CD Review

Electra-Kill – “The Death of Venus 292”

By Marcus Pan

UnstableOveractive press kit aside, where the duo of Kill X and R.S. Saidso somehow in the course of a mere seven years create an entirely new electronic movement stemming from Paris that leads the masses to...well whatever. Press kit aside, Electra-Kill is pretty good stuff. If Kurt Cobain grew up next door to Al Jourgensen, Nirvana might have sounded something like this.

Mixing elements of heavy thrash with electro-pop sensibilities and stylings, Electra-Kill kick out their second CD, The Death of Venus 292. Their first was in 2000, called the Enema Demos, and according (again we refer to the embellished press kit) to them has earned them the title of "music for the doomed generation." Now while the jury is out as to how doomed we really are, The Death of Venus 292 is certainly doom-saying, brutal and often heavy.

The CD itself is packed in a nice cardboard fold out and is filled with imagery of a tortured mind. Oh...and some tits and ass too. A brutal police file opens on the inside with images of S&M worked into the theme. Verbiage on the inner folds with credits and your other typical inside-the-jacket information is written...backwards. A mirror image. I assume Electra-Kill meant to do that to be different. But that part of the package is just as annoying as the "R" in Toys 'R Us. No need to try so hard guys, your music's already good.

From the cliché' named opener Bring the Pain, the otherwordly synthesizers and muted guitars coalesce into a cacophony of heavy thunder. The following Already Nothing is definitely Marilyn Manson in sound and design. The press kit brings my attention to track three, Don't You Try and Break My Heart, a heavy handed request from a really tortured kind of guy. Lyrics are a little banal, but the song is otherwise still a kicker. And while the lyrics of Start Over Again is once again not too inventive, the keyboards really evoke a dark horror-like dirge.

You're No Angel's guitar work is excellent and I dig the opening brash electronics of Smile. Lyrically this song is very Mansonish...extremely similar in fact to the Antichrist Superstar album. Again we see similar on Drop Your Halo ("Drop your halos full of sin" is spooky kid level poetry) – catchy rhythms, well layed music and synth/guitar work are damaged by blasé lyrical content.

Overall, The Death of Venus 292 is certainly good work and I like it. Electra-Kill is certainly a worthwhile outfit. But their attempt at pushing shock value is annoying especially what-with the clichés apparent. The backward text, the banal lyrical content the claims of achieving god-like status in the "Paris underground" in a mere seven years – their work as a whole is worthy enough to not require all this bullshit to sell. If they relied on their music more maybe they'd spend more time writing really good lyrics to combine with their already really good arrangements.

Contact Information:
Gestalt Records
Post: 3650 Osage St., Main Floor, Denver, CO, 80221, USA

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