CD Review

Infrastructure – “Salt the Earth”

By Marcus Pan

Salt the EarthBlipping and beeping and burping about go Infractructure, out of Boston, Mass. with their debut release Salt the Earth.

This CD might be quite good if not for the fact that I could use previous reviews of like-minded music and be done with this one with nothing more than strategically changing the names. But on the outset, Infrastructure's Salt the Earth has a bit of a higher digital sound to their tracks. While plenty of bands of their ilk have a very analog feel to them, Infrastructure has instead garnished for themselves a lighter, more airy technological tack. But unfortunately while it does have a truly digital feel to it, it lacks the originality or "signature sound" that the press kit promises me.

However, the press kit also says there's catchy beats and rhythms as well as precisely laid percussion and this, as you can guess by my digital description of Infrastructure's music, is quite accurate. Stacia Tucker's vocals aren't bad at all, though not overly noteworthy – just good enough I suppose. Salt the Earth is one of those CDs that can fade in and out of existence...every now and then there's a good breakdown that I'll remember for a song or two, but not much beyond the close of the CD.

Toy Soldier is one of these, with an opening rhythm that has a sinister, mechanical and fresh feel to it. This is one of Salt the Earth's tracks that reminds me most strongly of Nothing Inside(1)...a trance-like, yet more grounded [than actual trance] feel...slippery but in touch.

Righteous for example has a buttery feel to it, with an up tempo beat and atmospheric melodies that hang out higher than the vocals giving the song a fuller feel. Unfortunately Pure comes in next and really pushes the stock-beat sample thing, with a standard fare snare track, airy trance-like melodies and lightly applied digital bass that doesn't overpower, yet doesn't shine either.

One thing that Infrastructure has a great knack at doing is winding in truly interesting pieces of melody and rhythm together...things that don't seem to fit well together at first thought, but wind around each other with interesting and notable results. You'll hear it very well done here on track four, Fair and Balanced, and you'll note it done with stranger almost surreal results with a whistley melody wound into the album's opening Dream Dealer.

Track nine brings you War Among Prisoners, a more trance-oriented instrumental. It's decent techno/trance with airy sinister qualities and it grows slowly larger in scope and in sound, but it's still nothing to write home about. Later on Unfair and Unbalanced, a remix of the previous Fair and Balanced, cut.rate.box's Clint Sand mixes it up into a techno stomp groove taking the interesting melodies, slamming a heavier bass against it and messing with vocal cut-ups to create one of the best tracks on Salt the Earth. Strange how their guest has run away with the highlight of the CD…

(1) Nothing inside has a review of some releases in Legends #134, and more distantly are reviews as far back as #91.
Contact Information:
Infrastructure
Post: P.O. Box 997, Medford, MA, 02155, USA
Phone: (617) 416-6376
E-Mail: infrastructure@rcn.com
Web: www.angeldustrial.com/infrastructure