Sunday 8 July 2018

Review: AlterRed – 'Trauma: Trauma Reinforcement'

'Trauma: Trauma Reinforcement'

The curtain rises once again on the electro-creepshow as London's AlterRed unveil their fifth full-length studio album 'Trauma: Trauma Reinforcement'. Picking up where 2015's 'In The Land Of The Blind' Left off, the band continue to evolve a heavier and darker sound that leaves the cabaret-tinged electro rock style of their first three albums behind.

A dark mournful piano intro opens the album providing a stylistic link back to their earlier material, but the inclusion of the sample over the top hints at the darker more industrial material which is subsequently revealed by the first track proper the frantic and grinding 'Speed Test'. The guitars are louder and nastier, the beats are harder and faster, the synths more scathing and sharp and Mikey's vocals take or a distinctive snarl.

The album maintains a hard rocking angsty backbone with tracks such as 'Wait For The Recoil', 'Mad Dogs', 'Breaking News', 'PS Fuck You', 'You Get Nothing', and 'Bohemian Class' providing plenty of opportunities to wreck your neck. But there is also playfully disturbed edge that incorporates the dramatic flair of their previous work with tracks such as 'Dead & Cold', 'Only Way Is Down', and the inspired cover of 'Wild Boys' bringing some variety to the fast tempo rage.

This is the band's heaviest work too date and while there are still nods to the sound pioneered on their early work, this is a much darker and grittier production. More raucous and punk rock in it's spirit and industrial in it's outlook. Not quite electro-punk and nor quite industrial rock, but rather an intelligent take on both. They've nicely balanced their melodic avant-garde charms with with violent incorporation of heavier elements well. It continues to show that AlterRed have a lot more versatility to their sound than they have previously shown.

'Trauma: Trauma Reinforcement' is a strong, pissed-off album that grabs you by the ears and forces you to follow it to the end. AlterRed have hit their stride with this album and it is sure to attract fans of the heavier end of the electro rock/industrial rock scene but it still does enough to keep the interest of long-term fans. The band's continued musical evolution sees them stronger than ever.

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