CD, Crash Frequency, 2006
A couple of years ago I came across “Nurse Grenade” an online EP release by this Australian duo. Not outstandingly brilliant despite a couple of good tracks, it did nevertheless hint at a measure of talent that, in time might develop into something interesting. And develop it did: fast forward to June 6th, 2006 and the release of “Krankhaus”, Angelspit’s rocking kick-ass full-length debut album, a solid release that certainly confirms their potential.
An interesting aspect as far as Angelspit in general, and this release particular, are concerned is the care put into the elaboration of the visual aspects. While the “cyber” look might have passed its prime, Angelspit nevertheless succeed in pulling it off with their humourous and slightly retro, cartoony posture, thus coming across as some sort of stylishly decadent young Australian psychotic relatives of the Addams Family, who just happen to operate a hospice and play mad scientist for kicks.
The music contents of “Krankhaus” follow suit to the atmosphere set by the artwork, giving the album further creative coherence. Seemingly crude but extremely effective synth work and aggressive beats, coupled with a fair amount of distortion and the occasional straffing guitars, topped with angry (male and female) vocals and a vocoder are the staples of this fourteen-track roller-coaster which is located somewhere in the general vicinity of cyberpunk, industrial acts such as Nine Inch Nails, KMFDM and Atari Teenage Riot/Hanin Elias. Despite these obvious influences, it certainly would seem that Angelspit are managing to develop their own identity with “Krankhaus”. The mix/mastering work might benefit from a few tweaks but this is a very minor issue as the overall result is more than effective in a in-your-face fashion.
Adequately delivered by both ZooG and Destroyx with anger and attitude q.b., the lyrics being as straightforward as the music, and continue the unifying theme set in “Krankhaus”: the cyberpunk and the riotgrrl kick ass and take prisioners for sadistic fun and games at the hospice, while everything and everyone else can go to hell for all they care.
A few tracks stand out, mostly those that proeminently feature vocals by Destroyx (a female voice makes all the difference in this) like “100%”, “Make You Sin” and the opening track “A la Mode, a la Mort”. “Vena Cava” is another one that springs to mind along with “Juicy” and “Scars and Stripes”. “Wreak Havoc” the closing track also rolls quite well with the tongue-in-cheek 666 reference (and let’s not forget that Angelspit were technically the first band to release an album on 06-06-2006…).
It may not be the most innovative album under the sun but “Krankhaus” is a solid debut release and one hell of a ride from beginning to end, without moments that can be considered dull. Fourteen tracks of intense music to blast while speeding down the highway at night or when going to a party (and also at the party).
— Miguel de Sousa