUX VOLTAIRE – Ich liebe mein Oberheim (Electrolux Mix)
9.RESURRECTION EVE – Wine
10.TANKT – Bush on Fire (John Von Ahlen’s Leather Mask Mix)

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Artist: P24 (@)
Title: Weit entfernt
Format: CD
Label: Calyx Records (@)
Distributor: Nova Media
Rated: *****
Behind this modest name we have a duo which hails from Berlin and Schwedt, Germany, and consists of Daniel Lemke (music) and Rico Ferenc Piller (vocals), who was active in a well known band like D.-PRESSIV (3 albums released on Maschinenwelt...r.i.p.). P24 are producing music somewhere between Synth- and Future-Pop with some harder efforts up to EBM. Extraordinary is the fact that all of their lyrics are written and sung in German – you won’t find any English lyrics here. This debut CD offers 5 original tracks plus tons of remix works by more (HAUJOBB or Marc Werner of SABOTAGE) or lesser (their label comrades of FP or ORPHEÉ for example) known acts – so in all 14 tracks and a long playing time with more than 73 minutes. With the exception of the German vocals you wont find too much surprises here, because musically the band follows similar ideas and styles like big names out of the Futurepop-genre have already presented. I wouldn’t count this a flaw, moreover I would say that the vocals could need some refreshing production. I like really the sound of the vocals but a bit lesser use of reverb effects on it could help. So it is no wonder, that he best and strongest moments this duo offers with melodic refrain of "Offenheit". Best track overall is to my taste the melancholic remix of the track "Niemand", done by Nico of CONDITION ONE. This is indeed a decent debut, which seems to get some interest in Poland (a little wonder, as I said, they sing in German...) in the official charts. Well, good luck to the next superstars...
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