System:FX – Twentyfirst Century

   Front Cover

     Twentyfirst Century, the third EP from UK industrial antagonists System:FX, is one of those releases which as it ravages and enthrals the ear feels like it is standing astride the senses with a sledgehammer of sound and wash of melodic animosity. It is a collection of colossal songs which seem to come at the body and those beleaguered senses from every angle and through every pore whilst treating the bruising with invigorating and refreshing radiance. Already used to strong acclaim upon their steady and rapidly ascending rise the London duo have taken their sound and stature to another level with the new EP, giving it a spite and anger that provokes from start to finish whilst unleashing the most potent rewards.

Formed in 2011, System:FX has already set stages alight alongside the likes of Panzer AG, 32Crash, DAF, Client, Implant, Grendel, Assemblage 23, Nitzer Ebb, Combichrist, Leaether Strip, Uberbyte, Inertia, Deviant UK, Cybercide, Crash Symptom and many more, each performance adding to their increasing reputation. Last year saw the band playing Resistanz 2012 as Phil Barry’s (Be My Enemy, Cubanate) live band whilst this year at the same event their new EP felt the hunger of fans as they clamoured for its purchase, something which is going to be emulated one suspects as the release works its way into the passions and psyche of not only the UK industrial scene but the world. Consisting of Steve Alton (vocals/guitar/programming), who recently also linked up with Fredrik Croona in the latter’s project Cynical Existence, and Debs (drums/backing vocals), with the band expanding to a trio for live performances, System:FX go for the jugular with Twentyfirst Century, its sinew driven body of sound and the lyrical/sonic intensity inspired by the disappointment of adult hood and seemingly seeded in the memories of the London Riots, clenching its jaws around the throat of the senses and thoughts never relinquishing the grip until the last note has seared its imprint into place. No mercy is given, or wanted when a release sounds and feels this good.

Surrounded by the dissident calls of the populace opener Vengeance courts the ear with scratchy guitar and equally blister electronic lures before exploding into a storm of thumping hungry rhythms awash with deliciously fiery melodic bait. It is an instantly hypnotic temptation, its touch a barracking intensity on the senses but accompanied by a colour fuelled seduction which ensures any discomfort is a prize worth taking. Just as passions and thoughts have no resistance to the intensity and empowering provocation of the song, limbs are mere pawns to the heavy trodden dance beats and the epidemically compelling sonically sculpted enticement. It is a maniacal puppeteer leaving a breathless and fully satiated victim in its undertow.

The following Fire, skirts around the ear initially with a scattering of sonic steps punctured by muscular strokes before letting the intensity off of its rein to prowl and intimidate. With samples adding further menace and intrigue the track is a rapacious journey through the shadows and blackest corners of society, its Prodigy like urgency and punk toxin aided by the snarling vocals, a belligerent poison to the seemingly warm electronic embrace. Though not as impossibly addictive as its predecessor the track is a thoughtful imagination spiking treat which evokes and narrates its intent superbly.

The title track like the first brings the sound of streets in turmoil to the ear to compliment the rigorously persistent start of worrisome electronics and riffs framed in unbreakable rhythmic caging. Danger and unrest stroll hand in hand with the pulse bursting stomp of the song whilst the sonic heat rinses the air of the song in impacting and emotively inspired imagery, helped by the continuing samples of sirens. An intensive imposition on apathy and assumptions, the track is another weighty tempest to capture the appetite before handing over to the closing red alert of Stay In Your Homes. With samples of martial law declarations punctuating the thrilling start, the track pulls to its loftiest heights on the EP and proceeds to oversee a nation in self-destruct with a rain of sonic mercury and melodic acidity falling upon a web of rhythmic and bass toned predation. It is a stunning finale of corrosive imagination and commentary leaving the body and mind exhausted but fulfilled.

Twentyfirst Century is a devastatingly outstanding release which only gives a ‘complaint’ to its briefness of just four songs, but episodes which confirms System:FX as one of the most exhilarating bands in the UK. Roll on an album is all that is left to say.

https://www.facebook.com/SysFX

10/10

RingMaster 14/08/2013

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Machine Rox – Activate Your Anger

Machine Rox

© Alex Cooke Photography

After struggling to catch a breath after the riotous, energetic and overwhelmingly exhausting Activate Your Anger EP from UK industrial/electro band Machine Rox, you can only sit back with a satiated hungry appetite and contemplate basking immediately again in the feast of satisfying sounds. Like that favourite meal you may constantly choose in a restaurant, the release is a familiar and arguably unadventurous encounter for the palate, but one which brings the deepest and fullest senses ravaging pleasure.

Machine Rox began in 2007 as the solo project of Richard Kaltenhauser (aka Richard K), a member of industrial bands Meat Machine and Global Noise Attack (who supported the likes of Rammstein, Napalm Death, and Covenant). His ideas and sounds blended the potent essences of electro, industrial, and ebm with a corrosive metallic guitar bred attack for as subsequent releases show an impacting and incendiary brawl of a magnetic encounter. The arrival of Aga in 2010 on backing vocals and keyboards brought the project into a band stance with two years later joining Aga and Richard (electronics, vocals, guitars), drummer Nuj Farrow and guitarist Valerian Oproiu added their presence for the live aspect of the band. Since then Machine Rox has supported bands such as Leaetherstrip, V2A, and Deviant UK, and played numerous successful and acclaimed shows and festivals. Activate Your Anger follows a quartet of well received EPs which has increased their stature rapidly but with the new Static Distortion Label EP and its increased aggression, intensity, and contagious energy, expectations are of this being a trigger point to even greater awareness.

The London based band immediately coats the ear in a static cursed electro rub instantly joined by heavy caustic riffs, predatory 175430660-1beats, and burning sonics as opener Move Your Body (Until You Die) winds up its lethal dance. A thumping pulse driven rampage with devilment and rhythmic belligerence in tow is an easy persuasion especially with the dual vocals of Richard and Aga offering a devil and angel seduction. Whether from the acidic melodic venom of the guitar or the bewitching wantonness of the electro spotlights and their spearing shafts of warmth, the track is an unrelenting tempest which incites a full engagement and compliance to its irresistible call.

The following Night Riots is not just content to follow in the wake of its compelling predecessor without making its own contagious declaration on the ear which it does by initially provoking and caging the senses in commanding and synapse resonating throaty beats. Hitting the primal target which leads again to capitulation before the forceful and greedy energy as well as the infectious temptation beckoning and grinning from every note and corner of the track, the band without quite matching the potency of the first track holds the passions in its grasp and takes them on an invigorating irresistible ride.

Next Nothing steps up to offer a snarl to the release which reminds of Ghost In The Static, its bruising and scuzzy sound and intensive sinews the most imposing and threatening part of the EP. It like all the songs has hooks which deep root themselves in the listener for the most potent contagion though up against the following Where You Are still looks like a novice in that department. Taking centre stage with an instantaneous swagger and impossibly catchy lure, the new song is an intoxicating hypnotist with sparking crystalline seduction and an authoritative cogent rhythmic web which enslaves the senses and passions. Virulently infectious with a presence which is like Dead Or Alive meets Hanzel und Gretyl with Marilyn Manson and Angelspit in close attention, the track is electro manna for which there is no defence.

Bringing the release to an equally riveting and explosive conclusion is firstly Time To Survive, the track bringing back a thicker muscular wall of sound to further tease and exploit the now brewed ardour towards it with insidiously entrancing sonic enticement and ravenous heavy duty rapaciousness, and finally a remixed version of Next Nothing. Though Activate Your Anger does not offer anything dramatically new, it and Machine Rox unleash a tempestuous energy exploding experience which few recently have rivalled.

http://www.machinerox.com/

8.5/10

RingMaster 28/04/2013

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