What happens when the farce is better than the medium it is mocking? It’s a question that has to be posed with the arrival of the latest album by Caustic. Matt Fanale’s one man show is lumped in with similar quasi-comic scene bands such as The Gothsicles (with whom he has a side project called The Causticles), but like The Gothsicles, Fanale has tried to break out of the idea that his self described “Jizzcore” genre is more than a joke. In an interview with RockStarJournalism.com, Fanale stated, “I actually tried making serious music for a bit, but fortunately or unfortunately, nobody could take me seriously.” But during an era of the industrial scene where fewer new acts are turning out great records, established bands are taking a step back, evolving out of the genre, or dissolving all together, the Louis C.K. of rivetheads may be one of the flag bearers of the industrial music today.
With the nail on the head titled Industrial Music, Caustic’s album is a Whitman’s sampler of sounds, subgenres, the history of the scene that makes it one of the most interesting and well rounded albums released in recent memory. Don’t let titles like “Fuck in a Suit” or “Bleached Asshole – The Deafening Beat of My Heart” or the sometimes simplistic loops and synths mislead you; this record is a love letter to industrial music. The lyric-less, beat-driven “Michael Fucking Ironside” is a prime example of old school late ‘80s EBM that would have been a perfect match to That Total Age era Nitzer Ebb. “Scream Your Name” and “The Casualties” remind one of the early ‘90s My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult style of sleazy industrial. The aforementioned “Fuck in a Suit” has a sleek sound also reminiscent of WaxTrax! era bands like Die Warzau and MINISTRY, while “Military Fascist Show” has all the earmarks of more militaristic bands such as Laibach or Funker Vogt, but with a healthy dose of irony. Now, while the lyrical content of these songs may be comical or overtly vulgar to some, the fact is that the themes of disgust, mistrust, and displeasure with conventions are incredibly relevant to this time and are in parts far deeper than a casual listen may suggest. In fact, the one thing that really stands out as missing on the album is a full band backing up Fanale; with an industrial/metal band behind him, this could have been a classic of the WaxTrax! era.
You often hear how bands like 3TEETH and Youth Code are the new leaders of the scene as they bring back old school elements and make them fresh for a new audience… and that may be true. And Caustic may be a joke band with silly songs. That may have been true in the past, but a record as raw and uninhibited as this, with its roots so firmly planted in what made this scene great, means we have to start considering Matt Fanale a real leader in industrial music.
Website, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, ReverbNation, Bandcamp, YouTube
Negative Gain Productions
Website, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, Bandcamp
John Galope (SilentBKS)