Brainclaw, the duo of married couple David and Tara Giuffre, make industrial with a strong electronic orientation, but it’s the interplay between their voices that makes this CD as interesting as it is. Surprisingly, David’s the more melodic of the two; though he can do the standard aggressive growl, he’s just as likely to do the moping goth act, as evidenced by such slower pieces as “Burn My Will.” Tara gives things a more sinister edge, whispering eerily on “Incessant Surveillance,” snarling evilly on “Softkill” and sneering her way through “Voluptuosa.” It’s a nice change from the typical approach of aimlessly ethereal female voices paired with distorted male growls. Unfortunately, Brainclaw do occasionally go overboard with the vocal production. “Unsafe” and “When the Dark Rains Come” both incorporate computerized “Speak ‘n’ Spell” effects to their detriment. Musically, though, it’s hard to find fault with this album. The darkwave and electro tracks are foreboding but danceable, and several songs pay homage to the ‘90s coldwave scene, although the guitar effects seem to be programmed rather than live. “Abaddon,” in particular, could pass for a Chemlab track with its techno beats, power chords and disaffected vocals. In addition to the ten original songs, this CD also includes three remixes of title track “Insekt/Angel.” Endif’s “Broken Wings” mix is the most interesting, a thickly layered amalgam of dark electronics that builds to a crescendo of cut-up beats and sound effects, while EuroVision’s two mixes focus alternately on ethereal string pad atmospheres and minimal rhythmic programming. Though this album is not without its rough spots, it’s a promising enough debut that several of these songs have been included on the “Matrix Reloaded” and “Spiderman” DVDs. Brainclaw, it seems, are on their way up.
Visit the Giuffres for song samples and other information at www.brainclaw.com.
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