There are super groups and then there is Primitive Race. Boasting members of acts such as Pop Will Eat Itself, Peter Murphy, <PIG>, KMFDM, Ministry, Tricky, Nitzer Ebb, Combichrist and others in its ranks the group headed by Chris Kniker evoke everything that is great about industrial rocks past, present and future. The sound is hard to pin down though. It is a hard mix of industrial rock and ebm, but here are so many different flavours that bubble to the surface courtesy of the revolving line up of musicians and vocalists on every track. It's a veritable smorgasbord of world class talent coming together to do what they do best.
Songs such as 'Follow The Leader', 'Cage Rattler', 'Acceptance Of Reality', and 'Below Zero' favour a rockier blend that melds chugging guitars, and filthy bass with a steady dance pace, and fist-in-the-air sing-a-long moments. While the likes of 'So Strange', 'Addict Now', 'Taking Things Back', 'Platinum Balls', and 'DJFH' bring the electronics higher in the mix to create some hard, nasty, but dance friendly cuts for the clubs. But no matter which direction the song goes it is hard to find a bad example of their collective song writing or performances on this album. The line between rocking and dance-friendly is a fine balance that is executed with the ease that you'd expect from an experienced roster such as this.
There is a nice gritty side to the production that compliments both the guitar driven tracks as well as the electronic ones. It is identifiably classic industrial but it doesn't try to replicate the familiar Nothing and Wax Trax! albums of yesteryear. Instead it feels appropriate for 2015 with a nice mix and mastering job that preserves the grittiness without any loss of fidelity.
Primitive race may be a new moniker, but it's members are some of the most respected names associated with industrial, ebm, and gothic music of the last 30 years. As such, this first full-length outing feels fully formed and actualised without any straining to find a niche. Fans of classic acts such as <PIG>, KMFDM, Skinny Puppy, Nitzer Ebb, Ministry, and Nine Inch Nails will feel right at home with this. While those just taking their first steps into the scene will find this album sits comfortably on the shelf next to modern acts like 3Teeth, Youth Code, Caustic, and Project F. As for album number two, the collective will need to work hard to top this.