Ever the harbinger, never the creator."
-- Everything Goes Cold, "Monsters of the Modern Age"
Artist(s): Everything Goes Cold
Album: vs. General Failure
(An aside: Oddly enough, that was the same night I met Nero Bellum/Marshall Carnage, who actually co-founded Psyclon Nine alongside EGC's frontman Eric Gottesman... and a few days later, I met Josef Heresy - the other founding member of Psyclon Nine. I'd say: "Weird", but I get the feeling that it isn't really - the scene is close knit enough in the Bay Area that this is just sort of par for the course around here.)
What I like most about EGC is the intense sense of the absurd to many of their tracks. Songs about ex-girlfriends stealing time machines to erase your existence and buddies hawking each others' organs to finance a used van really play to a niche that I didn't even know ever existed - a kind of Industrial-Punk-Dysfunctional-Comedy, if you will.
Even the non-overtly funny songs seem to carry a strong sardonic streak, but don't let that fool you. EGC has somehow managed to still sneak a bit of pathos and social commentary into all that cynical humor.
Highlights: The entire "vs. General Failure" album is fairly solid, with a heavy industrial beat, an oft-grim humor, good sampling from unused sources (believe me... there's a growing overlap of samples these days), and a clean sound uncluttered with extra noise.
Among my particular favorites from this album -
"I’ve Sold Your Organs on the Black Market To Finance the Purchase of a Used Minivan" - Really, the name on the tin explains the subject matter quite clearly. But extra bits like the chorus of: "you're not worth enough to be sacred, all you're worth is my transportation!" and "I'll have room for seven and you'll be saving ten. I can help your girlfriend move with your help!" just hit it home if you weren't sure. A hard beat, heavy guitar, and Gottesman's sardonic vocals really give it all the edge it deserves.
"Ice Brigade" is pretty much a song for super-villains trying to rule the world. "The forces of good will descend and obey. They are the reason and we are the way!" It's like Darth Vader got his own band... and ditched the re-breather (I mean, I bet that breathing issue would fuck up someone's ability to sing. Maybe that's why he was so pissed off all the time? He couldn't sing about his feelings.). Lots of heavy synth, an military-march cadence to the beat, and the warcry of "ICE BRIGADE!!" truly characterize this song about world domination.
"Bitch Stole My Time Machine" is the sad but all-too-common tale of the end of a relationship and the resulting inevitable urge of one party to completely erase the existence of the other from the timeline. Really, who doesn't identify with this song (as either the aggressor or the victim)? A good taste of the guitar, strong symphonic elements, and Gottesman's strangely pathos-inducing lyrics combine amazingly well to convey a mythic tale of love-gone-paradox.
I also really immensely enjoy "Fail", "Don't Quit Your Day Job", and "Monsters of the Modern Age" - but I try to keep myself from raving about too many songs in one sitting. Better that you listen and hear the awesome for yourself.
Final Thoughts: I enjoyed EGC when I heard them in person. My appreciation of them has only increased as I've listened to and fully grokked their album.
It seems to turn up on my MP3 player much more often than odds should indicate with all the other stuff on there (Gottesman evil plan involving MP3-player-hacking music-viruses coming to fruition?); and yet I never skip to the next song.
As I mentioned above, it's not your regular industrial fare. But if you like your music a little comic-bookish, a little coldwave, a little humorous, and a lot awesome, Everything Goes Cold serves up an amazing sampler platter of their range with "vs. General Failure".
P.S. Before I go - Eric Gottesman is launching a new club-night at Cafe du Nord tonight- Anti-Life. I probably won't be able to make it, unfortunately (silly lack of planning on my part), but I suspect it might be fairly awesome and hope some of you other darklings can make it even if I can't.
-- Mr. M.