Miles beyond what The Unified Field presented to the collected IAMX masses, Metanoia is a bleak, dark album fueled by mastermind Chris Corner’s bout with chronic insomnia and a severe locale change (Berlin to Los Angeles) making this, his sixth album as IAMX, probably the most incredible of all. [Read more…]
There are some things that come across my desk that are just not in my wheelhouse. At my core, I’m mostly a rock, metal, industrial guy but I love all music and sometimes I’m introduced to bands and artists that just compel me to write despite my limited knowledge of some genres. KaiL Baxley is one such artist that moved me to open up my ears and stretch my typing fingers when his upcoming second album, A Light That Never Dies, arrived at my digital desk. [Read more…]
Editor’s note: Running a blog by yourself can be hard. Especially coming up with new content to compete with every other Tom, Dick, & Jane out there. Sometimes you can’t cover everything you want and in some cases, by the time you get around to covering something you really, really want to time and relevancy pass you by.
This was the case with a write-up I started on Combichrist’s Boston stop of the “We Love You” tour in April of this year. Life just got in the way. I covered the album release in advance along with “From My Cold Dead Hands” before that but by the time I got to finishing this piece, the first leg of the tour was just about done and I felt the late show review was irrelevant.
But I digress.
Yesterday Combichrist announced the second North American leg of the “We Love You” tour (No MA date. Obviously because I didn’t post my piece!) with openers Blood On The Dance Floor as direct support. If you know the history of the allegations about this band and its front “person” then you can imagine the uproar it caused from longtime supporters of Combichrist. In a bold move and a rare show of integrity in this day and age, Combichrist listened to you and subsequently released this statement on Facebook.
I was a fan of the band before but a move like this guarantees I’ll be a fan for life along with countless others already in their legion. As a “thanks”, I felt it was appropriate to share what fans will bear witness to this fall with my account of the show back in April. If you thought Combichrist showed balls yesterday, just wait ’til you see them live:
“For a band that makes hyper aggressive industrial music like Combichrist, the band were anything but on Tuesday evening at Boston’s Paradise Rock Club. They were quite the opposite, actually, as smiles were shining from ear to ear despite chants of “Hate! Dishonor! Love Destroy!” Combichrist having fun as a band? How very un-industrial! Appearances by Unearth’s Ken Susi during “Follow The Trail Of Blood” and Nick from support act New Year’s Day (who got “hazed” during encore “What The Fuck Is Wrong With You?”) only added to the fun vibe. Joe Letz proved to be a real monster behind the kit bringing to mind the Ginger Fish poundings on Antichrist Superstar but less mechanical, more maniacal. Andy LaPlegua is the definitive front man commanding the audience from the second his masked lit up face makes an appearance during “We Were Made To Love You”. And who doesn’t love a good reprise? That’s right, kiddies, Combichrist brought it back to the beginning as a chant of “Hate! Dishonor! Love! Destroy!” reared its’ ugly little industrial head at the tail end of closer “Sent To Destroy”.”
All in all, a show not to be missed and one which I can only imagine will be ten times greater when they return stateside this fall.
Catch Combichrist on the second Blood On The Dance Floor-less leg of The “We Love You” tour here, We Love You is, of course, is out now through Metropolis Records.
Fans of Chris Connelly are in for a treat in 2014 as the eclectic vocalist returns to industrial in a huge way with not one, but two projects being released. There’s Bells Into Machines which sees Connelly partner up with his former Ministry co-hort Paul Barker and the RevCo-inspired slab of awesome that we’re talking about here: Cocksure!
Teaming with Acumen Nation’s Jason Novak, Cocksure’s debut full-length is a rollicking throwback with a firm foot placed firmly in the now. Were you a fan of early Revolting Cocks or the Connelly-era of Ministry in the early to mid-’90’s? Then you better not miss this one.
“Skeemy Gates” comes out swinging and easily lays waste to most industrial music out there today. Connelly, as always, is in fine form with a range that goes from Bowie-esque croons to “Cannibal Song” shrieks of madness instantly. “Alpha Male Bling” distorts Connelly on top of swirling, hypnotic Novak electronics while “Guilt, Speed, & Carbon” is almost The Damage Manual “Take Two” with its’ Geordie-like guitar line looped throughout.
If you’re craving some raunch, go no further than “Cock Ripped To The Giddy Tits” which has some hints of NIhil-era KMFDM swagger and would make for some fine pole dancing music (Imagine the booty shakes to Connelly’s “Hoo! Ha!’s”). “Silikon Suckaz” is even more perfect for that setting with Connelly at his most maniacal. Soon to be touring partner Richard 23 of Front 242 shows up on “TKO Mindfuck” further into TVMALSV to really bring things full circle on a track that is instantly mesmerizing and a reminder that you can’t keep a good Cock down.
TVMALSV is the album you need if you’re looking for some old school industrial without having to go on a nostalgia trip. It’s fresh, it’s new, and it’s easily a must-have for any industrial music and Chris Connelly fan.
Cocksure’s TVMALSV is out through Metropolis Records on August 12th. You can pre-order yours here.
I was never a fan of Information Society during their beginnings and perhaps that’s a good thing. The best thing I could recommend when venturing into _hello world is to come in with a fresh perspective and an open mind. If you do, you’re bound to be blown away. Chances are, if you do go in familiar with InSoc and with high expectations the results will be the same.
First off, how can anyone not love an album that has a track centered around a Schwarzenegger line from Total Recall? That’s “The Prize” for you, a slamming dance track with a chorus that’s sure to set clubs ablaze this summer. As a whole, _hello world is this glorious slab of new world disorder that’s equal parts Electro, New Wave, New Synth, Synth-Pop…look, it’s just awesome, okay? There’s bits for fans in all wakes of life here bringing to mind modern electroluminaries like The Faint, Bright Light Bright Light, and Pet Shop Boys. Speaking of Nebraska’s favorite sons: If you like The Faint’s swagger but feel they’re a little too out there then check out “Where Were You” while “Get Back” is a neat little amalgamation of VNV Nation and some of the more contemporary pop hits out today (Think Lady Gaga).
If you’re looking for nostalgia, then how about a Devo cover? “Beautiful World” even features Gerald V Casale and is a hyper-stylized refurbishing of a new wave classic. Further on, songs like the floor throbbing “Let It Burn” or guitar driven opener “Land Of The Blind” are constant reminders of how vital and relevant Information Society is thirty plus years into their career.
_hello world is out on September 23rd through HAKATAK International/MVD.
Rod Thomas is back at it again as Bright Light Bright Light and inspired by some new friends (Sir Elton John, in particular, who appeared on the I Wish We Were Leaving EP earlier this year) on his sophomore stunner Life Is Easy. Expanding the Bright Light Bright Light sound even further this time around, Thomas ups the dance and synth quotient considerably making Life Is Easy an easy contender for “Club Album of the Year” (Is that even an award?).
“There Are No Miracles” invokes the spirit of Pet Shop Boys just starting out in 2014. “I Wish We Were Leaving” pairs Thomas with Sir Elton on a beats driven track with an expansive electronic soundscape which further accents the pure chemistry when John’s and Thomas’ voices mesh. “An Open Heart” is this gorgeous synth-heavy jambalaya of sonic awesomeness that’s sure to get your ass out of your seat and dancing around your house or office like a maniac (Pair this with Maximo Park’s “Brain Cells” for the most epic interpretive dance-a-thon of the year). “Good Luck” is another banger that adds some elements of Reggaeton making this one of the most upbeat tracks here despite the not so upbeat lyrical content (“Good luck being lonely/Look after yourself/Good luck finding somebody else”). “More Than Most” is just gorgeous on its own but add a choir towards the end and the song goes way beyond.
Did I ramble on about the songs for a bit? I guess but when all is said and done, every song on Life Is Easy is beyond great. Things don’t slow down until the seventh song people! Thomas’s songwriting and evocative vocal style have truly gone to the next level on his sophomore offering. Life Is Easy is out on July 8th through Self Raising Records/Megaforce Records/RED. Don’t miss out on one of the greats of 2014, pre-order your copy here and here.
The most aggressive band in industrial music today is back with We Love You, an album that throws everything AND the kitchen sink into the mix. If you liked the guitar-heavy hyper-intensity of last year’s No Redemption soundtrack yet yearned for the more club friendly numbers then We Love You is the solution to all your problems.
It’s like the Daleks are narrating the Doctor Who meets Flash Gordon synth overtones of “We Were Made To Love You” which opens the apocalyptical album. “We Were Made To Love You” is the logical comedown after last year’s abrasive No Redemption album featuring a disjointed swirl of electronics and guitars after the narration ends and the sonic shitstorm begins.
From there it sounds like business as usual (The KMFDM electro romp “Every Day is War”, chaotic thumper “Can’t Control”) but if there’s one thing that listeners should take away from WLY, it is this: Nothing is as it seems. Like the press release states: “Everything is farther, faster, and darker. There are more guitars, pounding drums, heavier electronics, further experimentation, lots more anger…” This means for every “Satan’s Propaganda” there’s a song like “Fuck Unicorns” (Think Daft Punk with some seriously dark undertones and frontman Andy LaPlegua acting as a demented ringleader/televangelist) or the acoustic-driven, pensive “The Evil In Me” waiting in the wings to expand their sound even further.
We Love You also features some of the most straight up rawk tunes Combichrist has ever laid down as well as being the most sing-a-long album to date. “Maggots At The Party” is up first (Followed by “Love Is A Razorblade” later on) and is a straight banger. You can almost picture the Beastie Boys “You Gotta Fight…” meets Lamb Of God’s “Redneck”-style video that should accompany the song with drummer Joe Letz just wailing away at the kit while LaPlegua forces his way through some cluttered crowd at a house party,
The tail end of WLY is where the magic really happens, though. “From My Cold Dead Hands” is a blessing. Easily one of the best industrial songs of the year, the effects-laden robot trading verses with LaPlegua’s monstrous growl is serene. That leads into the equally impressive “We Rule The World Motherfuckers” (Sure to be a hit on the goth dance floor and during their upcoming tour) which is another example of the genius of Combichrist at work. Speaking of genius, that word doesn’t even come close to describing the majestic two part closer “Retreat Hell” with “Part 1” being this monstrous tribal wall of sound and “Part 2” supplementing it with a long running rant by LaPlegua to make the perfect coda to a perfect album.
We Love You is available on March 25th through Metropolis Records. Physical and digital copies are available here and make sure you head on over to their Facebook page to see where you can catch them on their upcoming North American tour with William Control and New Year’s Day.
The Skinny Puppy renaissance of the 21st Century began in 2004 with the release of The Greater Wrong of the Right, their first new studio recording in eight years. Ten years later and the band is better than ever and even more potent releasing one of their best to date with last year’s Weapon. In 2004, though, they were still finding their sea legs if you will on an album that was also the first without Dwayne Goettel and longtime producer Dave Ogilvie.
As a whole the album was a welcome return for the reigning industrial giants but it shed most of the ferocious bile they spewed in their early years. Jarring guitar lines are mechanically cut and pasted throughout and not much of a presence overall (Most noticeably on opener “I’mmortal”) while the ringmaster himself, Nivek Ogre, doesn’t quite sound like Ogre. That unmistakable snarl doesn’t rear its’ ugly little head until closers “Goneja” and “DaddyuWarbash” actually. The surprises continued with the overly lush, almost Pop, sound of “Use Less” featuring Wayne Static and Tool’s Danny Carey.
Is this a watered down version of SP then? Far from it! Instead, TGWotR presents a band falling in love with creating progressive industrial music all over again and a sign of what was to come. If you were a fan of the band previously, TGWotR just made you appreciate them more. If you were a new fan looking for a jumping on point then there was no better gateway drug then TGWotR.
The Greater Wrong of the Right re-issue is out on January 28th through Metropolis Records, pressed on heavyweight vinyl for the first time ever. Reserve your copy here, but act fast as the vinyl is limited to 1000 copies! You can also get the album on CD and digitally.