CD, self-released, 2008
Listening to System:FX is an entirely frustrating process. This is largely due to the vast potential discernible in their work (especially on the opening track, “Virus”) that, due to shoddy production, does not translate well into their final product.
While the rhythm section pounds away quite entertainingly, creating drum lines well worth paying attention to, simplistic technoid melodic structures whine their way into your skull. The annoyance this brings is, thankfully, temporary – unfortunately, it is replaced by a vocal performance that, while not particularly bad, is really lackluster. The general impression garnered from all this is one of a garage EBM project – one where the members are having a bit of a laugh, not really taking the process seriously and ending up with a quasi-EBM sound, somewhere between Front 242 simplicity and V2A or Massiv In Mensch beats, without the final polishing any of these acts (even back in the 80s, before Cubase and the home computer studio) managed to achieve.
Another letdown is the attention given to “Turn to Rust” – an inferior composition when compared with the previously mentioned “Virus” or “Bullets, Bombs, Blood”.
So it’s a disappointing response for System:FX’s debut; more focus on studio time is definitely needed. Mastering, production quality, more attention to sequencing, possibly better texturing and filtering on the vocals… There’s hope for this band, but it needs a lot of work. System:FX could be the next big thing in EBM – a much-needed departure from the stale harsh electro dominating the scene, and a return to percussion-based, militaristic dance music with a message.
— David Merwe