Dec 2013 24

UCNX - ReplicatorUCNX
Category: Electro / Industrial
Album: Replicator
Stars: 3
Blurb: While hardly an essential release for UCNX, this blend of covers and remixes showcases the band’s dirty brand of electrified industrial rock quite well.


The duo of Douglas Sudia and John Monette, collectively known as UCNX, knows how to take its time to hone the craft and present a diverse style of electro/industrial that is as suited for the dance floor as it is for the mosh pit; possessing the guttural energy of guitar-laden industrial rock, driven by the pulse and the beat of what the band calls “4,000 on the floor.” Having made waves with the Let Your Body Run EP, taking the lyrics of Iron Maiden’s “Run to the Hills” set to the bass and beat of Nitzer Ebb’s “Let Your Body Learn,” as well as earning Jared Louche’s approval with a version of Chemlab’s “21st Century,” UCNX has demonstrated a proficiency with performing covers.

Having released the Replica.01 EP earlier this year, featuring a mélange of both remixes and cover tracks, the electro/industrial act decided to follow up with a full-length album utilizing the same combination. With remixes of tracks from the band’s previous album Generation Damaged, Replicator offers up more of what Replica.01 gave us, beginning with a cover medley of Nine Inch Nails’ “Terrible Lie” and “Now I’m Nothing.” From the first few notes, one might easily mistake the track for the original as the vocal bears a close resemblance to Trent Reznor; but this doesn’t last long as Sudia lets loose into vocal abandon that allows the song to on its own. Another cover featured is a finely arranged version of Ozzy Osbourne’s “No More Tears,” the synth taking over that recognizable bass line while the guitars retain all the abrasion and soul of Zakk Wylde, albeit with his distinctive squealing touch. As if unwilling to attempt Ozzy’s higher range, the vocals take on a darkened and menacing quality that serves well to distinguish UCNX’s version, although the dirty production in the chorus might be too grating for some. Also notable is the exceptionally faithful cover of Killing Joke’s “Adorations,” an airy synth taking over for Geordie Walker’s guitar to fine effect, while the take on MINISTRY’s “Isle of Man” is much more aggressively percussive and poised for the dance floor while still approximating the character of the original. Standing out from the rest of Replicator is the version of Tears for Fears’ “Sketches of Pain,” which slows the proceedings down a touch with its melodic ambience, though Sudia’s voice proves up to the task with the less acerbic range.

Interspersed with the remixes, the covers do well to integrate themselves into UCNX’s repertoire and style, especially amid dance floor rockers like Noonatac’s scathing remix of “Consequence Brings” or Gross National Produkt’s marching and glitch-laden remix of “The Innocent.” Society Burning’s Nine and Ten remix of “Overgrowth” is perhaps the more sonically pleasing of the two with its mechanized vocal effects and shifts in cadence and mood, as opposed to the more straightforwardly danceable version by Some Kinda Nobody. Similarly, Digicore’s appropriately titled Punk Bastard remix of “Still” places emphasis on blistering tempo and shrilly electrified noise while Terminal Sect’s H.Scott goes for a more frantic style adorned with breakbeats and pulsating arpeggios, starkly contrasting with the pumping groove of the strangely titled Stagnant version.

With Replica.01 and Replicator featuring a wholly different assortment of tracks and remixes, as well as UCNX’s penchant for both covers and remixes, this writer is left wondering when Sudia and Monette are going to finally produce some original material to follow up on the strength of Generation Damaged. Not that Replicator is a weak release by any means as it does well to showcase UCNX’s powerful style, topped off by grittily caustic production tones that are electro in nature but given that rough rock & roll edge. However, Replicator seems hardly an essential release for the band, offering fans only a respite from the wait for more original material.
Track list:

  1. Now I’m Nothing Terrible Lie
  2. Still (Stagnant Version)
  3. Overgrowth (Nine and Ten Remix by Society Burning)
  4. No More Tears
  5. Generation Damaged (Audiowar Remix)
  6. Heavy Rotation
  7. Consequence Brings (Remix by Noonatac)
  8. Adorations
  9. Overgrowth (RMX by Some Kinda Nobody)
  10. Isle of Man
  11. The Innocent (In Aethe Remix by Gross National Produkt)
  12. Still (Punk Bastard Remix by Digicore)
  13. Sketches of Pain
  14. The Innocent (Remix by Aesthetische)
  15. Still (The Lab Remix by H.Scott of Terminal Sect)

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Ilker Yücel (Ilker81x)

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