REVIEW: Adaptive Reaction – “Salvation”

By Marcus Pan

Chain Border

SalvationMy initial reaction to this CD when track one, Nagelbett, kicked in was, “Oh here we go again.” For those that have been paying attention, it seems that 2004 is the year of industrial dance. There’s so much of it coming out that for any one band to even attempt to stand above the rest is a Herculean task. On the one hand I was rather stoked by this being yet another industrial CD, because I could use the review format that ReddragDiva on LiveJournal(1) came up with that is nothing more than a template: “What you need to do with those records is to put that paragraph at the top(2). Then list the records, with a series of numbers next to each one. Then list the numbers, with the descriptive phrases each means.”

That initial reaction to Adaptive Reaction, however, lasted about fifteen seconds. Nagelbett was merely the intro to Salvation, after which the title track emerged, kicking quick and loud. Additionally, initial ideas about AR was drawn also from the mantra on the jacket of the CD – “Fuck Rock, Fuck Art, Fuck You!!!” Is this yet another kiddie bopper in the basement being “different” and farting out synthetic strains we’ve all heard before? Strangely enough, Adaptive Reaction is actually easily the top industrial outfit to have dropped a CD on my desk this year. Having never heard of them before, I’m very surprised by how solid, complicated and well-crafted their sound is. It exudes a maturity that far surpasses any of the other aural schlock that has spun by. Their press kit gives us hints as to why…

Hailing from Ontario, Canada, Adaptive Reactions roots go back about eight years to 1996. From then until just past the millennium’s start, AR banged out a bunch of unadvertised CD-Rs and tapes using various names in an effort to get people to “pay attention more than once.” At the end of this journey, the band (and I have no indication here how many there are, but there’s only one guy pictured on the jacket and there’s a mysterious mention of the name “Guerin” as a possibility) reorganized and picked, from out of Alvin Toffler’s book Future Shock, the term Adaptive Reaction.

AR claims such heavily known influences as Throbbing Gristle, KMFDM, Skinny Puppy, Front 242 and others of that variance. The music is therefore what you’d expect from a project influenced by these. There’s no breakdowns here, save for a couple short noisy instrumentals that do nothing to give you a breather, so from beginning to end Salvation is fast paced, heavy hitting and moves quickly like a sci-fi action thriller. What is best about this CD is how well crafted it is, very tight and controlled. There’s plenty going on around you to give tracks like Infernal Eternal extra punch even if the lyrics are a bit cliché, but since this is industrial EBM you’re not paying too much attention to the lyrics really.

AR seem to have done things right – practice practice practice. Laying out tracks and putting them out on CD-R for a few years, seeing what works, getting better at their (his?) tirade before pressing down something solid. Salvation is a definite treat in the landscape of same-same. While it stays true to the genre and doesn’t experiment much outside of it, in and of itself it is one of the brightest (darkest?) CDs to have spun through the office in terms of caliber and excellence. Part with the mere $10 (if in North Amercia) or $12 (international) to have the chance to hear what industrial dance and electronic EBM should sound like.

Contact Information:
Conduktiv Product
Post: PO Box 29102, Thunder Bay, Ontario, P7B 6P9, Canada
Phone: (807) 345-3467
E-Mail: brap@tbaytel.net
Web: http://my.tbaytel.net/brap

(1) My LiveJournal, an accounting of whatever I felt like bitching about, is at www.livejournal.com/~magman.
(2) The paragraph mentioned here is the fourth one from my review of Cruciform Injection’s Epilogue.

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