This is Corrosion Sister Machine Gun

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Artist Digicore
Album Without Freedom
Record Label Armalyte Industries
Artwork by Matt Buckley
Year 2010

Industrial? Hardly, though the punk angst and anarchy of the album is certainly imbued with sound-pounding and stretches of electronica, all tossed in the hopper with alternating harsh and melodic vox that overall does a fair job reminding of veteran punk faves such as Trice or Finch. The trip is one of screamo versus melancholia, an odd smelting at best; but the ride (more a journey in search of identity) is not unpleasant, especially for those who like the ear-beating of thrashcore and garage grunge as well as pure old-school destroy-the-world-before-it-destroys-us punk. The intro to the album “We Will Protect You” titillates with a tease of throw-back to rock-tinged 16-Volt like electro -- but that welcome reminiscence fades very quickly into the madness and mayhem that overall characterizes the band’s effort track to track on the forward part of the disc. The next track, “Without Freedom”, follows the intro like a tribute to democracy on a slam-dance platform, a bit more in the nature of the clamor of pots and pans than rhythm, but not unenjoyable if you like kicking the shit out of stuff in the kitchen. A few crunchy sounds thrown in for good measure and the revolution is definitely underway. “Obey!” continues the raucous progress of the album with an interesting insertion of a choral backdrop in the early going against hard-driving beats that, again, represents only the slightest diversion before the inevitable disintegration into the-world-is-fucked-up screamfest takes over once more. But that's not a bad thing. Something along the lines of the band Refused. “Cyberpunks Unite” and “Tear It Up” are the next two bangers yet they manage to blur into one punky jumping thumping nonstop thrash. “Where Were You” does nothing to stabilize the meltdown until a few minutes into the track when a strangely thoughtful beat gives us a brief sedative quality, a perspective-gathering walk ... right back to the crumbling edge where insanity waits to recapture the listener. The mash-em-up / smash-em-up advances still more on the heavily-guitared “No Rest for the Rebels” and breaks into “One of Us” that gives a nod to an industrial music set until the vigorous drumkit work and a snatch of sinister vox succumbs to the characteristic screamo from-the-gut vocals that really stand as the benchmark of this outing through most of the front production.

A turning point comes with the track “Parasite” as we get into the final turns of the disc. This one offers a quite engaging Linkin Park-type start-up that takes a quick spike into the old "harsh and noisy", then pongs back to near emo that is strangely well-placed against an electro background. The more melodic vocals make me think of the fine-throated singer of a band from a few years back known as Alaska Highway. “Chaos” caused me to drift on a nice blend of sounds, and “Your World is a Lie” was very much an impressive Static X-ish headbanger.

“We Will Fall (Remix)” by ChopChop: Maniacal and brutal are the only words for this track. Punk on steroids?? Think spiked-hair, tattoos and whiskey bottles.

“Cyberpunks Unite (2 bit edit)” finishes the album up with one of the coolest tracks, would likely work in a frantic scene in some version of “The Hills Have Eyes” … the repetitive “it’s too late” chorus really brings the feel of doom to the room. For this reviewer, a top flight outro.

IN ALL: THE last quarter or so of this album defined it for me, and made it worthwhile. You’ve really got to dig the old harsher punk styles to love Digicore and be willing to go with the faster-pace and intensity that the band sets up. Would I buy the album? Yes. Enjoy it? Yes, definitely. 3.5 (and sometimes a 4) on a 5.0 scale. Better things could be ahead if the band succeeds in carving out its true identity. This one is a bright light beginning.

-Brandon L. Clark

Rating 7 out of 10

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