The Hated Opinionated One

Posts Tagged ‘Industrial’

The Spores Make Doom Popular

Posted by Scotio on March 2, 2009


When you hear the words Doom & Pop put together for an album title, you don’t quite know exactly what to expect. The Spores released an album with just that name Doom Pop. It’s not something that you hear everyday. Your mind gets slightly confused at such a combination. Everything from Metal with Britney Spears lyrics to Timbaland music with Death Growls featured over top run through your mind. Yet, The Spores didn’t do any of that. What they did do was create an album that embodies everything(damn near literally) that folks of mainstream media loved in the mid to late 90’s. Every song, they seem to replicate the same magic of bands from “Generation NeXt.”

“Ghost Town” finds the LA-based threesome giving us some awesome Pop Alternative that has been missing from the scene since Garbage went AWOL. Molly McGuire voice goes into Shirley Manson mode even better than Ms. Manson did on Garbage’s last LP. Greg Biribauer’s guitar work on this song would make Butch Vig blush. Chris Penny’s drum work is spot on for Pop Rock of the last decade. It keeps your foot tapping and your head swaying. McGuire herself brings the bass on with such sass that it’s impossible to not imagine the woman wearing that “I own you” face. The cat & mouse game of two people wanting(or, just lusting) each other is told on this track. Never able to match each other, the two parties are forced to contradict one another. It’s a great track.

Completely switching gears, the band’s song “That’s My Name,” gives one of the best NIN emulations that I’ve ever heard. But, the thing is, it’s not a NIN cover. No, not at all. It’s a track owned completely by The Spores(no, Reznor doesn’t even know this song exist, folks). Yet, the attention to detail and the all out ballsy display of Alternative Industrial will have you scratching your head on this one. Not for being lost, but for feeling like you know it already. Familiarity, in this case, is a damned good thing. You’re instantly drawn in like you’re greeting an old friend that you enjoyed spending time with. McGuire, Biribauer & Penny go strong for this track. The breakdowns are top-notch. Molly doesn’t ever yell or scream on the song. Instead, she plays it smart like Free Dominguez of Kidneythieves. She keeps her voice strong and steady. Letting the lyrics & the music get the attention that they deserve(even though the first & second verses are exactly the same). Greg takes on the role of Robin Finck, and does a flooring performance. Penny seems to be the Dave Grohl from With Teeth sessions. To say that this song is my favorite track on this album would be an understatement. This is my favorite track not only from this LP, but my official track of the month. If this three piece decided to go completely industrial(which from this display shows that they could with great ease), this song could have done for them what Closer did for Nine Inch Nails. Yes, it’s that powerful. At least I feel so . . . “In My Head.”

“Secret Weapon” comes on with a deceptive electronic intro. The collusion of sounds that follows after takes you like a storm. This track sounds like something missing from the Spawn OST for the live action movie(the soundtrack was kickass, and you know it!). With electronic alterations lacing nearly every instrument involved in this recording, you don’t know where to classify this. Still, you know that if 90’s MTV got their hands on this, it would be in heavy rotation on their video line-up. This is best suited as a sort of poppier companion to Filter+The Crystal Method’s (Can’t You) Trip Like I Do. Yes, The Spores can trip . . . like you do.

To show that they aren’t all about explicit electronic usage, “Do The Void” comes in with a Jimmy Eat World(circa Clarity/Bleed American) vibe. It’s that Pop Alternative with Punk Influences that was formerly known as “Emo”(which was before it was redubbed in ’05, kiddies). Even the lyrics encompasses the same mentality of that era: “Never should have ever thought of nothing at all.” That displays the whole “ehhh . . . so what” attitude that started then and still lives on to this day.

When they move over to the sexual side of electronic, they unleash “Shadyglade.” They pull off something similar to old school Tricky/Massive Attack . . . or, to a less popular extent, Lamb with this song. Biribauer’s mini solo after the choruses has an intoxicating exotic flare that makes the song that much more memorable. The track is almost entirely electronic save for a very small number of elements. It’s as seductive as it is digital. “The Spinning Wheel” is the complete opposite of this. It’s the Yin to Shadyglade’s Yang. Pulling out the acoustic guitar, the song is equally as intimate, but on a completely different level. A tale of love for someone who is trying to let go of yester-longing, only to find out that it’s still haunting. This is for all the Jewel & Fiona Apple fans.

This album has everything anyone who loved watching MTV before running off to school would adore. This plays like a sensational mixtape of various styles and acts . . . yet, it’s all from one band. And, mainly the work of just Molly & Greg outside of drumming, at that. The comparisons of the other bands are FAR from anything to be given as disrespect to the bands or towards The Spores. Doom Pop, as it seems, isn’t anything new . . . but rather something cool that is lost today. What does hurt is the fact that the band has split . . . or is just on hiatus. Hopefully, they’ll work out their differences and continue to bring their awesomeness to the world. The album is heavily underappreciated for what it does, and what it could do. With just one slip of major play, McGuire & Biribauer could have(and still can) end up resurrectors to an era recently passed but so wrongly deceased.




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Girugämesh Unleashes Holy Gilga!

Posted by Scotio on July 5, 2008

I’m a fan of music from all over the world. Anyone that has come here before knows this. Doesn’t matter where it is, or what language it’s in. If it’s good and it falls my reach, it’s being listened to. Period. Having said that, again, I’d like to state something. For the most part, I really enjoy Visual Kei bands. If you don’t know what Visual Kei is, then I advise you to hop on the highly debated website Wikipedia and take a gander at it. Now, I said for the most part. Because, some of those bands go too far and sound far too pop with their music. So, let’s say I like the Dark Visual Kei bands, including Former V-K artists Dir en Grey And D’espairsRay(whom changed their name from DéspairsRay). I’ve recently gotten into the V-K band, Girugämesh. They are, for lack of a better term, Japanese musical monsters.

This four piece make-up drenched, costume riddled outfit attacks with just as much fierceness as many of the top lining Alternative/Metal acts around the globe. Having released 2 EPs as well as 2 LPs, the album I’d like to speak upon is their most recently released: The self-titled album, Girugämesh. The band always had a knack for aggression as well as a thirst for the theatrics. On the S/T, they crank up their creativity and experimentation, a notch. The Intro of the album comes on like something taken from the American band Slipknot. With the tribal drums and bone rattling distorted guitar that flips and starts riffing like it was gas powered by Turntable juice a la Tom Morello.

The song “Patchwork” kicks in, immediately after, without a stride being lost. Giru pulls out the keyboard as well as electronic effects to showcase their more Industrial Metal side. Satoshi has never sounded more alive than he does on this first full song on the album. He goes from singing in a normal daring tone, then becomes a man possessed once the chorus kicks in, with the tension building during the bridge better verses and chorus. Speaking of Slipknot, Girgu even has a song named after one of their biggest hits “Vermillion.” Don’t worry, it isn’t a cover. It’s their own composition. The song, though, seems more for a shining like for Nii than it does any other member. His guitar work on the track is bar none fantastic.

“Barikedo” comes on with a single power chord, followed by a looped heavily electronically distorted simple constant riff. The cycle repeats, but what is added is a digital static run through the back left to right front channel. When the fully kicks in, for the pre-chorus, you can see that these boys are not here to play. They are fully about their business, and you’re going to either pay the admission price or become their roadkill. Yes, it’s just that serious. The verses are easy to get into, and sound like they are sung by a man afraid of what he’s about to do to you(Bruce Banner, anyone?). That is the perfect balance from the chorus.

Other great tracks include “Shining,” “Crazy-Flag,” and the dynamic “Dance Rock Night.” A few tracks seem a bit more commercial than the rest of the album. Those are Guitar Hero ready “Rocker’s” and the MTV Japan set(Is that even a channel?) song “Domino.” While neither are actually BAD songs, they both seem more aimed towards selling units and eases off of the aggression some. The former not so much, but you can definitely hear that, at least in Japan, that track will be released for download on the Guitar Hero or Rock Band series. The latter, again, isn’t a bad song. But, it does sound like a glorified version of an Anime theme song. That can go either way for you, depending on how you enjoy Anime music. I would throw the album closer “Koware Teiku Sekai” into that mix. But, the overly dramatic scream done a little past halfway into the song, plus the length of the track ruins it for being a top commercial contender.

So, if you’re a J-Metal/J-Rock fan, then you need to really take a gander at these guys. I know that I’m definitely glad that I did. If you have an issue about not understanding the language of the music that you’re listening to, then you’re not only good at staying away from this type of music, but also putting yourself in a very small peg musically. Take a chance, guitar lovers. You might have found the make-up wearers of your dreams.



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Black Light Burns Holes In Bedsheets

Posted by Scotio on June 28, 2008

It’s been a little over a year since Wes Borland, former Limp Bizkit guitarist, released the material from his creative output known as Black Light Burns. Since then, he’s gone on to underground success for his new act; tearing up club stages, and displaying a much more gothic styling to his former stage persona. For the most part, he’s had a good deal of nice reviews for the debut album Cruel Melody, but there are always naysayers no matter what you do or who you are. Still, fans of the band have been eager to hear the next album from the act, as Borland said that he will waste little time hitting the studio up to release it. Then, it was announced that the next offerings from the band would be a CD/DVD combo. The anticipation rose. Then, it was announced that the CD would be full of covers and other little odds and ends that didn’t make the debut album. At that point, the anticipation froze. “Cover album? WTF!” the fans said. Then, when they announced the list of cover songs, it was revealed that you couldn’t find something reasonable to allow hearts to soar for eagerness of hearing the BLB crew ripping through the tunes. But, still, as shaky as the fans were, they were still oddly curious to know what the material would sound like. Me, being a fan of the band, I was similarly eager, yet slightly put off. After all, BLB is an Industrial band. There aren’t any Industrial covers or material that inspired Industrial music being thrown in the pot.

So, when I received the album, you could only imagine my wanting and stalling of hitting the play button to listen. Still, curiosity always controls in the end, doesn’t it? The moment it came on, I will admit, I as still riding the fence. But, the twenty second mark hit, and I found myself lost in the world where Black disappears and White glows with a blue hue. The cover of Lard’s “Forkboy” sounded incredibly energetic and extremely chaotic. Borland’s vocals on the track, amazingly, are really great. He doesn’t even sound like Wes. He sounds like a man possessed. A creature hidden inside of the enigmatic music maker. Something that headbangers would flock to see in a live performance. The song assaults the listener with its aggressive guitar work and the hair-pulling visualization of the singer in front of the mic. In truth, it took me back to the days of the Broken EP. If you don’t know what that is, then you’re really wasting your time reading this review in the first place, aren’t you?

What followed next was the thriller, Love And Rocket’s “So Alive.” Again, outside of his realm, Borland’s vocals seem perfect. The Industrial reformation of the song seems so brilliant. It isn’t heavily distorting, nor isn’t playing a quiet backseat role to the movement of the melody. Like a fine Chef’s work, it seasons the song just right. The Post-Punk attack that is Sisters Of Mercy’s “Lucretia My Reflection” seems like it would be such an off-shot for Borland & Co. Yet, with his insanely brilliant insight, he tames that beast and makes it his bitch. Riding it with such insecure confidence that you’d might even want to go and check his location of birth . . . maybe he’s a Brit in disguise. It perfectly captures that “Look at me, I’m shying away” feeling that Robert Smith tagged as Post-Punk Perverted Cynosureness(he didn’t create that term, I just tagged him as that).

There are some really odd parts that might take a few listens to get it easily down to swallow. Like their rendition PJ Harvery’s “Rid Of Me.” Don’t know, but after hearing the great covers before it, it just sets out as being awkward. Another one is Fiona Apple’s “On The Bound.” It’s not bad. It’s just so far fetched from what you’ve been hearing. That is, of course, if you never heard Borland’s Big Dumb Face. And, speaking of BDF, they even do a cover of one of their songs “Blood Red Head On Fire.” I always thought it was odd when someone does a cover of their own songs. Is that even truly declared a cover? But, I will state that it is a more cohesive sound than the original. I suppose because he has an actual band doing the positions and it isn’t all on him.

After the 10th track, the music is switched over to original compositions by the band. What kicks it off is the song “Drowning Together, Dying Alone.” It, for the most part, is the sister track of the song “New Hunger” that was featured on their first LP. Housing acoustic guitars in place of electronics and electric guitars makes the song more mellow and dreamy . . . despite its morbid title. Also, being entirely instrumental sure helps with that. “Falling” also contains material heard before. Expanding on a solo that was featured on the debut album, as well. The slightly goofy electronic melody played throughout (I couldn’t tell if it was simply a guitar with a weird effect or an actual electronic styling) sounds almost like it’s 8-bit/Chiptune styled.

Mr. Borland dives deeper into the Industrial world on the track “Ribbons.” Though it’s under a minute and a half long, it leaves a lasting and eerie impression on listeners. Something that isn’t easy to accomplish, and you wouldn’t have actually expected from this unexpected guy. This song starts the trend of very schizophrenic songs that follow after it. Stuff that seems to have been created when Wes wasn’t eager to take his medication. Stuff that, though it’s so strange, you find yourself questioning your own sanity for your enjoyment of it.

All in all, this album is not only a surprising one, but one that I feel bad about having questioned it in the first place. All those out there that are on the unknown about checking this out, and have enjoyed the first album needs to go out on a limb and snatch this up. In a very bold statement, I will encourage you to download this first, to see if it does tickle your fancy fully, then, if it does, purchase it and support him. Though he does come from a heavily commercial band, he is now on the underground circuit. So, every piece of support does let him know that his efforts at branching out are worth it.



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Puscifer’s Viagra Enhances Vagina

Posted by Scotio on April 30, 2008

Yes, the title of this remix album, “V” Is For Viagra, is as outrageous as the title of the original was for those who are my “straight and narrow.” But, this album, nor the original, was created for those types of people. Maynard James Keenan of Tool & A Perfect Circle fame created his own little personal outlet through Puscifer. Offering up some insane music as well as some pretty groovy threads for you, your lover, and even your animal companion. This album features redone tracks by contributors to the original album, as well as other’s who weren’t included in Vagina’s creation. Since the eager release of “V” Is For Vagina, MJK has been sitting cool without the houndings of the demands from a major label. Yes, he self-released the album, as he has done again with this little remixed gem. Viagra opens up with one of the smoothest remixes I’ve heard in a long, long time. Half of the New Orleans-originated/Chicago-based Electronic act Telefon Tel Aviv, Josh Eustis, conjures up pure experimental bliss with his JLE Dub take on the song “Indigo Children.” With the lush layered ambience sitting underneath earth-splitting bass, the song just takes on new breath. The Dirty Robot Mix of “Country Boner” by Mat Mitchell & Contradicktator(aka Troy Van Leeuwen of Queens Of The Stone Age, A Perfect Circle, Failure & Enemy fame) is a serious stand-out track. Sounding absolutely NOTHING like the original song, the duo of remixers teamed up to make a very dance-heavy Synth-Pop/Industrial track from the spoof country song. Using the line “It won’t go down on me” as the chorus, it leaves it open to add in extra thoughts of “going down” . . . if you know what I mean. MJK and Lustmord must have created a very strong relationship as Lustmord remixes 2 of the songs, as well as has a speaking role on the album on PSR, LOL!. Lust’s Desert Porn Mix of “Trekka” closer resembles his normal sound than his Guns For Hire Mix of “DoZo.” “Drunk With Power”‘s Hungover & Hostile In Hannover Mix by Joey Jordison(aka Member #1 of Slipknot, Murderdolls & KoRn fame) is a more disturbing take on a song about a Pimp named Pooh Bear missing his girl named Hunny. Featuring samples of feet marching, and sounds that bring to mind a sort of dim-lit torture chamber, the song just grabs at your more obsessively dark regions of mourning for a lost love. The Deflowering Mix of “Vagina Mine” by Paul Barker(of Ministry fame) sounds more like a song from Barker’s former band than it does something of traditional MJK flare. Even equipping the song with sound-bites and a steady tribal-trance drumtrack, you’re waiting for Uncle Al to hop on the song and make it a duet. Danny Lohner(of Nine Inch Nails, A Perfect Circle & Black Light Burns fame) cooks up a Late For Dinner mix of the satirical track “Sour Grapes.” Housing piano riff similar to the band where he mainly got his industry start(NIN), Lohner opts to sing on the latter half of the track, as well. Belting out “You know it’s going to be sour grapes for you boy, until you get right with Jesus,” Having Maynard’s original vocals providing backup in the background. This is one of the most stand-out remix albums that I’ve ever come across. Done very well to the point of the some of the songs sounding like they hold little-to-no connection to their Vagina companions . . . aside from the lyrics, of course. Fans of MJK’s main and secondary bands might have tiffed over Puscifer’s first full-length, but after listening to it multiple times, they’ve come over to let the mad genius have his fun. With this album, he lets others have their fun with it, and hopefully it won’t take fans as long to warm-up to this masterful remix collection.



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