Artist: Inline Sex Terror
CD title: Distorted Life EP
Label: Danse Macabre
Genre: EBM, Noize, Industrial
Reviewer: DJ Kantrip
2 years after its debut album, Inline Sex Terror released the Distorted Life EP in January of 2010. Distorted Life featured 3 new songs from this Greek EBM Industrial project, as well as 10 remixes of the title track from bands like Leather Strip, Concrete Rage, FabrikC, and more. With a list of talents like that lending their ideas to the song, and with how amazing the previous IST album was, I was hoping that Distorted Life would be a nice new little club gem that would shine above the other grindy noizy industrial releases I have heard this year. Sadly this was not the case.
The title track Distorted Life is a pale comparison to the band's previous release 11 11. Their debut album had a feel of exploring the different elements and sounds that define EBM, Industrial and Electro music. Light, hard, distorted, angry, and overall oontzy Dancy Stompy Fun Time (as described by a friend of mine). In comparison Distorted Life is disappointing. A pounding beat that has distortion laid over it. Synth progression that builds up to a point and then drops out just as harsh rasping vocals start. And then there's Matrix samples.
There is this old joke in the Gothic culture, that liquid eyeliner is a privilege and not a right. This was mostly aimed at those darling darklings that would turn their eyes and face into some bizarre mosaic with their cosmetics. A bit dated and probably not applicable anymore but the essence of the joke still works. Matrix Samples are a privilege and not a right. Like Liquid Eyeliner was used to create very unique designs to make that gothy pallor look more like a neat mask, the Matrix seems to have become the go-to source when an EBM/Industrial act needs dialogue to adequately express anger or distress at the modern world and the sheeple that inhabit it. I've lost count of the number of bands and artists that sample that movie trilogy in various ways. Some bands use random phrases or even noises, hidden within the layers of various synth loops and beats and sneak up in between verses. Other bands use them to hammer the song's point over the listener's head. All subtlety is lost, that is if any subtlety was being used to begin with. Opening up the song with Morpheus offering Neo his choice of pills, puts the song into the Hammer category.
The second track Hellektro Girl, fares no better, sounding like a typical Suicide Commando song, and repeatedly samples a heavily accented girl discussing her preference for noise, sex, and “hellectric”. Then there are the remixes. I had hoped that the remixes would have provided some extra flavor to this EP, which they do, but some of them overuse the Matrix samples and sound like they took a few layers of distortion out or packed more in. I recommend the Leather Strip, Implant, and Supreme Court remixes as they make the song sound a bit more unique.
Normally I do not harshly review an album without making some kind of suggestion as to how it could have been improved or where it might find a good home. Seeing as how I cannot even imagine what IST was trying to convey with this EP or how they may be trying to evolve their sound, I'll make recommendations. This EP is pure gold for a DJ. Its its perfect club fodder. The original track is cookie-cutter EBM, and the number of remixes present many opportunities to shoehorn it into a set. It is good for getting the spooky kids on the dance floor, but when sitting and reading or working on another project, it doesn't reach out and say, “Hey, here's some really awesome music! Pay Attention!!!”
IST's first album proved that this band has some amazing visions and can express them effectively and in may ways. In fact I look forward to sharing my thoughts on 11 11, in next week's review, but the fact that a band can produce something with a lot of depth and variety and then release something that sounds so stale and processed is really disappointing.
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