Really, where the fuck did this come from? Beamed in apparently from the mid-nineties to the now, and still so fresh and current it stings. A one-man project from the North-Eastern US, seemingly it is also a one-man mision to bring all that was best about US industrial from a decade past to a whole new audience. Which makes it all the more odd that all the credits seem to point to someone who is well integrated into the noise scene over there – but with an album of this quality, there is hardly much to quibble over.
Label: The Pandemic
Catalog#: case 001
Buy from: no longer available
Maybe, just maybe, looking backwards to go forwards is now the way again – as after all, this is hardly the first US industrial act of late to make a conscious decision to do this (just check out the storming power of Cyanotic‘s album Transhuman from last year for more evidence). Perhaps these acts have realised the anaemic bleeps and whines of recent EBM is the twitching of a scene that has grown stagnant, and it is time to use a different approach.
So how does this one work? It was described to me as “prime nineties Wax Trax“, and they really weren’t fucking kidding. At its (many) peaks, it is almost the perfect synthesis of all that was great about industrial music from then, with the likes of Sister Machine Gun, Front 242 and even earlier Ministry, the latter particularly in the naked agression shown in parts.
What highlights? Opening (title) track Wither is quite simply fucking brilliant, with a lumbering beast of a beat, and all kinds of sequencing that burrow into your brain making the track really quite catchy, while How? has you wondering exactly that, as a beat that seems out of step twists round a spiralling, twitching squall of electronics and hissed vocals gels together better than it has any right to do. Ruin reduces the pace and ups the vitriol – cut-up samples of G.W. Bush help to reinforce the idea of where he is coming from…
Things get wierder later on, with the odd, futurepop-esque beats jarring strangely with the rest of Hunger, while Psychorps feels like ohGr has let himself in the back door for a quick scrap over who is manning the mixing desk.
What exactly one does to follow this up is beyond me, as it sounds like nothing else that is contemporary. The other problem is that there are only 300 numbered copies, and I am not sure if any are left. Which is a damned shame, as this really needs to be heard by a wider audience…