Sporting a comically appropriate band moniker, 00tz 00tz is a young New York duo shooting for the dance floor in their beat centric approach to industrial music. Their sophomore effort, Frequency Damage exudes a lot of energy and clearly meets 00tz 00tz’s rhythmic goals, but the stunning lack of variety on the album will quickly wear out even the most beat happy listener.
The biggest and most damning problem with Frequency Damage is its almost complete and utter disregard for any significant variation in its beat. Tracks like “Eye,” “Rise Above,” and “Change the World” bleed together into a formless goulash of bass and synth with few defining characteristics. Doing no favors for the repetitive and overused beat, the female vocals blend features of Neikka RPM and Android Lust, but this hybrid, unfortunately, only inherits the bad aspects of both styles largely resulting in an off-key, strained, and apathetic sound that does very little to add character to the overly similar tracks. There are moments, though, when the band goes for something beyond a fast beat, or when a hook does shine through the repetition where the promise of this act emerges. “Longing” for example provides a complex and moody electro style similar to some of Hocico’s work, but here the vocals hit a perfect complementary tone and give the track a unique life well beyond anything else seen on the album. There are also occasions, perhaps best exemplified by “Stronghold,” where the sound and structure is just painfully amateurish with exceptionally poor audio quality and terrible choices in synths and sound effects, but there is still a strong hook that makes the song hard to hate despite everything that should inspire loathing.
In spite of all the problems with Frequency Damage, it still isn’t without its charms and there are shades of promise in a few of the tracks. That being said, 00tz 00tz obviously has a bit of maturing to do in the areas of song structure, vocal performance, and production quality, but it is the complete lack of diversity in their sound that simply kills the album. There is almost no reprieve from 00tz 00tz’s constant recycled beat, and simply slapping some slightly varied synth and different lyrics over it aren’t enough to keep this album fresh.
Trubie Turner (Flexei)