V/A Indie Nation
By Ray Van Horn, Jr.
Hard to tell how many, if
any, of the selected tracks on this compilation are demo tracks because many of
the songs on Dekonstruktion Records' Indie Nation have a raw, sometimes
unpolished feeling to them. That is not to say this is bad. In fact, the
majority of the tracks found on Indie Nation are rather good. While not
every song is a gem, there are plenty of hopefuls to be found on this generally
Altared State opens with Faith (The Desperation Mix).
Interesting this one is a remix, as the production is fairly crude and somewhat
primitive, as far as electronic music goes. There is a post Joy Division New
Order feeling to it that almost sounds like a karaoke jam. With shaky vocals
that are strong in some spots, schmaltzy in others, Faith is an
unashamed eighties throwback tune. Blind Before Dawn's Sensory is an
enjoyable, Depeche Mode-driven thumper that has a surprise chorus that sounds
pretty unique. Ceoxime's Sister Sin (Needles Mix) has an amateurish beat
box and routine keyboards, but an assertive bass and sultry vocals that get
lost only during the bridge save the song.
Complex Machine, who have three songs on this comp, starts
with The Offering. The beats hail Tackhead and early New Order with
aquatic synths and Indian chant that makes for a pretty slammin' instrumental.
VLE's Freedom to Fly is riffy punk/metal with a cool melody. The vocals
are overpowered, but this is a good thing; they are sludgy, perhaps because of
the need to compete with the vociferous chords. Control Theory's Synapse
Datastream is a hard-driving dance track not altogether unlike Gravity
Kills, while Reel's Full Control is a next-gen Latour with its
hammer-style dance jam complete with monotone vocals. People are still having
sex and doing it harder, apparently.
Still Warm, one of the more notable bands on the comp, has
two songs, Symptom 6 and Strange Constant. Symptom 6
leads with a hip hop beat that changes gears into an agro techno-rock stomp,
sounding very much like Dope. Strange Constant plays with its beats,
erratic at first with a crunchy metal riff, then becoming more rocksteady.
Artemis 23 seems like they want to mime the Psychocandy era of Jesus and
Mary Chain, particularly on Jackie, with its murky beat and straying
guitars, guitars that are equally abstract on What Can You Do. On both
tracks, the vocals are dicey, often slagged.
Complex Machine's Salvation remix has an industrial
trance whomp, as does Warbaby's Lock and Load, although Warbaby is far
more interesting with its splices of trip hop and beat accelerations. Forced
Police Action's Sanitarium has an old-school drum and bass fuck groove,
while Aggravated Static's Goth synths are not always smooth, choppy at times
with a fairly metered drum and bass track.
VLE gets the glorious moment of the compilation on their
instrumental Kano. For a moment, the beat doesn't seem as assured as the
synths, but in time, the lush composition usurps the beat and allows it to mate
with the instrumentation, which is often sensual. A gorgeous and confident
track, Kano unleashes itself and should've been the crowning song on the
compilation. However, Complex Machine rounds out the disc with Requiem (The
Complex Remix). The overpowering keyboards snuff a pretty acceptable
beatline, unfortunately making the song a bit run-of-the-mill. However, the
bass track keeps Requiem from floundering.
Very strong potential on Indie Nation. A somewhat
eclectic collection, many of these acts seem ready for club play at the least,
something bigger as they gain more experience.
Post: 1817 Oak Trl W Apt 206, Clearwater, FL 33764-7551, USA
Phone: (727) 530-3498