Music Reviews



Artist: Ingenue Chaperone (@)
Title: Demo
Format: CD EP
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
This project is by goth band Ample Population half member, Jasi Richardson, who is heavily into electronic and experimental. His latest side proj IC is experimenting samples and electronics, which is minimalist. The track "Boomeasy" is a funky piece, while "This One's Better" is only a sample of Jasi's ex-girlfriend talking on the answer machine telling him how good her pussy is. "Abootshunesk" is much more an electronic noise track. The disc features five very short tracks. It will keep you listening with interest.
Artist: Angels and Agony
Title: Avatar
Format: CD
Label: Metropolis
Angels and Agony - an aggressive artist name, to be sure - actually conceals quite melodic synth-pop. Highly danceable beats and ethereal songwriting point to the new wave origins of Angels and Agony's new disc "Avatar". Now, beneath all the melody is a gothic sadness more in line with the style of the band's name. But you know what? It's a cool band name and it's cool music. Mid-tempo range dance hooks, trance-style melodies, a gothic vocal approach and, behold, it's Angels and Agony.
Artist: Cesium 137
Title: Luminous
Format: CD
Label: Metropolis
Cesium 137's release "Luminous" boasts tightly constructed songwriting, heightened sleekness and greater hook for the listener. There's plenty of synth pop melody here, as you'd expect from C137, but there's a dash of goa sensibility, high energy propulsion, plaintive vocals that rise above the dullness exhibited by many electro acts whose brains are electro-constructionists more than singers and an injection of appealing tranceyness. Increasing the interest of this CD are a handful of remixes by such artists as Imperative Reaction and Haujobb. Those who like energetic spears of electro-industrial dance with tons of melody but also tons of acid energy should check this out.
Artist: Flesh Field
Title: Strain
Format: CD
Label: Metropolis
Horror movie atmospheres seem to undergird the dark synth-pop sounds emblazoning across the soundscapeof Flesh Field's new Metropolis Records release "Strain". There's also a certain soundtrackiness of another sort in that the compositional structure in places remind one of the orchestral stylings washed across movies sometimes. These are, you understand, mere whiffs, not outright styles, employed by the artists. The music calls these to mind. The core of the sound is sort of an aggro-synth pop. See, on one hand it's dark, acid-tinged aggression (sometimes with guitars) spearing you electro-industrial style. But there's a melodic consciousness, etc., that makes you feel like you're listening to really aggressive synth pop. What it all comes down to is that this is a multi-faceted and original dose of industrial electronica.
Artist: Hocico
Title: Wrack and Ruin
Format: CDS (CD Single)
Label: Metropolis
Hocico's long, gothy intro builds into an explosion of heavy beats that made me think momentarily of gabber at half-speed. Edgy electronic melodies creep in and entwine with the beats. Finishing the sound is the threatening hiss of the vocals. Ultimately what is crafted is a dangerous, cutting bloody blade of electro steel cutting into the center of your brain. Hocico is certainly one of the darker acts on Metropolis Records (and that really is saying something), yet there's an uncanny ability exhibited on "Wrack and Ruin" (the new release) to bring to bear new wave influences that somehow enhance the overall dark intent of the music. Well-crafted and cynical aggro-industrial.
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