Tuesday 11 April 2017

Review: Cubanate – 'Brutalism'


The influence of the legendary British techno-rock outfit Cubanate cannot be understated. One of the first acts to cross frantic techno and rave electronics with gritty rock guitars they both courted controversy and intrigue in equal measure. They even managed some mainstream flirtations with a track featured on the Gran Tourismo video game, as well as a soundtrack appearance on Mortal Kombat, plus extensive tours with the likes of Gary Numan, Rammstein, The Sisters of Mercy and Front 242.

The band may have been relatively short-lived but, as the millennium came and went, the number of bands taking a direct influence from began to increase, thus securing their place in the annals of industrial rock.

The band's new release, 'Brutalism' is a retrospective that covers their first three albums, 'Antimatter', 'Cyberia', and 'Barbarossa' which yielded classic singles ‘Oxyacetylene’, ‘Body Burn’, and ‘Joy’. The fourteen tracks featured here represent the finest cuts of the band's early and perhaps most groundbreaking work. The tracks have been giving a loving remaster and as a result sound as though they were written and recorded yesterday, showing really just how far ahead of the curve Heal and Barry were back in the early-mid 90s.

Tracks such as 'Autonomy', 'Body Burn', 'Hatesong', 'Oxyacetalyne', 'Industry', 'Vortech I', and 'Joy' can still compete with the freshest industrial rock tracks today. Combining a punk rock abandon of convention, experimentalism and fundamentally good songwriting, this track list is a perfect introduction to the band.

The tracks are wild and anarchic rides perforated by techno beats, rave electronics and searing guitars that despite their quick and on the fly original recordings still measure up in 2017. The remastering has allowed the songs to shine through once more and though the scene may be home to more illegitimate offspring than ever, 'Brutalism' shows that Cubanate are definitely the daddies.  

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