Nov 2013 11

Iron Lung Corp. - Body SnatchersIron Lung Corp.
Category: Industrial / Rock / Coldwave
Album: Body Snatchers
Stars: 4
Blurb: Transforming several old favorites into a hard-hitting coldwave assault is no easy task, but the Iron Lung Corp. manages to do so with stunning results.


As industrial history goes, Iron Lung Corp. began in 1996 when Acumen and Clay People toured together, the two bands joining each other onstage in an extended cover medley of Nitzer Ebb’s “Join in the Chant” and “Murderous.” It should then perhaps come as no surprise that the first new ILC album in 11 years would be completely comprised of cover versions of the band members’ favorites. And yet, listening to Body Snatchers, one might be hard pressed to identify the songs in their original incarnations as ILC does well to adapt each to its own sound and style; just as a good cover should do.

Indeed, this writer – a consummate Peter Gabriel fan – did not immediately identify the opening track as a version of Gabriel’s “Intruder,” the thunderous percussion of Dan Dinsmore underscoring the dissonant bass line driven by Ethan Novak and Brian McGarvey’s guitars, the song breaking into a trickling bridge section reminiscent of Acumen’s “Elective Surgical Strike.” Similarly, the glitchy guitar of “The Blood” is an especially clever touch in lieu of The Cure’s original use of Spanish guitar, the interplay of Jason Novak’s and Kelly Britton’s vocals in the chorus creating a luscious effect that outshines Robert Smith any day of the week. While Vincent Price’s introduction is greatly missed on this rendition of Alice Cooper’s “Black Widow,” the song still retains the original’s spooky campiness, complete with a piano solo in the song’s closing moments, and while Depeche Mode covers are a dime a dozen, “A Question of Time” is interesting for its vague impressions of dubstep warbles beneath the grinding distortion of the guitars and whiplash drumbeats. “Nemesis” remains absolutely faithful to Shriekback’s 1985 hit, and it is just as enjoyable and poppy in ILC’s hands; the same can be said of Front 242’s “Don’t Crash” and Naked Eyes’ “Promises,” both given the industrialized rock makeover without sacrificing the melodic qualities that defined the originals, with Eric Powell and Steven Seibold joining the board of directors for these two tracks respectively. As well, the cover of Meat Beat Manifesto’s “Edge of No Control” sticks to the rhythmic energy of the original complete with the trippy samples and breakbeats and a heavier dose of electronic overdrive, while Ethan Novak’s lushly ambient guitar rendition of Tangerine Dream’s “Love on a Real Train” offers a moment of respite from the vicious energy of the rest of the album. Perhaps one of the most recognizable guitar riffs in modern music, ILC take on Killing Joke’s “Eighties,” even throwing in a segment of Nirvana’s “Come As You Are,” is a blistering display of rocking aggression that with the samples in the beginning maintains the original’s sociopolitical atmosphere. A squelching synth appears, the drums steadily rising with a rhythmic guitar chug, and then that descending guitar melody that has been closing out Pink Floyd concerts for years; appropriately, Body Snatchers closes out with a boisterous version of “Run Like Hell” that manages to retain the paranoid atmosphere of the original infused with the blazing industrial rock of Iron Lung Corp.

All in all, Body Snatchers has been well worth the 11 year wait since 2002’s Ditch the Attitude, Pally. While many may lament the absence of any new or original material, credit must be given to the ILC collective for paying tribute to the sounds of old and presenting them in a fashion that sticks to the band’s own knitting. It’s been a long wait; welcome back Iron Lung Corp.!
Track list:

  1. Intruder
  2. Edge of No Control Pt. Two
  3. The Blood
  4. Don’t Crash
  5. Europa
  6. Nemesis
  7. Love on a Real Train
  8. Black Widow
  9. A Question of Time
  10. Promises
  11. Eighties
  12. Run Like Hell

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Purchase at:
Ilker Yücel (Ilker81x)

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