Album: “Time to Play”
Reviewer: Robert Eaton
XMH is an electro project out of the Netherlands, fronted by Bejamin Samson. “Time to Play” is the band’s debut album. The band’s mix of aggressive electro, and the “Life” demo put the band on the Dutch Underground Charts, and landed the band a slot at The Summer Darkness Festival. Since then, the band has done opening duty for Funker Vogt, Combichrist, Grendel, Amducia and other electro notables. XMH has established itself as an act to watch, and will be recording a follow up to “Time to Play” in the near future. While the band is known for it‘s live show, the 11 songs on “Time to Play” and the re-mixes it includes, by Xp8, Jesus Complex and others, will give DJ‘s plenty to keep a floor moving until the next effort is out.
Songs like “Found Her” and “Global Killer,” which open “Time to Play” will work perfectly well as club tracks, possibly sandwiched between better-known tracks. For the album, Samson also re-works “Rape Your God” which comes from the “Life” EP, and garnered the band a lot of early attention. Fans of electro like Suicide Commando and Hocico will find a lot to like here: aggressive beats and vocal delivery, relentless programming, with a melodic edge. The album has some good moments, but anyone familiar with those two acts may have a hard time finding something that doesn’t seem terribly familiar.
A strong point of the album is the track “Loser,” which has a nice mix of great sampling and programming, provided you’re not tempted to think about the lyrics too much. Like much of the album, this song will do well falling into the hands of DJ’s and being spun at clubs. Some of the remixes on the album also warrant a second listen, and are probably worth the cost of the CD. The Xp8 remix of “Wet” strikes a similar chord as the “Cold” remix by VNV, for those that recall it. The especially noisy take on “Rape Your God” by The People’s Republic of Europe is a welcome, stand-out track. While the album has some great moments, much of the album is going to seem like a trek over pretty familiar territory. For those that are die-hard electro fans, it’s probably worth picking up.
Check out the band: http://www.xmh-music.nl