This first release from the Crash Frequency collective of artists is a good introduction to Australia’s dark music scene. There are a couple of big names here – IKON’s “Psychic Vampire” is danceable gothic rock with lots of backing electronics, and Angel Theory show up with an old-school electro version of “Ease The Pain” remixed by Mercy Cage – but by and large it’s the most obscure bands that have come up with the most interesting tracks. The Bom’s “Machine Men” contrasts a melancholy croon with crunchy mechanical beats and then throws in a hint of a guitar solo, while Domino Theory’s “Kill You” features a trip-hop beat and vibraphones that manage to be all the more unsettling for their seeming cheerfulness. Tankt’s “Bush On Fire” is synthpop with a political edge to it; instead of moping, it sneers, with well-wrought lyrics layered over a 1980s-era drum machine (complete with handclaps). For all its faux retro attitude, it should be awful, but somehow it all comes together. Unfortunately the same can’t be said for Lux Voltaire’s “Ich Liebe Mein’ Oberheim,” which is all Euro-trash electroclash pretension, cheesy mechanized vocal effects and bland beats. Resurrection Eve’s “Wine” is a bit over-the-top as well, but its melodramatic vocals and orchestral arrangements at least manage to sound somewhat original, and the band seems to have mastered that sense of overwrought but infectious sincerity that has made VNV Nation so popular. With some real gems and only one bona fide clunker, this compilation proves that Snog isn’t Australia’s only noteworthy industrial band.
For more information, visit www.crashfrequency.com
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