Nov 2012 23

Caustic - The Man Who Couldn't StopCaustic
Category: Industrial
Album: The Man Who Couldn’t Stop
Stars: 4
Blurb: The clown prince of industrial returns with his tongue in his cheek and his fists in the air.


Based out of Madison Wisconsin, Matt Fanale – better known as Caustic – has been riding a strong wave since 2011’s widely praised The Golden Vagina of Fame and Profit. Having forcibly cultivated a loyal following with his bold, ballsy industrial and razor-sharp wit, the album marked a dizzying new height in a developing career. Not content to nestle into a by-the-numbers hit machine, 2012’s The Man Who Couldn’t Stop (loosely inspired by James Joyce’s novel Ulysses) shows us that the show is just getting started and it’s not playing by the rules.

The album’s opener, “Failing at the School of Life” immediately lets us know that it’s going to get weird. With its frantic pace and Saturday morning cartoon meets digital hardcore soundscape, it reminds us what is (arguably) Caustic’s greatest strength; he doesn’t take himself too seriously. TMWCS covers a diverse spectrum of emotions, genres, and influences, but its unashamed sense of humor provides a cohesive glue to the entire album. There are the expected anthemic dance floor stompers. “Bury You Alive” goes immediately for the jugular with its visceral pace, dirty production, and assured attitude, building upon the precedent set by The Golden Vagina…. Tracks like this certainly don’t reinvent the wheel, but they give it a good hard spin that wears you out. “Collide with Me” accosts the listener with an irresistible beat while taunting an increasingly lazy industrial scene with the question, “What are you afraid of?” This is a valid question because, behind the anthemic dance floor tracks on TMWCS, we find an artist that prefers to take a few chances and get messy rather than churning out watered down filler and giving us more of the same. Slowing things down, standout track “Internet Model” (featuring guest vocals by Android Lust) with its warm production and welcomed instrumentation echoes Nick Cave for the videogame generation. “Ghost Like Swayze,” featuring iVardensphere, is naked, beautiful, and roomy, focusing on the strength of the sounds rather than superfluous layering. Tracks like “PigEatBone” and “Laugh like Mutants” stab at the listener with hungry, ugly sounds straight from the gut. “Suck Me Dry” is unafraid to show it’s having some fun with its snotty, snarky punk rock vibe.

The Man Who Couldn’t Stop is not without its flaws. Tracks like “Graver Guru” and “Stains on the Coattails,” while not completely lacking charm, drag on and wear out their welcome before the track is through. The pounding “Bigger Better Faster Now!!!” feels anthemic to the point of being forced and seems barebones in comparison to the rest of such a monolithic album. Finally, the closer track “Fin (Again) Begin (Again),” while a strong track on its own, feels a bit shoehorned onto the album, lacking the cohesive bonds to link the ominous movie score atmosphere to the rest of the album. Overall TMWCS is a sonic smorgasbord that wears its influences on its sleeve, keeps us guessing with its bold strokes, and is destined to be a landmark album in the career of one of industrial’s freshest acts.
Track list:

  1. Failing at the School of Life
  2. Laugh Like Mutants
  3. Man-E-Faces (Caustic vs. Daddybear) (Caustic Version)
  4. Bleed You Out (feat. Android Lust)
  5. Ghost Like Swayze (Caustic vs. iVardensphere)
  6. Bury You Alive
  7. Bigger Better Faster Now!!!
  8. PigEatBone
  9. Stains on the Coattails
  10. Zen Castrato
  11. Graver Guru
  12. We Never Learn
  13. Internet Model
  14. The Man Who Couldn’t Stop
  15. Suck Me Dry
  16. Demon Seed Semen Deed
  17. Collide with Me
  18. Fin (Again) Begin (Again)

Caustic Website
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Caustic ReverbNation
Caustic Bandcamp
Metropolis Records Website
Metropolis Records MySpace
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Metropolis Records Twitter
Purchase at:
Amazon CD
Amazon MP3
Richard Reich (DJRichardReich)

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