Philadelphia's Genghis Tron, a trio
(vocalist Mookie Singerman, guitarist Hamilton Jordan and keyboardist Michael Sochynsky)
featuring multiple electronic keyboards and drum-machines but no bassist and no drummer,
were launched by Arms, off the EP Cloak of Love , and
offered a dizzying fusion of grindcore, industrial music and techno on
Dead Mountain Mouth (Crucial Blast, 2006).
A deadly combination of
feral shouts, fractured rhythm and sharp guitar riffs announces
The Folding Road, but those elements keep getting into each other's
way throughout the album instead of magnifying each other.
The marriage of hedonism and psychodrama works in
White Walls where dance beats and industrial cacophony fight to the
last drop of blood, but in most cases one element detracts from the other.
In particular, the soaring sections (the beginning of Asleep on the Forest Floor and the ending of Lake of Virgins) never quite coalesce as
Amid so much confusion,
the manic rhythmic intensity of Dead Mountain Mouth comes as a relief.
This is a case in which the whole is a lot less than the sum of its parts.
They opted for a more traditional song format on
Board Up The House (Relapse, 2008), but the result was even weaker,
because the new approach exposed the limitations of the band in each of the
genres that they had tried to fuse.
The songs are either confused and incoherent (Board Up the House,
or simply tediously banal.
For six minutes you keep waiting for something to happen in
I Won't Come Back Alive and then the song ends: basically they stretched
out for six minutes what other bands use for the first ten seconds.
City on a Hill, which is both catchy and furious, is a lame heir
of its aggro ancestors, but The Whips does indeed a good job of
mimicking Nine Inch Nails.
The ten-minute Ergot is simply embarrassing: an exhausting suspense
that never leads to anything, just sound for the sake of sound.
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