Jun 2018 28

Gasoline Invertebrate - Freak DriveGasoline Invertebrate
Category: EBM / Electro
Album: Freak Drive
Blurb: Utilizing a tried and true harsh EBM and distorted electro style to convey another side to his lyrical and musical personality, Brian Graupner debuts his new side project with mixed results.


For all the lyrical and visual humor he has expressed in his primary musical outlet, The Gothsicles, Brian Graupner is a man of considerable talent in the realm of electro and EBM music. Stripped of his belligerent punky yells and shouts, The Gothsicles’ sound hits all of the sweet spots for a pulse pounding good time on the dance floor, while also providing enough catchy hooks to make the songs simply a joy to listen to. With Freak Drive, the first release under his Gasoline Invertebrate moniker, Graupner aims for a more “serious” tone.

Of course, from the opening title track alone, it’s difficult to say just how “serious” Graupner may have intended the project to be; a squelching synth arpeggio, thunderous beats that demand some boots be stomping, and a scorching and resonant lead line that is sure to send the listener into the thick of the most uninhibited and unhinged rave party. Top that off with Graupner’s heavily distorted vocals assuring us that “We power through with superior fortitude,” and you have all the makings of a modern electro anthem… well, sort of. Once “I Love You” kicks in with what is an undoubtedly catchy chord progression and vocals so drenched in distortion and steely vocoder effects that the words are indecipherable, and the tried and true harsh EBM formula is set to kill. Later tracks follow suit, like the rhythmically engaging “Tenuous at Best” and the darkly atmospheric “Age Out,” on which some guitars and lush pads in the chorus make for one of the album’s more dynamic songs. The same can be said of “Crash Collector” with its subtle but driving bass lines and acerbic vocals as CTRLSHFT adds a bit of disaffected melodic accompaniment. “Mutant Identification” stands out for the mechanized vocoder effects amid what is a rather bubbly techno romp, while the scathing yet simple 8- and 16-bit tones of “Torture Cartoon” make for a lovely interlude that demonstrates Graupner’s musical capabilities. To close things out, Klutæ gives us a much more Teutonic but equally danceable rendition of the title track.

While musically not too far removed from The Gothsicles, there are clear distinctions between that band and Gasoline Invertebrate, primarily in the lyrical department. The songs are less reliant on nerdy humor and references to everything from Cthulhu to Konami, focusing more on an introspective and personal outlook that provides a greater insight into Brian Graupner’s mind. Unfortunately, without the benefit of having the lyrics in front of you, they’re all but obscured on most of the album. Still, despite the liberal use of the same sort of vocal effects we’ve been hearing in the harsh EBM style for the past 15-20 years, one need only listen closely to hear Graupner’s signature spastic singing resounding throughout Freak Drive. One really can’t fault the man for trying something different and attempting to convey different thoughts and emotions; it just would’ve been nice to understand what they were.
Track list:

  1. Freak Drive
  2. I Love You
  3. Torture Cartoon
  4. Crash Collector (vs. CTRLSHFT)
  5. Tenuous at Best
  6. Mutant Identification
  7. Age Out (feat. Keef Baker)
  8. Freak Drive [Klutæ Remix]

Gasoline Invertebrate
Facebook, Bandcamp
The Gothsicles
Website, Facebook, Twitter, ReverbNation, Bandcamp, YouTube
Tigersquawk Records
Purchase at:
Amazon CD
Amazon MP3
Ilker Yücel (Ilker81x)

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