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I'm not sure, exactly, who was responsible for the current flood of
metal/industrial hybrids that is upon us like locusts. Maybe it was Al
Jourgensson; maybe it was Trent Reznor. More likely, someone whose name is much
less familiar than either of these.
Whoever he is, we all need to take him outside and slap him around for fifteen
or twenty minutes.
At one time, heavy metal was the exact antithesis of this keyboard and drum
machine driven drivel; metal bands were proud to not use synthesizers, proud
that all the music was produced by them. And they'd never, in a million years,
dream of using samples or scratching.
Well, no more. It's gotten into certain people's heads that it's very easy to
make fast, heavy, aggressive music with sequencers and tape loops, and
songwriting and inventiveness have suffered as a result.
Nowhere is this more apparent than on Immune, the new release from
Puncture. Impossibly uncreative songs run from one right into the next, with
absolutely nothing outstanding to distinguish any of them. The vocals are
typical industrial stuff: half bad-ass soliloquy, half tortured screaming. The
music sounds like it may have been generated at random by five lines of code
written on an Apple II computer, and there's not a realistic drum sound anywhere
in the whole mess. Of course, we have the requisite sound clips from sundry
horror movies and television shows. It all adds up to an album that begs to be
And it's not as if this kind of music can't be done well, either. Inner Thought
did the techno-death thing to perfection on Perspectives, and El Dopa shows us
how samples can be used to good effect on United in States of Narcolepsy. But
what Puncture has given us is not anywhere near the level of those great works;
indeed, it's a one-listen album that is completely forgettable.
Added: January 1st 2004
Reviewer: Duncan Glenday
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