CD Review

Fake – “Los Angeles Synthetic”

By Marcus Pan

Los Angeles SyntheticKeyboardist for Imperative Reaction, head something for System Syn and now one man top dog for the 2002-created Fake, Clint Carney is trying to introduce us to his "aggressive, experimental side." So we have here Fake's debut, Los Angeles Synthetic, with it's heavy beats, synthetic washes and too-stompy-to-be-trance sounds.

Some of the better EBM/industrial that crossed my desk in a while, Fake delivers a heavier electronic sound than most EBM acts by leaving most of the trance-centric at home for Los Angeles Synthetic’s creation with the exception of background washes and windyness. Most of these elements can be hard to find, in tracks like Blood and Sin, hidden behind the heavier rhythms and masked by a Kraftwerkian vocal score for example. But if you listen hard enough you'll notice the synth melodies lying just under the rest.

Meanwhile, tracks like The Massacre, which follows, brings you to a less complicated song with interesting banjoish plucks and a smooth rhythm interspersed with bubbly synthetics. Vocals are left to their own designs without much metallic overlays and only slight reverb applied. Money to Kill For gets more hoppy with its sound and make-up with very deep feeling lyrics and heavy hitting verbige. You'll find this theme echoed throughout Los Angeles Synthetic – very strong language (not in the way of cursing, though you'll find some of that, but from a poetic standpoint). Fake could hang with The Strand(1) without a problem.

On the Edge is a dark instrumental with a drum march groove and paired off synthetic washes and melody. Worthy of Midnight Syndicate(2)...almost. Track nine is Los Angeles Synthetic, and starts off as what might be closer to trance than their other work while retaining a heavy handed beat. The song breaks into some of Fake's classic uppercut vocals, which slam nicely against the otherwise smoother synthetic sounds.

I'm not sure how to summarily finish this review. After all, Los Angeles Synthetic is a good CD. It's well packaged, professionally designed...Static Sky did a fine job with it. And Clint Carney provides a fine example of dark industrial and EBM...but somehow it doesn't cross that "best of" finish line. It gets so very close, and is certainly better than a lot, but doesn't break enough barriers to reach the very top of the pile. Finely wrought...but somehow it fades from memory quickly.

(1) The Strand’s latest, Diatom, was reviewed in Legends #145.
(2) Midnight Syndicate’s latest, their D&D Roleplaying Soundtrack, was given a fabulous review by Ray in Legends #140.
Contact Information:
Static Sky Records
Post: PO Box 2908, Glenville, NY, 12325, USA

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