Jan 2013 28

Idiot Stare - Unknown to MillionsIdiot Stare
Category: Industrial / Electro
Album: Unknown to Millions
Stars: 4
Blurb: Mocking sarcasm and ironic lyrics atop seething industrial rock signifies this return by one of the underground music scene’s best kept secrets.


“Hey! We’re Idiot Stare. If you’ve never heard of us, it’s ‘cuz we suck.” So begins the latest album from the Los Angeles industrial rock collective in the band’s typically self-deprecating and ironically humorous fashion. Since the mid ‘90s, Idiot Stare has trudged on a difficult but determined path to become one of the underground music scene’s best kept secrets, blending virtually all elements of techno and electro with an aggressive rock attitude. With the last album, 2006’s Welcome to Babylon, the band had its sights clearly set on the shallow and hypocritical nature of the music industry with a specific focus on their hometown of L.A. After seven years, Idiot Stare clearly observes that little has changed, taking an even more introspective and personal outlook on Unknown to Millions, making for an abrasive and sardonic album.

Ever skating the fine line between a classic industrial rock sound and scorching dance floor electro, Idiot Stare pulls all the musical stops. Grinding guitars permeate throughout, adding appropriately to the caustic cadence of “STFU,” while also allowing pumping tracks like “Should Have Been,” “NuFeel,” and “Future Popped” to bellow with a harsher edge more akin to the coldwave of a bygone era without sacrificing the bouncy yet incendiary flair that could conceivably place the band alongside such acts as System Syn or God Module; all the while, the lyrics of such songs – especially the latter “Future Popped” – deride and poke fun at such associations. It’s not without an element of humor as “Reunion” recalls the melodic severity of 16volt with a delightfully poppy melody conveying words of scornful sarcasm at the monotony and rehashing of the current trends, while the title track offers an atmospheric mix of breaking rhythms and throbbing electronics befitting the despair of the refrain, “What the hell does the world want from me anyway?”

Few bands are able to accomplish an effective marriage of more traditional ideals with a contemporary sensibility, but Idiot Stare does so effortlessly as Unknown to Millions sounds as familiar as any album from 15 years ago and as fresh as anything else coming out now. With the well of inspiration forever being refilled by the regurgitations of current trends, Idiot Stare is never short on ideas, at once admonishing and celebrating the flavor of the week and donning no illusions about their embrace of the things they mock. To those familiar with the band, the continued pursuit of such themes even after a seven-year-long silence may seem old hat, but in this writer’s opinion, there is a comfort in the knowledge that it serves a purpose and exemplifies a heightened state of self awareness. For this alone, Unknown to Millions is as much a wakeup call to a scene in stagnation as it is the butt of its own joke.
Track list:

  1. King of Shit
  2. Should Have Been
  3. Future Popped
  4. 3hree
  5. Severity
  6. Unknown to Millions
  7. STFU
  8. NuFeel
  9. Reunion

Idiot Stare Website http://www.idiotstare.com
Idiot Stare MySpace http://www.myspace.com/idiotstare
Idiot Stare Facebook http://www.facebook.com/IdiotStare
Idiot Stare Twitter https://twitter.com/idiotstare
Ilker Yücel (Ilker81x)

1 Comment

  1. Oldugly says:

    Definitely not for the younger set! Works great for us old timers. Have been moving the disc from car to car and even put it on my iPod.

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