Album review by KevW for www.soundsxp.com
Belgium might be the home country of Grégoire Fray, but for his third album as Thot, he's traversed Europe, recording sections at home, in France, Switzerland and the Czech Republic. Having had the time to perfect his own type of industrial rock, including remixing the likes of Nine Inch Nails, Justice, Carina Round and Depeche Mode, along with building up a solid live reputation with his band, 'The City That Disappears' starts off intense and pummeling, and then turns it all up to eleven, until it sounds as though there are major construction works taking place inside your head. The opening combo of 'Hrtz' and 'Rhythm.Hope.Answers' let you know you may be in for a rough ride.
It's not all a relentless barrage of sound though. 'Keepers' eases us in with a welcome break of relaxed piano, although it has an ominous air, as though it could just be the calm before the storm. The storm duly comes as what sound like melting electrical devices screech into action and add a layer of scree over the song. 'Dédale' doesn't go easy on the atmospherics either, with layer upon layer of sound giving the impression that pressure is building and soon everything will explode. Pounding beats and a spoken-word vocal add to this as the noise begins to rise and rise, before suddenly dropping straight into 'Blank Street', the kind of darkwave electro-rock that Depeche Mode themselves became known for. Thot have a few tricks up their sleeves, and what at first seems a harsh and unforgiving record, twists and turns to show that there's more on offer.
Combining the lot (industrial beats, cold, dark atmosphere, vocals that are rammed into your ears, a multitude of different forms of noise, a willingness to forget about conventional song form) is 'Negative Buildings', and for a snapshot of what it is that Thot do, this would be a good place to start, especially as there's more of an epic feel and a skull-shattering ending. Those of a more nervous disposition may prefer to ease their way into the world of Thot with 'Traces' which is more relaxed all round, but be prepared for the odd blast of sharp static to be spat in your face and a gradual build to a climax of fizzing sonic bullets. Extended closer 'Citizen Pain' just about has it all and is quite possibly the best song here; urgent, full-on, no holds barred industrial electro-rock to shatter your psyche beyond repair. 'The City That Disappears' probably isn't the album to listen to on the morning after the night before, but that night before, the one where you were off your face beyond belief, that's when Thot will affect your mental state in ways it may not have experienced for a while.
Stream or buy the album
Catch them live:
FRI 27 JUN Unknown venue,Andenne, Belgium
SAT 12 JUL La Cuisine On Stage 2014, Chiny, Belgium
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