Tuesday 29 January 2013

Review: Pittersplatter - 'Frozen'


The overwhelming urge is to compare Oklahoma based one-man-band Pittersplatter to 'The Smell Of Rain' era Mortiis. Indeed 'Frozen' is an ambient yet club-friendly electronic album and yes, multi-instrumentalist/vocalist Worm Splatter also looks like an extra from The Lord Of the Rings. But Pittersplatter is a very different beast. Whereas Mortiis' sound eventually found its way into industrial rock, Pitterplatter is very much grounded in the late 80s/early 90s electro-goth sound with nods to the likes of Skinny Puppy and Spahn Ranch.

'Frozen' is the second of a four-album story arc that began with 'The Dawn Of Carnage', and sticks fast to the band's elementary style established on the first album. Songs like 'The Dark', 'The Devil Made Me Do It', 'Glory' and 'The Waking' are mid-tempo, beat driven and uncomplicated songs that are catchy, performed very well and would be very easy to reproduce in a live setting. Occasionally there is a flourish of experimentalism, such as in the choral-driven centrepiece 'Desolate', but for the most part the songs stay well within their comfort zone.
In terms of production, the album has a very clean but very minimalistic mix. It sounds rough and old school which is inherently charming, but does make them sound a little dated in place. Which is a shame, as there are some strong songs here.

The project's monstrous imagery aside, the album is a charming display of the old school electro-goth sound and has a fair few club-friendly tracks in its modest running time. At just nine-tracks long the album doesn't outstay its welcome, and the similar pace of the songs doesn't get a chance to wear thin. However it is just missing that certain something that would see Pittersplatter evolve from an interesting oddity of the scene into one with serious clout.

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