After 14 years and numerous releases, Angelspit is in the unenviable position of having created a sound that is readily identifiable and inimitable. Consequently, The Ignorance Cartel is sure to strike even the most hardcore fan as barely distinguishable from past outings as it adheres to many of the tenets of what can be termed as the Angelspit sound – punchy beats and scathing bass lines, crunchy textures where guitars and synths become indistinct from each other, topped off by half-spoken/half-shouted manifestos decrying a world overrun by corporatism, materialism, and an ever diminishing sense of empathy.
For instance, there are the rubbery riffs grinding to a vicious metallic hooks and dance beats on “Love to Watch,” the layers of vocoder in the chorus adding to the rage in Zoog Von Rock’s diatribes against the subliminal desensitization, while the resonant steel drum-esque tones over the slowly brooding feedback and whiplash beats of “Spade” make for an effective instrumental track that could be the soundtrack to any dystopian sci-fi movie. Furthermore, a song like “Hot Machine” about the commodification of fashion and sensual pleasures recalls Angelspit’s earlier material, while the sardonic observations on the fetishization of firearm culture and murder in “Ammosexual” are especially poignant. There are plenty of individual components that stand out on the record like the vocal hook that recurs throughout “Eat the Children,” the funky bass guitar slaps on “Happy Little Coma,” the fluid synth passages over a slow but bouncy rhythm on “Easy,” and the descending bass arpeggios and chirping electronic atmospheres with darkly layered vocals on “All Puppet No Master,” all indicating that Von Rock has not skimped on sharpening his production skills, even if the evolution of Angelspit’s actual musical style has stagnated slightly.
With the record also accompanied by an “R-rated” VHS tape and music video tie-ins, the true power of The Ignorance Cartel may best be experienced in its full audiovisual glory; however, this is not to say that this isn’t a strong album, and most bands should be so lucky for their ninth full-length outing to be so.