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Puncture: Immune

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 turned off.

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
Hits: 2711
Language: english

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