CD Review

Son of Rust - "Silicon Gene"

By Mike Ventarola

Silicon GeneJustin Coope - Lyrics, Lead Vocals, Electronic Music Ben Purdy - Lead Guitar, Electronic Music, Vocals Michael Pacheco - Vocals, Electronic Music Tad Heppner - Lyrics, Vocals

Portland, Oregon is home to this innovative band that have become the highlight at www.riffage.com. These young men have so impressed the fans and ultimately the honchoâ's at Riffage, that the company hand picked this band to be a part of their promotional CD. Their just released Silicon Gene showcases their ability to render impassioned love lost yearnings, angst and descriptive observations about our decaying sensibilities. It is rare that a dance tune can carry the emotional impact that has been accomplished on this disc. This band not only achieves that pinnacle, but transcends the notion about industrial music being heartless and devoid of soul.

The microscopic DNA graphic looms ominously from the cover, hinting to the symbiotic absorption this group will have upon the listener while also being indicative of becoming machine made elements in man's future. Track one opens with, Silicon Gene. This an electronic heavy drum bass dance cut that pays homage to the computer whiz kids of today. In essence, the machine obsessed type of people who live for electronic stimulation and interaction exclusively. The vocals are not the strongest on this track, but the harmonics and samples that are blended into the mix are significant enough to make you want to dance.

I Can't Wait is a heavy industrial cut, reminiscent of NIN, which deals with the angst of love. Again, the vocals are a bit weak. The true star of the music is the danceable composition that pounds with wall to wall heavy rhythm that one cannot ignore its front end diva like placement. One could surmise that the electronics play as the female lead to this sound. Darkly brooding in ballad like fashion, What Am I Now deals with the tome of machine made parts that replace the human organs as seen in today's medical profession. It raises the question of self classification after pondering the issue of being an organically created machine. This is a unique reinterpretation of a Kafka like nightmare that is no longer science fiction but a fact of life. The vocals are good on this cut and are used to maximum advantage.

Whatever It Takes brings us to the neurosis of one who is emotionally willing to become a chameleon in order to obtain the object of love's affection. This is a mid-tempo groove that incorporates scratches, Euro-pop and industrial riffs that make it another danceable cut. The ineffectiveness of being a love chameleon is further explored in I Can't Be Sane. The depth of self loss and loneliness due to this type of subjugation is clearly written and examined in this mid tempo Kraftwerk/NIN emotional hybrid tune. This song is a declaration towards purging events and people who have misappropriated aspects of one's soul.

Common Ground, a slow dark Gothic ballad with an industrial trip hop flavor, employs good vocals to make this a nice midnight dance club cut. The electronic soundscape moves across the speaker placement giving rise to the sensation of motion. This is the jilted lover who pleads for reconciliation in a sad fervent codependent way, but somehow realizes it will never come to pass. Lyrically, this track is more poetic in description with just enough ambiguity to allow the listener to come up with their own interpretation. One of my favorite cuts, Disturbing Universe, is devoid of vocals except for the usage of samples. An especially humorous dialogue sample at the opening of the song makes buying this album worth it just for that alone. We are repeatedly informed via sound bytes that "this is indeed a disturbing universe." A declaration of a generation who have witnessed the decimation of our planet by the greed mongers without a care for the future to come. At the same time, it highlights the annihilation we impose on the hearts of those we love. It doesn't seep into mawkish gloom, but pokes fun at this reality. This is accomplished with another humorous sound byte of current icon Homer Simpson at the end of the song. It is a dance track with all the right elements for industrial club play.

Son of RustThis Time I predict will be Son of Rust's big hit. It opens with a nod toward Company B's Fascination but then segue's into an erotic dance tempo with expertly reverbed vocals that are now in full control of the range of the music. Some sampled moaning and love play are interspersed throughout. The erotic nature of the song is made somewhat more heartbreaking due to the poetic lyrics dealing with betrayal. From this lyrical vantage point you are aware that the orgasmic groans are playing out like a tortured memory as opposed to titillating fantasy. Another NIN flavored recording, The Devil Inside Me, presents with compressed vocals, dance beats and intelligently placed samples. It extrapolates the harrowing experience of love yet again, only this time giving up and giving in to "a lonely hurting hell that can never leave."

Strange pulls out the stops with the trip hop techno/industrial hybrid. The song deals with finally reaching a point of self actualization during the grieving phase of lost love. "I woke up in the middle of a scream/tearing down the walls of this sentimental scene." Just Once reminded me of Noel's Silent Mourning during the intro opening. This cut has been re-worked with extra reverb on the vocals. Sampled dialogue is placed at various points. We are warned of "doors opening that can lead to simple pleasures, be it heaven or hell." It is a dance tune that could also effectively become another big hit for this group.

The mesmerizing fact is that these four young men managed to create an industrial dance sound that is unique and infectious without the aid of a major studio label. Equipment that is outdated by about 5 years has been stretched beyond imagination to sound like it is up to the minute technology. The composition through the electronic medium is the star of this disc with the young prodigies the willing and expert master and servants. Unlike other industrial artists, Son of Rust truly create a multitude of hybrid sounds that are layered beneath the veneer of each song. They brilliantly experiment with all types of musical labels and rework it to fit their agenda. The absolute dedication to their craft is more than evident on each cut. Every member masterfully asserts their talent on this production and will earn them many fans in this musical genre.

Contact Information:
Post: Major Entertainment, 72 East Dedham St., Suite #5, Boston, MA, 02118
Phone: (617) 770-4986
Fax: (617) 422-0032
E-Mail: CovenXIII@aol.com
Web: http://www.coven13.com