Category: Industrial / Rock / Post-Punk
Album: The Singularity
Blurb: Marred by substandard production, the rock & roll energy and musicality demonstrated by this band is paid a grave injustice on what should’ve been a better album.
Hailing from Chicago, the World Organization of the Righteous Movement – a.k.a. W.O.R.M. – has been languishing in the Windy City’s local rock scene for quite some time, building up a reputation for bombastic and energetic live shows while honing an acerbic but familiar style of industrial/rock that demands to be heard. Having recorded a number of demos since 1999, The Singularity is W.O.R.M.’s first foray into what might have led to more widespread appeal and a hopefully more professional presentation of the band’s abilities. Alas, this is not to be for while the strength of the band’s music shines through, the album’s production is sorely lacking in any presence or depth, with the drums and percussion very discernibly falling short. A good example of this is the song “Possession,” on which the opening breakbeat and chugging of guitars along with the introductory shout of “One two, fuck you” simply fail to build up to any kind of release of volume or power; though the rest of the instrumentation is relatively strong in the performance aspect as each band member is clearly tight and in tune with where the song should go, there is virtually no space in the sound, creating a sense of flatness more befitting a demo than a final product.
While the poor production is unfortunate, it does force the listener to concentrate simply on the music itself to find any sense of enjoyment… and there is much to enjoy, with a song like “Which of You” being a particularly notable track with its bouncily rhythmic and rocking vibe reminiscent of Slick Idiot or early ‘90s KMFDM with the hints of soulful female vocal accompaniment in the chorus. Similarly, songs like “Dysfunction” and “Frequency” with their pumping techno-esque beats and Karen Righeimer’s smooth, grooving bass with waves of atmospheric and seething lead synths recall the likes of Hate Dept., while “The World” with its steadily throbbing synth and quirky vocal refrains and “More (Like You)” with Mike Reidy’s shrill growls and screams atop the layers of caustic guitars from Myke Shuberg and Mike Tuggle bear a likeness to early Killing Joke. Granted, hearing these songs in such a raw and unpolished style has a charm all its own that relies more on a classic rock & roll vibe that is more reliant on musicianship than technology, but it is ultimately distracting to the listener and is very simply an injustice to what the band is capable of accomplishing. The Singularity has all of the musical elements to have been a fantastic album; the interplay of lead and rhythm guitars with the harmonious synth and bass hooks, topped off by Reidy’s presence as a lead vocalist demonstrates that W.O.R.M. undoubtedly has a tight-knit dynamic that one can immediately tell is best felt in the live environment. It’s simply a shame that the recorded product couldn’t measure up to such promise.