Oct 2011 12

Left Spine Down - CautionLeft Spine Down
Category: Industrial
Album: Caution
Stars: 4.5
Blurb: Surpassing their past work, the iPunk collective of Left Spine Down races forward with a new album sure to earn them a place in industrial rock history.


In a short amount of time, Left Spine Down has become one of the most popular bands in the new wave of industrial rock, and with good reason. The debut album, Fighting for Voltage presented a distorted blend of drum & bass and punk rock set to a mechanized backdrop of sociopolitical upheaval that immediately gained favor with the scene in search of new heroes in the wake of the post-EBM era of industrial. Touring and/or collaborating with the likes of Revolting Cocks, Front Line Assembly, Cyanotic, 16volt, and Chemlab, and releasing two remix companions, Left Spine Down certainly started out with a bang. Enduring a lineup change and signing to Metropolis Records, the question would be asked as to where they could go with their next album.

Immediately from slow buildup of opening track, “Troubleshoot,” Caution displays just how far the band has come since the previous album. Gone are the conceptual interludes, focusing purely on the songs proper to make for a lean and mean album. “Troubleshoot” begins slowly with caustic synthesizers and pianos, the drums kicking in and building to a state of tension and urgency that culminates in a highly melodic, despairing, and enormously satisfying chorus. As kAINE D3L4Y shouts “This is the final exit / is this my only way out,” it is clear that the band has not abandoned the apocalyptic themes that underpinned much of their past work, but now presented less with defiance and more with a somber sense of dread. But fans need not despair that the band has gone mellow or goth, for songs like “The Truth is a Lie,” “Overdriven,” and leadoff single “X-Ray” blast through the speakers with those recognizable speed rhythms that drummer Galen Waling plays with effortless power and electrified synth lines and gritty atmospheres from Jeremy Inkel, while Matt Girvan’s guitars keep things firmly grounded in that familiar punk rock vibe. Listening to Caution, there is a distinct automotive theme with songs like “Hit and Run,” “Stolen Car,” and “From 30 to Zero,” all naturally keeping with the group’s breakneck tempos and fist-pumping energy, sound effects of crashes and engines revving up, and even lyrics referencing head on collisions and “pedal to the metal” interspersed throughout the album.

But where the album really shines is when the band breaks from the routine of fast-paced beats and unbridled aggression and focuses on atmosphere and melody. Naturally, this is juxtaposed with the album’s more rocking moments, but with “Nothing to Fear” breaking from the pattern to introduce a slow breakdown of distant vocals, slightly overdriven vocals, and acoustic guitars, the song and the band’s music as a whole takes on a whole new character. Similarly, the title track, which concludes the album, is a steady and ambient, nearly 10-minute-long saunter of resonant pianos, poppy electro beats, slithering vocals, and more acoustic guitars. However, it is “On the Other Side” that gets this writer’s vote for best song on Caution as a pounding, rhythmic march underscores D3L4Y’s harmonious but almost decrepit vocals, leading to an incredibly emotive chorus that will leave the song on repeat for many a stereo.

With Dave “Rave” Ogilvie sitting in the producer’s chair, Left Spine Down has taken their iPunk aesthetic to the next level with Caution, sticking to their past formula just enough to sate the fans while introducing new sounds and textures; no small feat for a band still young in its career. Having already established a reputation for energetic music and live performances, Caution firmly sets Left Spine Down in the annals of the current industrial rock scene, surpassing the past, and charging at 180 BPM the way for a brave new future.

Track list:

  1. Troubleshoot
  2. The Truth is a Lie
  3. X-Ray
  4. Hit and Run
  5. On the Other Side
  6. Stolen Car
  7. From 30 to Zero
  8. Overdriven
  9. Nothing to Fear
  10. Caution

Left Spine Down Website http://www.leftspinedown.com
Left Spine Down MySpace http://www.myspace.com/leftspinedown
Left Spine Down Facebook http://www.facebook.com/leftspinedown
Left Spine Down Twitter http://twitter.com/LeftSpineDown
Left Spine Down ReverbNation http://www.reverbnation.com/leftspinedown
Left Spine Down SoundCloud http://www.soundcloud.com/leftspinedown
Metropolis Records Website http://www.metropolis-records.com
Metropolis Records MySpace http://www.myspace.com/metropolisrecords
Metropolis Records Facebook http://www.facebook.com/MetropolisRecords
Synthetic Sounds Website http://www.syntheticsounds.com
Synthetic Sounds MySpace http://www.myspace.com/syntheticsoundsmusic
Synthetic Sounds Facebook http://www.facebook.com/syntheticentertainment
Synthetic Sounds Twitter http://twitter.com/synthet1c

Purchase at:
Amazon CD
Amazon MP3


Ilker Yücel (Ilker81x)

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