Unit:187 – Out For Blood

Metaform - Unit 187 - Out For Blood

CD, Vendetta Music, 2010
www.unit187.com

Unit:187’s “Out For Blood” is a balm on ears bruised by years of computerised, formulaic nonsense. Blaring from the speakers in a brash, unforgiving torrent of mid-90’s guitar-laced electronics, this is a wonderful throwback to the golden age of industrial rock: for someone whose musical upbringing was centred around the likes of Ministry, Stiff Miners, Die Krupps, Klute and so forth, it’s nothing short of sublime.
This Canadian foursome have been delivering sonic assaults for long enough to know what they’re doing – their first self-titled album was unleashed upon the unsuspecting masses way back in 1994 – and “Out For Blood” is a great evolution of their sound, combining pristine contemporary production values with the raw aggression that typified the era from which they sprung in a precarious balancing act of rock guitars, punishing percussion, visceral vocals and meticulously programmed electronics.
Highlights of the album have to include the barked, staccato vocals with their lightly vocoded ‘responses’ on “Rolling Vengeance”, as well as the grating, fist-in-the-air attitude of “DDD” with its chorus of “disarm, disrupt, destroy” – an anarchic, bile-ridden anthem for the dissatisfied youth that, sadly, probably never will reach the market that would most relate to it. The music industry is too content with milking money from the malcontents with emo bilge to allow anything with a revolutionary message and/or flavour to make any kind of public splash. Insert collective sighs from all the thirty-something ‘rebels with a mortgage’ here… Another great surprise in store for older listeners is the Killing Joke cover, “The Wait”, which retains enough recognisability to be a respectful nod to its original creators, but additional programming and heavy guitar lines make it something entirely new and unique to Unit:187.
Overall, “Out For Blood” is more than just a nostalgic industrial record. It’s a powerful album, brimming with emotional performances and something that stands out in comparison with what most so-called industrial acts are putting together in their parents’ basements nowadays. Ten tracks of great fun, intelligent content and enough of a hybridised sound to appeal to a crossover rock/electro market in much the same way Rammstein still manage – without the unmistakeably Teutonic overtones.

[8/10]

— David van der Merwe