Ahab Rex's music might not have the obvious trappings of industrial music, like "Hellraiser" samples or jackhammer sounds, but this artist is nonetheless possessed of the same gritty, noisy, in-your-face hard rock aesthetic that has propelled such acts as Foetus, Die Warzau, and the Revolting Cocks. Further cementing his industrial pedigree, Rex is assisted on his debut full-length by such luminaries as Chris Connelly, Martin Atkins of Pigface, and Steven Seibold of Hate Dept. Selections like "Vertigo" and "The Surgeon's Photo" are solid hard rock, with thick bass lines, grinding guitars, and Rex's own gravelly vocals sure to please any fan of the more guitar-oriented side of the Wax Trax days, but there are plenty of more modern innovations in evidence as well. "To Whom It May Concern" is a particularly momentous track, a slow spoken grind of a song in the vein of Jim Thirlwell that's adorned with all sorts of sonic chaos, from broken vinyl records winding down to soulful R&B backing vocals. "Ordinary Things," on the other hand, is a surprisingly melodic affair, thanks in no small part to the presence of guest singer Chris Connelly. Rex does make the occasional misstep, and it's usually when he tries to show off his softer side. "Thank You Mister Russia" has some nice guitar strums and a laid back trip-hop beat, but the relative quiet of the song just highlights the amateur quality of its lyrics. Similarly, the faux-Beatnik jazz poetry of "Dope Sick" is more hackneyed than hip. Still, this is a solid and innovative album for the most part, and as if all the celebrity guest appearances weren't enough, a bonus remix by Pigface should draw in more than a few diehard industrial fans.
Visit Rex at www.ahabrex.com.
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