by Scott Hefflon
Following their ’94 self-titled debut on Century Media, Puncture release their self-produced sophomore effort entitled Immune . Filled with distorted vocals, crisp drum programming, crunching guitars, and various samples, Immune weaves a chaotic picture littered with the debris of a culture rapidly destroying itself. You’ve gotta chuckle when you hear “1,2,3,4” roared by Pantera’s Phil Anselmo contrasted with Skinny Puppy-esque keyboard mayhem, disco beats, psychedelic waves, and a chugging guitar Ministry would be happy to sample and use as their own. In all honesty, the drums are a bit too crisp and synthetic for my taste, but then again, I’m a post-metalhead (with the battle scars to prove it) and if it doesn’t erase my thought process with its sheer power, I have no use for it. I hear from the electro/industrial crowd that this is called “breathing room.” I’d call it thinly-produced, but that’s why there’re so many writer hacks in this world. They certainly have all the right elements in their songs: powerchord-riffing guitars, thumping dance beats interspersed with layered percussion Trent Reznor would juice over and a variety of KMFDM “Drug Against War” paces, screaming, angsty vocals you can’t understand so you assume are profound, and samples of porno squeals, pop cultural references, and weird sounds ya can’t place but sound cool anyway. Trouble is, they breathe a lot. I gotta turn the sucker way up so my neighbors are pounding on my walls (it adds to the overall affect) in order to lose myself in Puncture. I’m sorry, did you say I’m being too harsh on a struggling band that’s got a good start and I should lighten up a bit? I can’t hear a damn thing anymore.