Everything about electro/industrial outfit SPANKTHENUN is unorthodox; from sound to imagination, from craft to the way it releases its art, the project is an anomalous protagonist of tradition and expectations. They are old school, bootlegs and unauthorised remixes boldly standing amongst the project’s equally unpredictable releasing of their own work. It all makes for an intriguing proposition with, more importantly, sounds which infest and manipulate like a glorious virus; it all and more in evidence within debut album, Initial Decay Control.
Dallas based SPANKTHENUN is the creation of Eric Hanes with regular collaboration and link up with brother and long-time band mate Jeremy Hanes. Collaboration is at the heart of the project, Eric also working with a host of bands and artists, Initial Decay Control itself seeing the likes of Claus Larsen (Leæther Strip, Klutæ, AM Tierpark), Colin Allrich (Slighter), Jay Ruin (Ruinizer ), and Zoog Von Rock (Angelspit) involved on certain tracks. With Scott Fox of iVardensphere linking up with SPANKTHENUN to produce and mix the majority of the album, it all makes for an encounter which stalked the senses and ignited the imagination.
Across its twelve tracks, Initial Decay Control springs a kaleidoscope of flavours and a web of entangled styles yet it is all united by a nagging pulse which even in its numerous individual characters burrows through ears into the psyche with hypnotic success. Lead track Glitch opens up the release, a distant march of disturbance gathering in the background before inciting a controlled but infectious rhythmic stride. Devo-esque electronics break the evolving lure of the song, thought preying vocals with a Fad Gadget like darkness to them walking through the shadows. The track continues to twist and turn; every move whether bold or a moment of calm subterfuge a magnet for ears as a revolving web of styles across the decades make up its irresistibility.
Burn follows, its first breath a darker coaxing with an ominous air coating every brewing aspect of its challenge and seduction. Like an electronic incubus it lies upon the senses, writhing across their defences to tempt and steal the listener’s faith and safety rather than its body though that is soon lost to the tracks rhythmic swing and spiky hooks anyway. Submission was quick and confirmed by a chorus impossible to resist while Carbon Responder enslaved the same addiction through its energetic concussive percussion and a just as eager vocal fertility and delivery. As persuasive and captivating as the first pair were, the track breached a whole new level of ardour as the album for us uncaged its finest moments.
Both Swallow and Sometimes proceeded to have us dangling on and dancing to its temptation wired threads, the first a contagion of big intrepid beats and flesh searing electro hooks. As ever voice and lyrics bring threat and provocation with viral seduction, combined it all evoking energy to have the body zealously bouncing before its successor unveils its predatory instincts and heart after a deceitful melody lined invitation. An aberrant romance entangled in its own turbulence of thought the track is superb, the trio our pinnacle moments of the album.
Even so Sin straight after was nothing less than compelling with its taught distortion bearing drama while Slow Suicide with its rhythmic concussion and collision of imposing multi-styled textures around sinisterly borne vocals trapped attention and imagination with the following Killx3 pure toxic venom and barbarous catchiness within its industrial EBM scented predation; itself another prime moment within Initial Decay Control.
Altered Carbon equally provided a riveting and increasingly gripping moment, its cyborg cold march and electronic chill perfectly aligning with a melodic sizzling and vocal fingering as fearsome as it was twistedly mesmeric; its addictive gyration and success matched in the similarly outstanding Dance Fight Or Die which needed mere seconds to worm under the skin and have body and spirit pulsating to its contagious oscillation.
The album closes up with another pair of its finest protagonists, the incongruous drive and melodic flaming of Beautiful undiluted feral manna to these ears and the prowling menacing of Rotting Meat which niggles away as it entices until it instinctively commanded body and greedy attention. Both tracks epitomise the variety and creative prowess of the album and its almost infernal fascination and touch.
Up till now SPANKTHENUN may have been an undiscovered encounter for a great many but hard to see that being the case after the release of the seriously rousing trespass that is Initial Decay Control.
Initial Decay Control is out now, available @ https://spankthenun.bandcamp.com/album/initial-decay-control
Pete RingMaster 06/02/2020
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