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Angelspit – Blood Death Ivory

Angelspit - Blood Death Ivory

CD, Dancing Ferret Discs, 2008

The cyclical nature of history, repeating itself in ever-decreasing spirals, is never more evident than when viewed in the context of artistic endeavour. Australian electro-punk duo Angelspit marry the disciplines of music and fashion to great effect on their most recent release, “Blood Death Ivory”, a celebration of the new trends happening within the darker side of underground electronic music. Their brash, abrasive musical approach is typical of the contemporary disillusionment illustrated by such spoken-word-core acts as It-Clings and Prometheus Burning, peppered with the anti-establishment sentiments of many digital hardcore bands. The general mood the music generates hearkens back to 90’s electro-punk pioneers, the Prodigy, in many ways. Visually, their clothing and make-up, like many of the diversifications within the scene (such as Victoriandustrial and Steampunk), borrow from a number of more established fashion styles – goth, punk, cyber and grunge looks all compete in a marvellous mix of lace, leather, piercings and pvc to create a new breed of excess.
Once you get past all that, however, there isn’t much substance left; inventive and daring this pair of performers may be, but the ferocity you’d expect from all the hype just isn’t there. Tracks like “Devilicious” and “Skinny Little Bitch” sound like an evil twin of the Black Eyed Peas (making frontwoman DestroyX a kind of ‘Anti-Fergie’), while the rest of the album lacks the booming, powerful presence of “Grind”, the excellent first track.
Overall, this is definitely an act to follow. Their highly visual methodology makes them stand out and, watered-down anarchic attitude notwithstanding, their music is not bad by any means. It’s a lot of fun, for a start, something far too many bands overlook in their efforts to be ‘dark’. The production quality is top-notch, too, and the lyrics, while not Shakespeare, carry a great sense of apathetic urban disillusionment (see “Paint Hell Red” and “Homo Machinery” in particular). And after all, if you’ve spent that long making yourself look good, you’re probably too tired to make a massive, inspiring political statement.


— David vander Merwe

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