Hailing variously from Germany, Norway and the US, Zeromancer (to the great relief of those of us for whom shrieking mimes wear thin), parleys a truckload of non-metal influences -- sounds which smack of Orgy, Nine Inch Nails, Pet Shop Boys and even the Beatles -- into a 12 song platter that reinterprets gothicka/aggro/hard industrial/techno/house/trance 'tude for another century, scoured with hits from a disco ball death star.
Cynical, sleek, tongue-in-cheek, and always entertaining, Zeromancer belong in some perennial nightclub scene from the crammed prose of one of Bruce Sterling or William Gibson's cyberpunk sagas. Yet again, it's not all hearts of glass or deathtripping, as these gender-jacked freaks melt down the edge with soulful melody lines and catchy, even commercial, hooks.
"Doctor Online" rips on the faceless, mechanical dance by which goods, services and junk data exchange online addresses; the bottom line to this ride is the bland efficiency of technofix, and a near-future vision where self-slaughter may well convey the ultimate necromantic narcissism.
There's so many good tunes to choose from here, although the title track, "Need You Like A Drug" and "Chromebitch" stand out from the pack. Nevermind that the guy on the cover eerily resembles the evil fashion guru essayed by Saturday Night Live star Will Farrell in Zoolander; one gets the sense that Zeromancer's in on the joke and embracing the realm of camp while lending the old abyss a shiny gloss. They take plastic and they take cash, and can be had from any good record store; plus, there's always Amazon. Self-indulgence is back and Cleopatra's got 'em.