Music Reviews



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Artist: Promonium Jesters (@)
Title: EP2010
Format: CD EP
Label: P in a Circle Records (@)
Distributor: P in a Circle Records
Rated: *****
Out of Uxbridge, Ontario, Canada come Promonium Jesters led by Ethan Mosely. I've heard them described as psychedelic industrial/thrash rock and although I'm not sure that's the best description for this band, but I can't think of a better one so we'll just let that stand for now. Over the course of 15 years they've released 12 other albums and have managed to keep on the fringe so that I've never heard of them until now. To their credit, Promonium Jesters is a live performing unit, at least in Canada for the time being.

For the most part, the music has an 'everything but the kitchen sink' aesthetic ('Oh, we missed the kitchen sink? Well fuck, let's rip it out of the wall and throw THAT in too!!') that manifests in a kind of controlled chaos with nearly relentless, and sometimes breakneck grooves. Imagine early My Life With the Thrill Kill Cult on meth, and you have a better idea of what's going on. Moseley's heavily processed vocals are more recited, whispered, spit out and screamed than sung, and only occasionally can you make out what he's saying. There is plenty of electronic effluvia in the mix, lots minimal sequencing, twisted tones and dark drooblings. For sure, this is a different kind of industrial music than you might be used to, fairly far from the mainstream. The track I liked best on 'EP2010' was 'Scar Master,' one of the less frenetic numbers with its dark ambient intro, stuttering synth sequences, raging vocals, wall of processed guitar accents, and brief spatial interludes. At times, it is super dense, at others, quite minimal. If NIN were to turn avant-garde, it might sound something like this. The last track, 'Omnicide' is also a medium-paced groove that might be the most psychedelic thing on the EP, and a psychedelic death trip at that. Manson would probably dig it; Charles, Marilyn, take your pick. At over 8 minutes though, it just seemed to drag on a bit too long for my taste.

Overall, there were elements on 'EP2010' that I really liked, and some that I didn't care for, but hey, that's just me. For you, they might just be the greatest thing since sliced bread; if you like your bread hacked with a chainsaw, dipped in petroleum and toasted in a blast furnace.
Sep 27 2010
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Artist: R21
Title: Robot Funk
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Binalog Productions (@)
Rated: *****
Musical project of a guy coming from Reading (UK) called David Mott, R21 is delivering his first release on Binalog Productions after releasing some EPs on Devine Disorder under the DJR21 moniker. This new digital release, exclusive to Juno Download, is titled ROBOT FUNK and contains three new tunes: "Robot funk", "PopBot" and "Groove 1". Listening to the lot different times is evident that R21 is in love with robotic upbeat tempo rhythms, fat bass lines and analog pads where melody paints a main theme and the alternation of the different elements enrich the formula. In balance from Kraftwerk, Drexciya and Dopplereffekt, Dave succeeds into creating good electronic tunes made of spacey sounds, squared rhythms and robotic dance atmospheres. Dig it!
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Artist: Lost in Desire (@)
Title: s/t
Format: CD
Label: Echozone (@)
Distributor: Masterpiece
Rated: *****
Behind the emaciated appearance, the deathly pallor of his skinny face contrasting with spite of the deep bags under a pair of raven eyes of the talented Austrian musician and singer (luckily he's not another emulation of HIM way of singing, which seems to be almost an habit or a trend in the contemporary gothic and dark-wave scene'¦) Stephan Sutor, it's not hidden only a vampirish identity crisis or the teeny fancies of a rock-pop star wannabes, but above all a talented musician with a certain borderline poetical wit. According to the lyrics of the little spoken word track Picturesque and Beautiful ' which has been previously issued in a collection of poems entitled Borderline ' die andere Art zu fühlen (transl.Bordline, the other way of feeling), the poetical side of Stephan could be depicted by using his own words as '['¦] a wicked mind/a broken heart all that is mine/all picturesque, all beautiful/put on the mask'¦['¦] ', a clear-cut brush work which could explain the general mood between gothic imaginary and a dark emotive world between borderline feelings and decadent perceptions, seeping from the words of the eccentric entreaty of the very first song, Vampire. From the musical viewpoint the song which I just mentioned could be not the best way to start as it looks too anchored to something already heard, but the poor estivation is highly counterbalanced by the energy and the good song performance of Walking On Air and I Am You, the last of which being my personal favorite even if it seems to be a pop-tinged melting pot of Placebo, Rasmus (maybe for his kind of moaning-like rush on the distorted punkey guitar line) and Sonic Youth, a track which together to other ones such as the darkish lyrical and musical playset of Blow My Mind (a good vocal interpretation of lyrics with some nice rhetorical tricks such as the oxymora 'I wanna blow my mind in pieces/I wanna burn 'till it freezes' intertwines with an enjoyable electronic sliding solid gothic-rock structure) or the following one Losing Control (it's really moving the way Stephen interprets it by inserting some meows partially reminding the ones by Brian Molko) could be fitted to climb charts, an aim which could be arguably reached if he keeps on walking on this stylistic path enriching his discography and refining its style in order to obtain a more personal one by purifying it from the most recognizable influences. In the meanwhile, all gothic rock lovers are alerted: this Austrian ghostly entity is prowling through the scene and looking for bloody music lovers and lost souls in the thick wood of audiences.
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Artist: SemiOn
Title: Nuclear Attack
Format: CD
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
Nuclear Attack is a concept album about the devastation of a Nuclear War. This album, in fact, seems heavily influenced by games like Fallout rather by the words of Oppenheimer and, probably, due to the young age of their author.
This story begins with "you cannot win" an intro to "Nuclear War" an almost dance songs with beats, samples and guitar. "The blast" is a noise track based on siren like sinewaves, "All that remains is..." is an ambient track that tied with "the unquiet place" create a long emotional desert based on radio waves and soundtrack like effects (think at the noise of neon), maybe a little too long but of undeniable effect. "The reawakening" moves on tribal-like territories and "The shapes of things to come" takes the same theme of "nuclear war" to close the album with some sort of happy end (?!?).
This album lacks a true direction, SemeiOn has done a good record but revealing all their influences, seeming more like a descriptive soundtrack. When they will be able to synthesize their own sound merging all the good bits of this records, they could be really a band.
Available through http://semi0n.bandcamp.com/
Sep 24 2010
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Artist: Collapse (@)
Title: In despair
Format: CD
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
Amadou Sall can be considered a veteran already. In the early nineties he used to play in Treponem Pal, a band that through out a few albums pionereed the crossover of metal and electronics. Way more metal than Nine Inch Nails, more rock oriented than Young Gods, less claustrophobic that Godflesh, yet an original force, the first experiment of this kind coming from France, one of the first in Europe. Collapse formed in 1997, and evolved till this 6th release into something that can be easily filed under EBM in every record store. Their biography cites VNV Nation, and you can really feel a stronger concern on melody comparing with older releases, but still trying to indulge on some form of aggression. The mission is not perfectly executed indeed, the (up)beats are mostly very danceable, the arpeggiator works damn good, but feels like something is missing, and this is about power. Vocals are a bit too rough to be melodic, but yet not too angry. The many guitar samples fill in perfectly but a bit too much in the background, and the whole sound sometimes is a bit spoiled. It's about artistic choices that no one can criticize, but feels like the band is approaching the shores of catchiness and dancefloors with a strong heritage of aggressive approaches in both music and lyrics without knowing how to perfectly deal with it. I would call it a transition record and I'm definitely looking forward the following one because I believe that Collapse can really give its own definition of industrial rock.
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