Tuesday 5 May 2015

Review: Justin Symbol – 'Fuckhead'


New York's prince of alternative rock Justin Symbol returns with the remix companion to his recent début album 'Voidhead' in the form of 'Fuckhead'. It gets said a lot on this site that remix albums are much of a muchness these days and its now standard practice for bands and artists to extend the shelf-life of their releases and keep that all important club play going. But every now and then one comes along that moves beyond the standard “Here's five different versions of the same song, all of which you can dance to!” formula and delves deep to create something that is genuinely interesting.

With Justin Symbol's obvious debt to early Nine Inch Nails and Marilyn Manson you'd be inclined to think he'd be aiming for something that goes in a similar direction to 'Fixed', 'Further Down The Spiral', or 'Remix And Repent'. And you'd be right. Where 'Voidhead' played it a little too safe, 'Fuckhead' cuts loose and tears up the rules.

The contributions from the likes of FLO, Psyclon Nine, Scarred, Statiqbloom, EVA, and LEUNICH are worth the price of admission alone with their radical re-workings falling into the more experimental category than the dance-friendly one. And that's just what is needed, dark electro, noise, frantic chopped sounds, and some serious stripping-back add a dark and demented atmosphere to this album.

There are of course the big club orientated remixes from the likes of Angel Nightmare, Bile, Stereo Assassin and Vonesper, and they're okay, but pretty much as you'd expect to get on a remix album these days.

Overall it is an interesting remix album that features a stronger lean towards the experimental rather than the club-friendly. It takes more chances and reaps the rewards accordingly. It would be great to hear some of this experimentalism inform the execution of the follow-up to 'Voidhead' and inject something daring into Justin Symbol's sound to take it above and beyond.   

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