NovaKill, Hard Tech For A Hard World
Snog is what comes to mind when the industrial fans think of Australia, but fellow Aussies NovaKill are more indebted to classic European EBM acts than to David Thrussell’s angry cowboy disco music. Their debut full-length Hard Tech For A Hard World (out now on Metropolis) serves up ten tracks of passable dance-floor electronics.
From the opening beats of “Deliverance” it becomes immediately apparent that NovaKill have done their homework by studying up on the formulas employed by industrial dance pioneers like Front 242 and Leather Strip, as well as newer projects like Haujobb and Velvet Acid Christ. All the elements are there: four-on-the-floor beats, heavily distorted vocals, and the ubiquitous movie samples. Nothing really bad about that, and it should play well on the dance floors, but it’s really nothing that we haven’t already heard on countless other Metropolis releases, either.
Thankfully, by the fourth track things start to get a little more interesting. “Hatred” finally ditches the standard trance bass line in favor of an almost-funky breakbeat, and the vocal delivery on the song is almost reminiscent of KMFDM’s Sascha Konietsko, albeit less funny. “Hatred” is followed by “Obsession,” which employs slower beats and metallic crashes for a more classic industrial sound, faintly reminiscent of Skinny Puppy at times. “Skreamflesh” is one of the few real standout tracks on this album, creating an atmosphere of tension with a deliberately plodding beat and ambient textures before introducing a synth melody straight out of an ‘80s slasher flick. “Prey To Your God” and “Sakrifice” are decent songs as well, with dance-friendly beats in the Front 242 vein that should appeal to old-school EBM fans.
By the tail end of the album, we hear NovaKill returning to a more contemporary techno-influenced sound on “Suffering” and the closing track “Psykobomb,” which is fueled along at a blisteringly fast pace by a 160 BPM bass line before finishing the album off with several minutes of heavily processed static that alternately evokes the sounds of thunderstorms and waves crashing on a beach.
Lyrically, there’s not a whole lot to write about. NovaKill pretty much sticks with industrial music’s mainstays: themes of society’s imminent collapse and the evils of government and religion dominate. The exception here is “Obsession,” which deals with that other perennial goth favorite: romantic fixation. Half the time the vocals are so distorted you can’t make the lyrics out too well anyway, and honestly, this is music for the dance floor, not for listening to and contemplating.
All in all, Hard Tech For A Hard World is a nice first effort. It sticks with certain tried-and-true formulas, but it works out well enough on the home or car stereo, and it’s fantastic for the dance floor. Besides, sometimes you don’t want to listen to sheer musical genius; sometimes you just want to pull on a pair of rubber bondage pants, drink some schnapps, and shake your ass someplace where the fog machines are always going. These, my friends, are the desires that NovaKill speaks to.
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