David Thrussell’s gift is that he can infuse the bleakest subject matter with a dry humor that makes even such depressing themes as an impending energy crisis and global economic collapse somehow fun to listen to. Black Lung, unlike his main band Snog, is an instrumental project, so the humor is subtler than that of such Snog classics as “Hey Christian God” and “Real Estate Man,” but it’s present on The Coming Dark Age nonetheless. “Karmageddon,” also released on twelve-inch vinyl, exemplifies the Thrussell aesthetic, marrying weirdly perky breakbeats to sampled horn music like something out of a late ‘60s exploitation flick. “Armies of Oil” is likewise a fine bit of understated musical wit, breaking up the tension of muffled electronic tones with hints of camp. “The Great Automobile Hunt” loops a creepy organ arpeggio over intricate cut-up rhythms in the vein of Aphex Twin, while “Concrete Octopus” starts out with snappy, minimalist electro in the retro mode before devolving into surprisingly pleasant ambient noise. Still, Black Lung is undeniably darker than the EBM by way of Johnny Cash ballads that mark Snog’s most recent offerings, and both the titles and eerie analog moans of songs like “Toward the Petro-Apocalypse” and “Megalopolis Dies” evoke more hopelessness than laughter. Black Lung’s vision of gasoline wars seems like a lot less fun than the “Mad Max” films would have you believe, but the fact that Thrussell manages to portray it in such detail with only a palette of abstract beats and effects is a testament to his abilities as a composer.
Visit the International Mind Control Corporation at www.worldwentdown.com/imcc for more information on Thrussell’s projects.
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