Tuesday 24 November 2015

Review: Caustic – 'Industrial Music'

'Industrial Music'

If 'The Golden Vagina Of Fame And Profit' was Matt Fanale's club album, and 'The Man Who Couldn't Stop' was his grand concept album, then 'Industrial Music' is a return to his roots. Matt Fanale's recent output under the Caustic moniker, along with his work with Beauty Queen Autopsy, The Causticles and Prude has shown the world that the king of Jizzcore is industrial's answer to Mike Patton. Moving one from his DIY, rough and ready style into ever more eclectic waters Fanale has shown he has the sight and talent to create fresh, exciting and memorable music.

After another successful Kickstarter campaign, the first full-length Caustic album in three years – and the début on new label Negative Gain Productions – sees Fanale making a stand and embracing the industrial tag. Returning to the big distorted beats, crunchy synths and aggressive vocals that characterised his Crunch Pod years, but adding the skill and experience that made 'The Golden Vagina...' and 'The Man Who Couldn't Stop' such must have albums. The cover may be a simple and straight forward design evocative of something from the heyday of Factory Records, but that black and yellow colour scheme should also serve as a warning that Fanale means business.

Tracks such as 'Bomb The Clubs', 'Scream Your Name', 'Military Facist Show', 'Fuck In A Suit', 'Toxic Waste', and 'Why Because' in essence hark back to the likes of 'This Is Jizzcore' and 'Unicorns, Kittens And Shit' with elements of breakbeat, industrial, noise, and hard ebm coming through. However the arrangements are more mature and well-rounded and there is still a nice club-potential feel on each of them. Also, lyrically the album is more dynamic, clear-minded, and vitriolic than ever and in keeping with the wry and intelligent humour of his previous two efforts. The end result is something that while it has that DIY feel to it, it is far more grown up and polished that could sit alongside classic album or two with ease..

The album also shows off the deeper and more subtle end of Fanale's sonic palette with the down-tempo and almost psychedelic 'Gravity Bong'. The dark malice of 'The Casualties' featuring the melodic counterpoint of Aaimon's Nancy. While the album's parting shot 'Bleached Asshole/The Deafening Beat Of My Heart' delves into rhythmic noise and dark ambient before erupting into the anguished and repeated screams of “
All I hear is the deafening beat of my heart.” Its an incredibly powerful track that's strength lies in its simplicity and the impact of its final sentiment.

'Industrial Music' is a very strong album that shows more of Matt Fanale exposing himself as an artist than ever before. The humour is present, but less in your face in the music. The gritty DIY feel has returned, but is executed with greater skill and expertise than ever before. With this album Fanale continues to take risks and they continue to pay off for him. It is not an album that takes any steps backwards. It continues to push forward and in doing so reclaiming industrial music as a tag to be proud of.  

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