Industrial is a genre that is barely spoken about anymore. The genre has faded since its peak in the early ’90s. I still remember being in high school back then and seeing kids with KMFDM shirts on. Those days are long gone for better or for worse.
CHMCL STR8jJCKT is the first band I have heard in a while that brought back the nostalgia of old school industrial. When I was listening to their self-titled album CHMCL STR8jJCKT the two bands that came to mind were Marilyn Manson and KMFDM. However, other notable industrial bands were evident as well with multiple spins.
The band gets a lot of things right including that forward moving march of a drum beat that was a staple of the genre. I thought the music was exciting, energy filled, well delivered and diverse. My one gripe with this album is the lack of vocals hooks and notable choruses. The vocals in general sometimes felt secondary to the music because of this. They had no problem delivering a solid verse but on a couple of songs it's like they were teasing me with an explosive chorus that never comes.
Up first is “Dressed To Kill” which has undeniable similarities to Marilyn Manson especially within the vocal delivery. It’s one of the highlights with a kinetic beat and a devilishly dark tone.
“One Last Salute” is a large white ball of chaotic distortion. The vocals veer towards being spoken the entire song. One of their best moments was around the two-minute mark where the song boiled down to electronic elements.
“Dead Flat Black” has a beat that reminds me of what most people think of when they think of Industrial. The vocals are thrown around the song which felt like another element rather than a lead. “House Upon The Hill” has elements of house and jungle as well as industrial.
I thought “Silver Or Lead” was a highlight. The whole song was smooth with great programming and a notable hook. “Iron Virtue” is a heavily distorted and slightly experimental song that goes into unique directions while “Today The Devil Dies” is another haunting, ghoulish standout with some of the catchiest melodies.
I would have liked a couple more anthemic choruses that I remember from bands like Skinny Puppy, Ministry and PIG to name a few but there is no kidding yourself if you are a fan of industrial - do not miss this. This is essential listening if you in any way , shape or form enjoyed the aforementioned bands. It's especially nice to hear a band reinvigorating a genre that has a niche yet dedicated base.
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