Stromkern Light it Up
By Marcus Pan
I was very excited when WTII
sent me Stromkerns full length. I really liked their maxi-single for
Stand Up(1) and Light It Up is definitely a harbinger of
spit-style industrial rap. Or something like that
really. Their last release, Armageddon, was their fourth studio album.
Light it Up has reached slot 1 on the DAC, the single Stand Up
hit number 4 on the DAC and they did an international ad campaign that
didnt include me but hey, Im used to that by now.
Nonetheless, I really dig this. Reminiscent of PTI(2) (also
submitted with their package was their latest, Exhaust) and SMP(3)
stylistically speaking. Televised opens Light it Up, grooviness
abounding. The vocals are swift but muted, giving off an element of deep rooted
anger without having to scream it. Reminders slides in some subtle
guitar riffage, clipping it under the vocals secretly. Its the subtle use
of guitar strains like this that make industrial music still worthwhile
if youre not Ministry, you should probably try to be creative like
Slow Cascade is a drum n bass classic, with
swiftly moving lyrics that would rival any gangsta type(4). And they use
English when they rap instead of making up words so they could cut a rhyme like
gangsta types. The chorus is alliteration at its finest. The tracks
progressive growth as melodies build upon melodies is just phenomenally good.
Forgiven slows it down into a metallic drone with more subtle guitar
one of the few and maybe only usages of guitar in what could be
considered a trance influenced tune, really.
Sentinel Sigue Sigues into the fray, lurching
on its robotic spindly legs making interesting rhythms and beat change-ups.
President Bush yarbles a bit as the phasers warm up to chunk for a swift firing
of lyrical content. And after this comes one of my all-time favorite industrial
anthems Stand Up. I went into this one in detail in the
maxi-single review, obviously, so I wont go on much here about it with
the exception of saying its still awesome. I cant sit still
when listening to this song. Delete brings Light it Up to a
banger of a close.
This is a good album and Ill be holding onto it. I
love the lyrics alliteration, rhyme, subtle but inwardly strong. A tad
political, definitely angry, but its a mature grown-up anger. Stromkern
are SMP with more maturity yes, I think that about sums it up.
Post: PO Box 13495, Chicago, IL, 60613, USA
Phone: (773) 989-4317
(1) Reviewed in
(2) PTIs Blackout was
reviewed in Legends #148.
(3) SMPs Terminal was
reviewed in Legends #104.
(4) Im not a hip hop fan
find the music a shouting receptacle for illiterate bantering, unintelligible
verbiage and I cant remember the last time I heard a hip hop top ten that
didnt rip off something from my generation both lyrically and