Sunday 26 May 2013

Drunk Robots - aftermath

Album review by

We've gotten a taste of what the Drunk Robots are up to after previously covering their debut, aptly titled LP 'WE ARE THE DRUNK ROBOTS', their subsequent EP 'DRONES & BONES', and single 'Collapsing Labyrinth' off this year's new album. Frankly, it's mostly a double dose of the same kind of shrieking, screeching bulky-eroded-tin-pulverizing-all-that-stands-in-its-way feel you get from the group's first foray into rackety beat-making. It starts with the vigorous and punchy 'Playing in the Wreckage', a fiery build-up that's quintessential with the band's trademark hostile sound with those thick, encompassing distorted textures. The single 'Collapsing Labyrinth', which we've covered in January, then blasts forth and efficiently blurs the lines between metal and industrial with the same sort of resonating chaos that's available abundantly all over this album.

'Noise Is Resistance' typifies what this amusing Portuguese group is all about; noise and lots of it. The vocals of a child chime in to confidently assure us that, well, noise is resistance. I don't think I've heard vocals in any other tracks by the band, so clearly this is a message that is important for them to convey. Cue many more massively distorted, dissonant landscapes in the brooding 'A New Entropy' and the curious 'Gaia Shall Revenge!' which sounds like the background music to an evil arch-nemesis being reborn in freakish form. The energy level just doesn't drop and it's evident that these guys have an appetite for what they're doing.
A curious mix of crunchy industrial noise and desolate droney beats goes on and barely settles down for the 50-odd minutes or so of the album, with familiar aggressive synths from the first album back here in former glory, like in the ill-tempered 'While Shiva Dances', the most interesting specimen on the album for me. It's like a seven-minute symphony of bleakness in overdrive before it metamorphoses into what sounds like a peculiar outing in a vast desert.

This very entertaining Portuguese group have shaped 'aftermath' like a soundtrack to a futuristic cyberpunk film, where gargantuan half-men-half-machines violently smash shit for fun during battle scenes. Think Transformers breaking off the shackles of their PG-13 rating and writing their own script from scratch (get it?). With that said, the closing track 'Towards the Great Sea' is a bit different than the previous numbers, and has a more melodic, electronic vibe to it that reminds me of how the Drunk Robots' first album ended with 'Sunday's Last Cigarette'. It's a little more sad and poignant and shows the group's artistic depth that leaves me excited about hearing what they come up with next.

Drunk Robots' website

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