Category: Electro / Industrial / EBM
Album: Beyond Planets
Blurb: If you are not familiar with this classic group, then now is the time to strip, sit down, and enjoy a Naked Lunch.
Naked Lunch is one of those bands that you have probably heard of and intended to check out at some point. One of the first synthesizer based outfits, the list of bands that they have influenced reads like the A-list of influential groups from the ‘80s up to now. After taking a nearly 30 year hiatus, Naked Lunch has returned with a masterful full-length album, Beyond Planets.
This album is a mix of pop sensibility with a gritty rejection of pop. The production and songwriting is confident and the listener can sense Naked Lunch’s many years of experience. However, the band refuses to go the pop route, instead mixing in philosophical topics and decidedly non-pop sounds as a treat to the listeners who demand more than just smoke and mirrors. The album begins with some vintage sounding sound effects and an airy pad that sets a thoughtful mood. As the music guides your mind into a meditative state, you realize that it has been more than two minutes of this. Finally, when you are ready, “We Are” begins with a kick that hits you right in the gut even if you are only using earbuds. The vocals and guitars are both gritty and call to mind the sound of KMFDM, but this music cannot be mistaken for anyone else; it is much more atmospheric and thoughtful. Next up is “Slipping Again, Again,” which has more of the vintage kind of sounds you will hear throughout this album. The synths and production style are modern while sounding like what you would expect from a band who participated in the dawn of this kind of music. It is somehow minimal while giving just enough and building a fantastically dark atmosphere. “Rabies” is a more upbeat track with an early ‘80s aesthetic, which makes sense because, like many tracks on this album, it is a remake of an earlier song. It remains very close to the original in sound and energy and even the length of the track is within seconds of the original. “Emotional Turmoil” returns to the more modern sound with energetic layered vocals, a pulsing bass line, and a catchy chorus that builds the intensity and then drops it just enough to build it some more. “La Femme” is another remake of an older track and takes a few more liberties with the original material than “Rabies” did – the lyrics, singing style, and instrumentation of this song create the kind of sound that you would imagine hearing at an underground goth club in the ‘80s. “Alone” was one of the first tracks to be released after Naked Lunch’s hiatus. It has a chorused guitar like you might hear by The Cure inserted into something much darker. “Glow” is a playground of sound effects drenched in reverb and analog synths, and the final track, “Fade Away” returns to the more fun side of Naked Lunch with an up-tempo beat and future/retro sci-fi leads.
This album nicely blends the sounds of Naked Lunch’s past and present. It is an excellent return on the band’s part and an excellent introduction to an act that has influenced those bands that influenced what you are currently listening to.
Naked Lunch Website http://nakedlunch.org.uk
Naked Lunch Facebook https://www.facebook.com/NKDLUNCH
Naked Lunch Twitter https://twitter.com/TheNakedLunch
Naked Lunch Bandcamp https://nakedlunch1.bandcamp.com
Evolve or Die/Subculture Records
John Imperiale (mzrt)