Time for my usual monthly round-up of ten tracks of the month…
Track of the Month
Death Audio Blow Your Brains
How To Enlist In A Robot Uprising
Something that had (somehow) passed me by until recently, when a number of people all told me about it in the same week – including Sue, who actually played it to me. It's dead simple, really – stomping industrial beats and a repetitive and catchy sample (the title, oddly enough), and proved to be a dancefloor hit at Autonomy this past weekend.
U Can't Stop The Bomb
Cyanotic presents: Gears Gone Wild
This track has gradually taken over my head in the past few weeks. If I have an earworm at any time, it is invariably this. No real problem, though, as it is fucking ace. Yes, it's more US industrial. Well, actually, this is more punk-paced, industrial-tinged rock, with skittering, stop-start verses and a monstrous chorus that quite literally explodes as the track closes. The album is winging it's way over from Canada to me at the moment…
What Used To Be (Short Storm
What Used To Be CDM
Like much of Mind.In.A.Box's output, this took a while to get into. The album version is a sprawling, eight-minute epic, while the "single" version is a much snappier, shorter version with a hell of a lot more power – and probably the most straightforward track the group have made to date. And interestingly, seperated from the album's complex narrative, the track still works just as well.
Waiting For Gira
The first Swans 'tribute' track I've come across, and this was an unexpected place to find it. In amongst a wonderful album that merges various forms of industrial and electronics into a satisfying, cohesive whole, comes this short track that channels the spirit of Swans right to it's core. It's the dirty, heavy bassline, the forboding created by the near tribal drums, and the oppressive atmosphere of the track itself. Any chance of a whole album of this?
The Night Dance
I've been listening to this album again of late, and my favourite track nowadays is this one, particularly after the amazing live version at the gig in Manchester last December. The usual mix of industrial, ambient and rock from these guys, an intriguing subject (going up on the hill to watch the sky – a meteor shower, perhaps? – with a lover, it appears) and a soaring chorus to die for. Remarkably, this album is now about fifteen years old – and I'm still not tired of it.
The Xenomorphians – Your Friendly Invasion
Watch on YouTube
Not your average rhythmic industrial act, from what I hear – both on CD and from those who have seen them live – their forthcoming Infest appearance should certainly be worth a look. A sense of something nearing playfulness seems to abound in their material, from the wierd, almost childlike alien imagery that adorns the cover to beats that bounce around like an excitable puppy.
Assassins: Black Meddle Part 1
The first Chicago-based "Black Metal" I've ever picked up, I think. The band actually deny they are Black Metal, but it is about as close a description as you are going to find. No corpse paint here – more an unusual and unexpected, almost psychedelic slant to many of the instrumental passages, and even the more BM-sections are at points anthemic – not to mention the fact that the lyrics are actually audible. Heresy, then? Is it hell. Up there with Ihsahn's latest release as the best BM release of 2008, so far.
Botch Up and Die
This album has been a fixture in my DJ sets and home listening for ages now. And I can thank Keef Baker for playing it to me in the first place. As I'm sure I've noted before, it's amazing that this idea was not thought of previously. The mixing up of vicious breakcore and metal/grindcore samples is truly inspired, and done so well that the entire album just works. It's also fun trying to identify the samples in each track. This track is the savage opener, which bulldozes it's way through four minutes of total carnage…
Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness
Just heard this last night, really – a slightly unexpected selection on MTV2 – and a reminder of just how marvellous the 'Pumpkins could be when Billy Corgan got his head out from his arse. The precursor to much of their heavily electronic-orientated output in the following years, I'd hazard that this was their last truly great single.
More Music For The Jilted Generation
A welcome reissue this week has been of the Prodigy's first two albums, both of which have been remastered and reissued with a second CD of additional material. I was never a particular fan of the first album (the oh-so-cheesy and slightly-naff rave kicks of The Prodigy Experience), but this album was simply awesome. The entire album was a furious rage at the curbing of freedoms caused by the Criminal Justice Bill, and that rage reached it's pinnacle on this track, the classic collaboration with PWEI – whose "Fuck 'em – and their law" refrain was wonderfully succinct. And yes, I'll be playing it tonight.