Industrial F**king Strength 2 – Review

Industrial F**king Strength 2

Unleash the Brutality (Industrial Strength/TMC)
by Scott Hefflon

A follow up to Industrial F**king Strength on Earache, 2 – Unleash the Brutality (now on ex-Earache GM Eric Lemaster’s new label, The Music Cartel) is a double disc (disc two is a DJ mix by the man behind Industrial Strength, Lenny Dee) which opens with Temper Tantrum‘s “Still the Hardest,” and never lightens up for almost a full hour. For those who’ve never heard hardcore techno, imagine the beat from Flash Gordon played too loud for yer little speakers, or perhaps a Slayerhead who’s chosen to grind a keyboard/sampler rather than an axe, like his scruffy, long-haired brethren. If you’re familiar with Atari Teenage Riot, you’ve heard this kinda music, but with lyrics (not very good lyrics, mind you, but lyrics). Stopping in to raise your blood pressure this time ’round are Industrial Terror Squad, Delta Nine, DJ Manu Le Malin and DJ Producer, DJ Freak, Deadly Drive, The Shaftman, Disciples of Annihilation, DJ Narcotic vs. U.V.C., Nukom, and F.U.H.D.. While I sometimes don’t understand how repeating the same annoying sound for five minutes is hardcore (except for that thumpa-thumpa beat that even a speedfreak would consider peppy), I like the buzzsaw howls (think Ministry’s “Stigmata” if you must), the almost metal-esque “riffing,” and all the weird shit (a squeaky windshield wiper, a toilet flushing looped so it sounds like a waterfall, a hive fulla blindfolded bees, vacuuming a birdcage, and falling down a flight of stairs with your arms full of dishes, glasses, and silverware). And then, of course, there are the beats. If hardcore techno is speedmetal for technology-literate kids, at least techno has the good grace to give us some interesting beats to slam to. Or dance. Whatever. I personally can’t see people dancing to this without looking like Deadheads on meth (more like epileptics flailing about trying to swat flies no one else sees), but to each their own. My faves are the two tracks by DJ Narcotic vs. U.V.C., “The Kings are Back” and “Step into the Pit,” because of their bastardizations of cock rock and thrash, all mixed through a blender (a very loud blender), not to mention the ultra-violent Joe Pesci sample, but my very favorite is “Shaftman” by The Shaftman. Taking the “ba-dum-ba-bom” scaling trumpets from a Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass song with its hip-twisting, beehive-sportin’, mini-skirt-wearing teenie-boppers, adding Sanford’s (illegitimate wino) son’s trash-talkin’ rant (think the pussy-eatin’ scene with Samuel L. Jackson in True Romance), then layering the whole over an increasingly complex jungle beat – man, this is what dance music oughtta be! Hardcore techno is, of course, an acquired taste – if you don’t have a headache by the time the CD is over, you did something wrong.
(106 West 32nd St. 3rd Fl. NY, NY 10001)

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