Artist: The Causticles
CD title: Eric Gottesman
Label: Unindustrial Records
Released: July 30th, 2013
Overall Rating: 5 of 5
The Causticles have existed as a running joke, and distant promise (threat) on the horizon of industrial music for several years. I remember the name being coined whenever a Caustic or Gothscicles live show involved one of the band members of the other project. Then there was talk of tracks being laid down and work being done. Then shit got real. An album was announced with a title that truly encapsulated the hardcore industrial silliness that a mutated brainchild of Caustic's Matt Fanale and The Gothscicles' Brian Graupner, would produce. Eric Gottesman.
As a long time fan of the parent bands involved, I am happy to say that The Causticles holds up as its own animal while staying true to the artistic styles of the contributing parties. Caustic's grindy dirty style of industrial polishes up nicely with the hyper-active synthpop-ish Gothscicles sound. The album is rife with video game references, unique samples from movies (no Full Metal Jacket), and in-jokes about the modern industrial scene. The album title and cover being the biggest one. A fun loving jab at the singer of Everything Goes Cold and his association with pineapples (Don't ask, I have no clue). I would also like to point out that Eric Gottesman does not contribute to the album. It's just named after him.
While The Causticles is clearly its own musical beast, it is rather easy to hear who took the lead on what track. "Ruin the Party", "(I'm Not) Functional", and "The Matrix is Real" definitely have more of a Caustic feel to them with that rough-edged industrial sound I mentioned earlier and are full of Fanale's self-deprecating humor and in-your-face aggression. "Headbutt to the Guts", "Spacebugs", and "True Tales of Made Up Adventure" feature Graupner's slice-of-life observations, and geek references. What makes this album a true collaboration though is that both Graupner and Fanale sing on almost all of the tracks. I would have never thought that their vocal styles would mesh as well as they do here, but I was pleasantly surprised. Fanale's guttural snarls sneak behind Graupner's hyper active ranting and chants and stand like a menacing bouncer. When the roles switch, Graupner becomes the Flava Fla to Fanale's Chuck D, giving that extra "umph" to the choruses.
Tracks like "We're [Literally] Here For Your [Figurative] Pussy", and "The Causticles Ain't Nothing to Fuck With" are the highlights of the album for me. These songs hit the perfect balance between both of the musicians involved. Sinister industrial synths, hard dance beats, Speak N Spell Samples, and Graupner and Fanale both on Lead Vocals. If I had to play any two songs off the album for a new listener, these would be the tracks I would pick. Also there is some damn impressive Industrial rapping in these songs. My only fear about the album is that unless you are familiar with Caustic and The Gothscicles (and some of their online shenanigans) a lot of the subject matter and "LOL Moments" may be lost. The album is also rather club friendly. Pretty much any track on this album can fit into a nice Friday or Saturday night set without pissing off the dancefloor elitists. And I would encourage any DJ out there to slip some Eric Gottesman into their sets. Especially "True Tales of Made Up Adventure" or "Stranger Danger".
Eric Gottesman is easily one of my top albums of the year. The Causticles bring the best parts of two of my favorite Industrial acts into one place. The silly dance nerd energy of The Gothscicles, fused with the dirty aggro thought-provoking essence of Caustic. I'm glad to see that this project has come to life and has a solid first album behind it. I'm a lso very hopeful that another album will follow, but only if it feels as loved and cared for as this debut was. If that's the case, they can take a year or two before the next release. I don't care. Give me more industrial music like this. Please!
Take a Listen: The Causticles - Ruin the Party
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