2CD, Crunch Pod, 2009
‘True Industrial Freedom’ is a term bandied about by this relatively new act on the scene to describe their contribution to industrial and harsh electro music. A loftier ideal, perhaps, than club popularity, but their latest release, “Blindness”, is more likely to be remembered for the latter than the former. At least club popularity comes with groupies…
Sadly, the initial response to this album is “hey, another Combiclone”. Andy LaPlegua has singlehandedly destroyed the electro/industrial crossover scene by saturating it with distorted vocals, sleazy basslines and hard beats, making it a tall order for any band to create something new and exciting within the genre.
Perhaps it’s because they haven’t been doing it for as long as some other Crunch Pod staples and have yet to forge their own sound. Perhaps the overall homogeneity we’re faced with is, in itself, an expression of dissatisfaction by the artists themselves. Perhaps, as reviewer, I am overanalyzing the matter. These are things to muse upon, but not now: rather, let’s focus on what “Blindness” does offer the listener.
First of all, production quality is excellent. There is also a diversity showcased in the generation of sounds and manipulation of samples that is missing form many of [syndika:zero]’s contemporaries. The vocal delivery, while similar in nature to LaPlegua’s screams, is rawer and more sincere, especially when the subject matter is taken into account: less sexual deviancy, more relevance. Musically, more thought is put into composition (the piano melody on “Sister” is a great example of this), but there are still minor issues in need of tweaking, like overly drawn-out builds (especially noticeable on “Disconnect”). Overall, it’s a very well put-together album, with enough variety to maintain interest without becoming disorganized.
As a final “Easter Egg”, the disc can be purchased as a limited edition with a bonus disc of remixes, mostly from their first album, by contemporaries like C/A/T, Enduser, Uberbyte and more, the most memorable of these being the glitchy madness Re-En-Jin apply to “0”.
“Blindness” may not be the best industrial record I’ve heard this year, but it beats the artfully torn and frayed combat pants off a lot of what is being churned out…
— David vander Merwe