Spanking Machine have come a long way since the release of their first album, Simple Solutions To Perverted Problems. Now Lie In It, their second full-length, is more solid and consistent musically, lyrically and vocally, at its best moments combining an edgy but catchy EBM sensibility with the erotic pop appeal of Berlin's "Sex (I'm A...)." The band's fetish shtick does lead to some lamentably silly lyrics, as on the cliched "Favorite Slave," but there are clever moments, as well, like the anti-parenthood ode "Appeasiotomy" and the amusing sample collages between tracks. Lead singer Ms. Victoria Kalimata's vocals have improved immensely; she sounds more confident as a vocalist, and more willing to explore different methods, ranging from the breathy sighs of "Konstruct" to the gorgeous harmonies of "Rectify." Likewise, programmer and composer Lord Spanky has gotten much better behind the production console; while Spanking Machine's first album was promising but uneven, Now Lie In It is solid from start to finish, with the thumping four-on-the-floor rhythms of "Game" contrasting nicely with slower, more atmospheric pieces like the tense electro of "Subduction" or the string-laced atmosphere of "Vigilance." Spanking Machine started out as a good band, but this is their first great album, sure to please fans of female-fronted EBM and synthpop acts like Ayria and The Azoic.
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