Category: Industrial / Coldwave / Machine Rock
Album: The Dark Age of Consent
Blurb: No mere flight of fancy, but a boisterous excursion into the sleazy chrome underbelly of machine rock from this veritable supergroup of renowned talents.
Since the departure of founding member Dylan Thomas More in 1997, Jared Louche has been spearheading the name of Chemlab with a bevy of collaborators. Having released Oxidizer in 2004, two remix albums, and several tours, it wasn’t until the first Coldwaves event in honor of the late Jamie Duffy that Louche gave audiences a definitive wave farewell, veritably ending one of machine rock’s most revered acts; Chemlab is dead… long live Prude!
Picking up where Louche left off with Chemlab’s mix of mechanized rock & roll sleaze, Prude presents to the underground scene a nuanced and decidedly irreverent cornucopia of stylistic what-the-fuckery as could only be concocted by such a motley crew of musical miscreants. Featuring the talents of Howie Beno, Caustic’s Matt Fanale, Phil DiSiena of Infocollapse and Cyanotic, and Marc Olivier of Plastic Heroes, The Dark Age of Consent has been several years in the making and well worth the wait with its mesh of trashy glam rock guitar riffs and fervently rhythmic beats and bass.
“PLUSism” introduces the album with a throng of noisy synth and guitars squealing atop Beno’s imposing bass, Louche sardonically poking fun at the scene (and indeed, the band itself) with a slew of genres and subgenre callouts. From here, the album moves fluidly among its many influences, from the strident and stabbing riffs of songs like “Great Eraser (In the Sky),” “Brief History of Fire,” and “Scatterbrain” to the marching beats and hazy electronics of “Cigarette Burn Heart” and “Knife on Mars,” both of which are given an added dimension of decadent broodiness by the presence of bluesy acoustic guitar. Like some mechanoid version of The Rolling Stones, “Sniper (at the Gates of Dawn)” struts its way through the speakers with Louche’s distinct vocal swagger playing with the danceable beats and the funky guitar riffs, while the chunky hits and slithery noises of “Plague Star (Black Light Returning)” evoke the likes of T. Rex’s Marc Bolan on a sci-fi kick.
While not without its sonic intrigue, Prude’s The Dark Age of Consent is at heart a rock & roll album – simple and sleazy, raucous and raunchy, and in a fashion true to its creators, mechanical and malignant; like Elvis Presley toying with a sequencer while tripping on Quaaludes. Throughout each track resonates an experimental spirit that transcends the in-your-face rock styling, giving Prude a musical resonance as much on par with the likes of David Bowie or The Velvet Underground as with the gritty industrial rock of the band members’ respective histories. Some may listen to The Dark Age of Consent and hear the spirit of Chemlab revisited, which is perhaps inevitable by way of Louche’s architextural signature, but this would discount the synergy present among Fanale, Beno, DiSiena, Olivier, and the slew of guest appearances. Prude is no mere flight of fancy, but a boisterous excursion into the sleazy chrome underbelly of machine rock.
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Storming the Base
Ilker Yücel (Ilker81x)