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Punch Inc. – Fight Club

Punch Inc. - Fight Club

CD, Ant-Zen, 2008

The only real requirement when listening to Punch Inc. is a simple one: volume, and lots of it. Crank those speakers as far as they can go and, if possible, do so within an enclosed space. The resulting reverberations and noise cross-contamination interferences that build up are spectacular: truly the only way to fully appreciate this recording. Low volume listening yields an unfavourable impression of one of the more exciting acts within the hard industrial genre.
“Fightclub” begins slowly, delivering a pedestrian and unexciting introduction – sadly, these first tracks feel awkward, uninspired and incomplete when compared with what is to follow – it feels like the duo only start supplying the necessary punch on “Arms Against”, a massive bout of technoid aggression. Luckily, this level of production fluidity is maintained on the remaining two thirds of the album. The title track (a monumental creation in itself, highly complex and beautifully structured, with its creepy introduction dragging your soul into the sound) is a glorious paean to youthful revolt against suburbia and the safety of mediocrity that society would dictate to us all – a manifesto repeated later on “Revolution Now”, and, to a lesser degree, on “Fight Your Enemy”. Equally aptly named is “Barrage” (also reinterpreted by Asche as a bonus track). Here, frenzied, double-time kicks are like a well-placed artillery strike to the cerebrum. This is nothing new for Punch Inc. veterans, however, as this rhythmic assault is what the pair are famed for. Their approach feels far more machine-like and synthetic, rather than noise-based (although plenty of noise still creeps through) as in the case of many similar acts, and the constant evolution of drum lines makes for extremely dynamic listening – and dancing. So fans won’t be disappointed and newcomers may easily find themselves investigating further into the post-percussive phenomenon that is Punch Inc.


— David vander Merwe

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