CD title: CODA
Label: Music Ration Entertainment
Genre: Industrial / Punk
Reviewer: DJ Kantrip
Purchase Here: http://www.smphq.com/?page_id=36
CODA is the latest album from the Seattle Industrial/Punk outfit SMP. After a 3 year break the band has returned with new line up and what feels like a fresh start. No doubt, founder, Jason Bazinet's time working with Chemlab, 16 Volt, and Frontline Assembly renewed his spark to write and deliver this short and dirty gem of an album. Clocking in at about 36 minutes total, this reviewer was worried that CODA would not have the feel of a full length album, as it was promoted to be. CODA has a point to make and it doesn't mince words.
The album kicks off with “Stay Sick”, SMP's contribution to the 2010 Electronic Saviors: Industrial Music to Cure Cancer compilation. Just as the song's dirty guitars and jagged beats fade out, “Run” rolls in with an industrial rap collaboration featuring Ned Kirby of Stromkern and Dee Madden. Run sounds like a blast back to the old Wax-Trax days of Industrial rock when nothing was sacred and anything was up for experimentation. Other tracks like The Knife, No Space, and Corporate Lunch sound a lot more polished and demonstrate a complete fusion of the bands influences. Punk rock, industrial, rap, and nu-metal. That many genre's being represented in one album is often a disaster but SMP's current line-up masterfully tames them all.
Lyrically the album is brutally honest. Stay Sick is a broken a bent finger flipping off the US Healthcare Industry, while Corporate Lunch sneers at unspoken injustices between upper and lower classes. There is no room for interpretation in these lyrics. Healthcare sucks. The rich are getting richer. Humanity is in a holding cage of our design. Nice, sweet, mean and too the point. All this delivered in the format of rap. Normally rapping over industrial music is hit or miss.. It either sounds like someone badly spewing angry poetry while someone pounds out teenage angst on a sequencer, or the words and rhythm hit you like a ton of bricks as you've just gotten swept under the complex music, and the combination on the ears is like salty-sweet candy.
CODA is definitely salty-sweet ear candy.
While the talent and abilities of the new line up are beautifully demonstrated, the length of the album does leave the listener to pause. It feels like this really awesome musical ride, ends way too quickly. Considering the band's punk influences this is to be expected, but as an industrial album it feels too short. The album closes with a remix of Stay Sick by Bazinet's side project 64k. This seems to have become the new “hidden track” at the end of the album, as standard of the genre. Closing with a remix or two, so the DJ's don't complain too much, and the listeners get some really creative reprises of the album highlights.
In closing, CODA is brutally honest, well-produced, but sadly too short. If this is what the current line-up is capable of, I hope that its around for a long while and that their next album contains 16 songs of awesome rather than 8.
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