V/A - "The Body, Spirit, And Mind"
By Marcus Pan
This is a long CD. It has nearly 75 minutes of gothic/industrial
and experimental music throughout. Seventeen songs in all! "The Body, Spirit,
And Mind" is a cross between a compilation and an album. It's like a
compilation because herein are more than one band out of Dallas, Texas. It's
like an album because there are only three bands and each has 5-6 of their
songs on it. The CD is separated into three portions. A band called "Push" hold
"The Body" section. "Hexenhaus" holds "The Spirit" and, you guessed it, next
comes "The Mind" in which lies the band "Furnace."
The Body: Push
Push's work is a dark and moody
droning. The bass is very deep and chunky with distinct notes. The percussion
tracks are scratchy and not as defined given their work a sliding sensation.
The distinct bass notes hold it together. Vocals are slightly modified to give
it a darker impression. The music has little in the way of sampling and I can
hear possible influences by Jesus & Mary Chain and their ilk deep inside
with their experimental guitar work and already-mentioned bass lines.
Their first track, Writhe, is probably one of the
best songs on the compilation. The bass bounces into you and the beat track is
coupled with a highly modified guitar progression. The vocals are breathed into
your ear - industrial orgasm style. The song is, after all, about sex. What
good goth/industrial compilation wouldn't have a great track about knocking the
proverbial boots, eh? "Love your flesh, love your breath, feast on your neck
now." Desert is served. Unfortunately, The Body Spirit saves the best
Lil' White Love, also by Push, is the third track on
the compilation and is also quite a good one. The chunky base here and
feedback-laden guitar riffs lend themselves to a good bout of stomp-style
dancing. Then there's the old-skool-Ministry style cut, Halloween In a
Suburb. It's both the name and the sound that begs me to draw this
comparison - it's the only track by Push where the synthesizers can be heard as
individual notes. I can only come up with snippets of lyrics at a time - not
because they're too distorted or not understandable, but because they're much
faster than the rest of their tracks. I wish I had a lyric sheet for this one,
because the snips I could make out before Push moves on to the next stanza are
ingenious. The rest of Push's tracks are well crafted with the same themes -
feedback guitars (more of a background instrument for these guys than most
bands), darker-modified vocals, sliding beat tracks and chunky bass lines.
The Spirit: Hexenhaus
Hexenhaus, "The Spirit"
portion of the compilation, are a more eclectic bunch. They're sound is more
experimental with chants, background grumbling and a more whining vocalization
style. It's reminiscent of dark rituals with strong synthesizer melodies. The
tracks are slower and lend themselves to eyes-closed trance rather than
stomping around on a dance floor. It's candle music - but the kind where the
candles are black and placed at strategic directional points. Their third track
(ninth on the CD), Crimson Dream, is a piece filled with a crescendo of
evil energy. Their bassline is stronger here than in other tracks they've
supplied to the compilers and the vocals are less chanted and more pronounced.
I detect a female vocal hidden behind the heavy piano portions of the song, but
that could be a synthesizer. It's my favorite of the Spirit selections.
The Mind: Furnace
ow we get to the industrial
genre with the work of Furnace. Tackling religion in their first track
(thirteenth on the CD), Receiving The Spirit, Furnace provides a
thumping, vox-ridden barrage of sound. It's anger music. "I'm in a really bad
mood so I'm going to blast Furnace!" Barely noticeable Gregorian chants reside
just beyond the chorus convalescing into the other sounds. Wish I had a lyric
sheet. You concentrate on listening to the lyrics, but then the slamming beats
bang it out of your head before you can process what they've just said.
Following Receiving The Spirit, the slow droning of Chemical
Exposure begins. This one gets monotonous after a while - as does other
tracks they've supplied for The Body Spirit.
The Body, Spirit, And Mind does not deliver on its promise
as stated on the cover. It claims to be "The Epitome of Darkwave - Goth -
Industrial." While it's not that bad, it is far from being an epitome of
anything. Some of the tracks are painful to sit through as they drone ever
onward claiming, as many others do, that they're "experimental!" Experimental
means you fuck around with sounds - not make the same one for a few minutes.
Push, by far, is the best project here. I don't know if these are bands made up
of the same members - messing with different musical genres under different
outfit names. There are some fine tracks here though, albeit few and far
between. Like a rough diamond culled from the earth that now needs to be
polished and cut - most of it cut - so that it can shine brighter.
Post: R.C.W., P.O. Box
110936, Carrollton, TX, 75011-0936