Tyler Newman is perhaps better known for his work with Battery Cage and Informatik which released albums on Metropolis Records. The producer and musician's new vehicle Negative_Crush sees him return after four years in the studio, on his own with a doom, shoegaze, and post-metal infused industrial rock sound reminiscent of acts such as Jesu, Nine inch Nails, and My Bloody Valentine. It's bleak, low-fi and gritty. It's also very catchy.
Scathing guitars, spiky drums, anguished vocals and machine noise come together in an effortless way to convey an emotional roller-coaster of angst and despair conveyed in the lyrics. However its also very catchy and accessible for fans of intelligent industrial rock.
Songs such as 'Your Punishment Begins At Home', 'Monokrom', 'Your Secret Is Safe With Me', 'Disappear Here' and 'Burning Red Sun' provide a back bone of solid riffs, entrancing synths and a steady dance/head-bang friendly pace that is utterly infectious. While the likes of 'Twilight Hospitals', 'The Ghost Of Myself', and 'Too Many Of Us Are Dying' take things in a slightly more avant garde direction playing with the song structures, and in the case of 'Too Many Of Us Are Dying', introducing acoustic elements.
In terms of production it has a noticeably low-fi and experimental edge to it. Its rough, ready and uncompromising and on the whole this works really well without the album losing much in the way of overall sound quality. There are a few instances of the vocals getting lost in the mix which can hit the ear wrong against the rest of the track, but even this imperfection still works within the whole.
'Invisible_Weapons' is a promising first step from a very interesting new project. The music in terms of its components may feel familiar to fans of genres such as post metal, noise rock, shoegaze and industrial rock in particular, but Newman has put them together in his own way, and the result is something truly inspired. Hopefully Newman will have more Negative_Crush in the pipeline to build on this release.