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Matamachete – Tanin No Kao

Matamachete - Tanin No Kao

CD, D-trash Records, 2008

The members of this Swiss band define their own music as a mix between punk, drum ‘n’ bass and industrial. Reading this statement, one could easily be led to believe that Matamachete is just another one of these digital punk, Atari Teenage Riot wanna-be bands which are often described this way. In this case, just listen and you’ll quickly find out that you were wrong…
Matamachete’s unique sound is mainly punk and harcore-based (old-school American hardcore to be more precise), sprinkled with some hard-techno beats, drum’n’bass/breakbeat programmings and a few synth lines. That means that the guitars and vocals are basically more over-mixed than the electronics. Speaking of punk and hardcore influences, Matamachete’s music is full of an energy and a primal rage which are very much typical of these genres – you can feel them into the harsh screamed vocals and the guitar riffs, which are as they always should be in this music style: simple and tough. Their lyrics express lots of anger, oppression and frustration, but also a huge will to survive and to keep their head held high while facing the pain and the unfairness of this world. Well, not very original, one could say, but obviously really efficient and powerful. As a matter of fact, once you put this CD into your player and press ‘play’, you can’t stop head-banging until the end!
The album’s title, “Tanin No Kao”, and the eponym track (one of my personal favorites on this record), contains Japanese words and seems to be inspired by the samurai way of life and code of honour (though I can’t be sure of this as I am not fluent in Japanese). However that may be, to sum things up, this record’s general atmosphere is pretty dark, cold and clinical, as you can easily guess by seeing the artwork, which deserves to be mentioned: the cover photo shows a girl shot in the eye by a high-tech syringe. The result is beautiful and disturbing, just as Matamachete’s music!


— Olivier Noel

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