CD Title: Subversive
Label: Alfa Matrix
Reviewer: Matthew Johnson
The first thing that strikes you about Inure's new album is singer Adam Moore's vocal style, a snarling, cynical tenor that sounds like it came straight out of a mid-'90s coldwave track, with "Shedding Skin" and "Sick" in particular recalling the fist-pumping punk rock energy of old Hate Dept. and Chemlab. Still, though Moore's vocal style has you expecting that burst of buzzsaw guitar to kick in any second, the music itself is unabashed EBM club fare, from the reverberating bass drum on "Subversive" to the minor-key arpeggios and bursts of distortion on "Hymen." Some of the best moments on this album come about when the band slows things down, though. The excellent "Intruder" forgoes the stomping in favor of ominous atmosphere and muted vocals, while "Reign" achieves unmatched subtlety with judicious use of digital delay effects. Then there's the album closer, a cover of Alice In Chains' "Would?" that is captivating and memorable despite the seeming contradiction in styles between the original's moping grunge rock and Inure's tinny, mechanical version. For remix fans, Alfa Matrix has also released a limited edition boxed set of this album with a bonus disk of guest remixes that includes such highlights as a tense, downtempo mix of "Reign" from Annodalleb (the industrial project of recent Skinny Puppy collaborator Cyrus Rex), a bouncy stripped down version of "Subversive" from Imperative Reaction, and a version of "Sick" from Coeptis that incorporates everything from a rock 'n' roll backbeat to cut-up vocals, retro analog bass lines, and chopped up glitch-inspired vocal manipulation. Inure offer a little something for everyone on this album, from old-school industrial aficionados to new school club kids, and fans of early coldwave and old-school Front Line Assembly in particular ought to check this one out.
For sample tracks, news, and more Inure information, please visit www.inure.net and www.alfa-matrix.com.