Category: Electro / Industrial / Punk
Album: The Product
Blurb: Angelspit’s most collaborative and yet most singular effort yet, with a few pensive moments that along with the band’s usual acerbic bombast make for an enticing and confrontational listen.
Never an act to compromise, always quick to challenge the boundaries between punk rock belligerence and pop accessibility, Angelspit truly stands in a class all its own. With The Product, ZooG Von Rock firmly takes the reigns for the band’s most collaborative effort yet; featuring a number of prominent guest performers while still holding true to its aesthetic of D.I.Y. autonomy and spitting in the face of materialism and corporatism in modern society.
“Too busy making a living / too broke to have a life;” so begins the second verse of “Hot Mess,” the opening track on The Product, and a lyric that immediately sets the thematic tone for The Product. Driven by the pummeling percussive assault of CHANT’s Bradley Bills and the caustic guitar of George Bikos, the song hits hard and fast with Angelspit’s signature melding of crunchy glitch-laden sounds and rhythms while the chorus takes on an ethereally aggressive melody. Other songs on the album take on a similar formula, the metallic beats and squelching synths complementing an almost bubbly and rather sugary melody that is sure to get stuck in one’s head for days. Other songs like “Train Wreck,” “Baal Arise,” and “Cut Sick,” are much more straightforwardly virulent; no less catchy, but with the melody buried amid the band’s usual sense of sonic bombast, the vocals shouting Angelspit’s manifestos against the status quo. And then there is a track like “Watch the Sunrise” with its unorthodox display of vocal interplay as Von Rock and Alan Labiner create a discordant tapestry that is rather dreamily unsettling, while Helalyn Flowers’ NOemi Aurora adds an oddly erotic yet disquieting cadence that is almost reminiscent of Japanese pop/rock. However, the most notable tracks on The Product would have to be the martial instrumental “Creeper” with its thunderous percussion amid swells of glassily metallic synths that are somehow reminiscent of early Depeche Mode, and the haunting “Walking in the Woods” as its slow and eerie progressions creep through the speakers, evoking imagery just as its title suggests, while “Weapon of Choice” seems to combine aspects of these two to form a pensive and appropriately dissonant closing track.
Abrasive in its sonic textures as well as in its lyrical fortitude, The Product is perhaps what audiences should expect from Angelspit. Even with the added collaboration of drummer Chris Kling, guitarist George Bikos, vocalist Miss Ballistic, and guests like CHANT, Agent 13, and Helalyn Flowers, the album holds true to the Angelspit sound, which upon the first listen may dissuade audiences from accepting The Product as anything less than its name suggests. Even with the more languid moments like “Walking in the Woods” and “Weapon of Choice,” Angelspit shows no signs of softening up. Therein lies the irony that, along with the subtle infusion of familiar melodies that take the songs outside of their confrontational and acerbic facades, lends to the album’s power and makes The Product one of the strongest entries in Angelspit’s prolific output.
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Ilker Yücel (Ilker81x)