Lament Cityscape – The Old Wet EP

The Old Wet EP Cover Art

Lament Cityscape – The Old Wet EP
Self-Released
Release Date: 21/12/2020
Running Time: 16:43
Review by Dark Juan
9/10

Good evening, you fine people out there. I trust you are all well and not tearing at each other’s flesh with nails and knives because your significant other has been breathing too loudly and in a deliberately antagonistic fashion? Well, if the annoying bastard or bitch you married has ceased their foul respiration, I request and require that you remove your teeth from the ragged, reddened ruin that is the remains of their throat and go and give your face a bit of a wash. You might wanna brush your teeth too. You look like you’ve been eating raw beefburgers and there are dangly bits of flesh between them and it is a singularly unattractive look. Flossing after using your organic mouth knives to remove voiceboxes is vitally important for good oral health.

After that extremely timely public information message I wish to share with you my views about Buffalo, Wyoming, USA based industrialists Lament Cityscape. “The Old Wet” is the last in a three EP cycle, comprised of “The New Wet” and “The Pulsing Wet” and is the record that that accepts change is occurring and that fighting against it is futile, when the previous two EPs in this adventurous concept cycle examined the fight against change and transformation. This is a three track EP, so because it’s so short I’ll briefly describe each musical piece (there is a good reason I haven’t used the word song…)

The first track is entitled ‘A Rusting Moth’ and encompasses a slowly and malignantly building soundscape from a deceptively simple and gentle sounding piano riff before there feeds in a heavily distorted and engineered animalistic roar and the biggest drums I have ever heard – all supremely destructive bass drum and floor toms rattling my skull, with a bassline that has been transformed by distortion and fuzz into some kind of sinuously weaving poisonous killing machine and keyboards, guitar, bass and voice combining into one massively unstoppable juggernaut of pure sound that is aimed squarely between your immobilized, staring eyes. There are lyrics to this, but I’m fucked if I can hear them through the industrial degeneracy on display here. Rather splendid, actually.

The second piece is called ‘Among The Dead’ and is the most song-like entity on this recording, being as there are discernible lyrics and vocals among the utterly dour electronic sounds and drums used in exactly the same way Godflesh used to use them, not as rhythm instruments, but as the base propulsive force for the madness to build and for the music to assail your senses. Fucking hell, I have missed this style of industrial so bad – the style that sits squarely between metal and electronic music, gleefully raking in influences with both greedy robotic arms and shoving it into the titanium edged maw of its furnace and smelting and recasting them both into something that is shiny and new and ever closer to machinelike perfection. Hang on. The Borg. Lament Cityscape are the fucking Borg. You can’t fool me; you bunch of half-human drone scunners. I’ve set my weapons on a rotating modular frequency. Where’s your disturbingly pale and slippery yet still worryingly desirable Queen?

The final track is called ‘Coagulant’ and immediately reminds this jaded old hack and pretend music journalist of Nine Inch Nails as it combines more electronically enhanced vocal jabbering over a simplistic keyboard line (quite reminiscent of ‘La Mer’ by Trent and his bunch of strangely coiffed misfits, and the drums reminded me somewhat of “Industrial Complex”-era Nitzer Ebb) that repeats throughout the entire song overlaid with more of those propulsive, martial, organic drums and the seemingly omnipresent wall of sound that skirts the absolute edge of what could be considered music.

This EP is an extremely  truncated Very Good Thing. I feel cheated because the three pieces on the EP are so fucking good I need more and I am prepared to open my fucking veins to make it happen. Musically, I detect Nine Inch Nails (very obviously the version of NIN around “The Downward Spiral” when Reznor was at his most drug-fuelled, insane and violent) mixed with the sheer percussive overload and power of Godflesh in their “Streetcleaner” incarnation, fused with the avant-garde drone of Swans and finally combined with the hard-edged version of “Land Of Rape And Honey”-era Ministry.

This record is not electronic industrial. It is not industrial rock. It is not industrial metal. It is not industrial mixed with anything. It is simply INDUSTRIAL. It is pure and it is fucking good and I am literally signing off this review and going on Lament Cityscape’s Bandcamp and buying all their records within the next twenty fucking seconds.

The Patented Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System has picked its jaw back up off the floor and wired the fucker shut. It also awards Lament Cityscape 9/10 for a bloody good EP, although a mark is deducted simply because there was not enough music on the record to sate my desire for their industrial aural hellscapes. That’ll teach ‘em to give me more next time. Ha!

“The Old Wet” (Full EP)

TRACKLISTING:
01. A Rusting Moth
02. Among The Dead
03. Coagulant

LINE-UP FOR THIS RECORDING:

Mike McClatchey
Seanan McCullough
David Small
Peter Layman
Lee Bartow
Live Drums, Additional Percussion And Additional Vocals by Ben Hirschfield

LINKS:

Lament Cityscape Promo Pic

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of ‘Dark Juan’ and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

INTERVIEW WITH PROGRAMMABLE ANIMAL

INTERVIEW WITH PROGRAMMABLE ANIMAL
‘One Step To Hell’
By Stephanie Stevens

Press play to the album “ONE STEP TO HELL” from Chicago’s…

PROGRAMMABLE ANIMAL and you get submersed into the emotional and raw personal stories that have been seen by the eyes and felt by the heart of founder and frontman Drepsea. The loss of a loved one, a tale of drug addiction and the overwhelming effects of Narcissistic souls that creep into our lives sometimes. This band has the sound that captivates me due to the industrial and metal soundscapes, but it was how the lyrical content, and the way it was delivered, pierced my soul and made emotions awake in my heart. That really drove me to fall in love with this album from start to finish.

The band has a way of intertwining chaos and beauty on tracks like ‘ONE STEP TO HELL’ but then can delicately mesmerize you with a track like the beautiful n dark ‘AS ABOVE, SO BELOW’ and then firing you up with the sultry yet heavy ‘QUEEN OF FIENDS’. Beauty, anger and compassion is what this band is made of and it is truly an epic listening journey.

The past  is also something of notability for this band! After getting a taste of this album I went backwards into the discography. One thing to be said is the band has stayed true to the “sound”, but you can instantly appreciate the growth, the developing and the honesty which has stayed intact. Older albums like “END OF THE TAIL” and “DREPSEA” are just as influential as the new one. The way they bend genres to manipulate it into a sound all their own is tantalizing as they have made it into a unique, expressive and relentless journey of madness and beauty.

The storm of truth not only bleeds out of Drepsea on this newest disc “ONE STEP TO HELL” but made its way into this interview which I had the honour of having with him. I am elated that now I am ‘in the know’ of PROGRAMMABLE ANIMAL and I hope you all enjoy this truly impeccable album and chat with this amazing artist.

Q:PROGRAMMABLE ANIMAL has been around for a few years now. Can you give us a quick synopsis of how this band formed?

Drepsea: The band was started years ago as a solo project. Music gave me a sense of identity, soul, and purpose. Programmable Animal was a creative outlet for me to express my views.

Q: You go by the name DREPSEA which was an album of yours back in 2014. What made you take on that persona and do you feel you are creating another form of yourself when you create for the band?

Drepsea: The album “Drepsea” was the cultivation of this character. I would say this persona expresses my truth. Within the music and lyrics, I’m telling exactly how I feel. On an everyday basis we portray a version of ourselves that is socially acceptable, and that can be a multitude of different versions given the situation. The idea of Drepsea isn’t that…it’s my truth.

Q: Your music definitely has the mix of industrial, dark aura and at times could sound chaotic and insane (in a good way) especially listening to your last disc “END OF THE TAIL”. How does the band set the tone when you start writing for new albums etc?

Drepsea: It primarily revolves around the situations I’m dealing with at the time. “End of the Tail” was an end of a particular “tale” in my life that was dark, yet a turning point. Due to the circumstances at that time, I started making poor decisions, I was engulfed by bitterness, and delved into chaotic situations. I realized the path I was going down was purely destructive. “One Step to Hell”, fundamentally acted as a means to pull myself out of my own hell. I wanted to take a more empowering approach that no matter what kind of hell we face, we can break the spell. It can start with incremental steps, whether that be associating with the right people, overcoming our vices, or pursuing our passions, etc.

Q: Making art from pain and heartache usually makes for brilliant work. Your new disc “ONE STEP TO HELL”, defines that. For you what were the pros and cons of getting your emotion out as lyrics?

Drepsea: I 100% view it as cathartic and therapeutic. Anytime we express our truth, it’s always a pro. Bottling up our feelings inside can make someone go mad.

Q: Growing up who were the artists that formed your appreciation for music and what you believe as a performer, who adapted to your way of making music?

Drepsea: There are so many, but two come to mind. KoRn because of Jonathan Davis’ lyrics. It was clear that he was hurt, the music was just raw and powerful.

Also, Nine Inch Nails. The first time I heard “Closer” I was in awe because it had such a unique sound. I was maybe like 5, I didn’t know what the hell the lyrics meant haha, but the sounds were nothing like anything I’ve ever heard before.

Q: Have you ever done theatre or acting and is it something you might venture into if you haven’t already?

Drepsea: I honestly haven’t besides for our music videos. I appreciate the art behind it, though who knows what the future holds.

Q: On the new disc you talk about almost losing someone to drug addiction and dealing with the passing of a loved one. These topics resonated with me. 5 years ago, I lost my mom then 6 months later lost my boyfriend to drugs n alcohol. My question is two parts

1. How do you deal with loss and what would you tell fans who are having hard times with that aspect?

2. Do you feel that people dealing with the disease of drugs n alcohol can eventually become stronger than the demons that are courting them to these deadly substances or its always going to temp them?

Drepsea: I’m sorry to hear.

Art and music were a means for me to reflect. Personally, with my recent loss, having spiritual beliefs helped mitigate certain feelings. Dealing with loss will be different for each person though. It does take time to heal. For fans, try to look at the brighter side of the life that the person lived and remember the good they brought into the world. Loss can be a reminder to us to make sure we treat others the best we can. Most importantly, try to enjoy the moments we have with them.

Absolutely, we can overcome our demons. I’ve been around many people with drug issues. One situation I found myself in was having to perform CPR on someone close to me in order to save them due to a heroin overdose. That person is doing a lot better now, no recent episodes. We are all capable of ridding ourselves of addictions / similar issues. Again, it’s forward thinking, start making small changes, eventually it starts to make “hell” less severe. Yes, the voice lingers but only if we allow it. Try to surround yourself in a better environment and reassure yourself you are capable of overcoming it. When in doubt, reach out to someone.

Q: You worked with two producers who have worked with some giants in the industry. How much did you learn from both of them about magnifying your songs and also anything they said to you vocally to expand or focus more on, since the album is a more personal storyline for you?

Drepsea: Both definitely guided me into the right direction. There were things that I didn’t think of that they pointed out and through that, it made the songs better. We did some of the recording with Chuck Macak at his studio. After, I took the individual parts and recorded a bit more at mine. Eventually bringing them to Sean Beavan. It was simpatico, he would send me a mix and it was right each time. I wanted to take the listener elsewhere, to create the personification of flesh in battle with the soul. Hence, the industrial sounds contesting against ambience. Sean nailed this approach; he is a sound genius and understood the project fully. Very glad we crossed paths. In terms of lyrics, there was no suggestion on anything. I wanted to stay true to me, that’s important for me as an artist.

Q: Another step for the band is having Negative Gain behind this record. How did that partnership happen and what is the most important thing for you when beginning a relationship like this?

Drepsea: Negative Gain noticed Programmable Animal back in 2018 with our release, “End of the Tail.” At that time, I was playing guitar as well for a couple of well-known acts in the industrial scene: Hate Dept. & Project 44. I met Micah Skaritka from NGP at Cyberfest in Chicago, my intuition was telling me I will probably be speaking with them again lol. Over time we all chatted, and I also worked with Christian Bankes who runs Fade In PR. He’s another person who I respect and really believed in this project. He helped pitch the record to Roger Jarvis and Micah at the label. The rest is history. The most important aspect is trust, I trust them. This goes with everything in life, find people who are good and who you trust.

Q: What advice would you give a new band looking to do something off course of the norm for music but hesitant about not being accepted?

Drepsea: Persistence is key. Doing something different is a good thing, that’s how some of the most prominent musicians came to be. They pioneered a new sound. Of course, you want to relate in some regard to the audience, music is communal. If you love and are passionate about what you’re doing though, odds are someone else in the world will be too, you just have to find them.

Q: Where can people support your band and music, and do you see any plans in 2021 for a tour?

Drepsea: Our album “One Step to Hell” is on Spotify, Bandcamp, etc. You can also find us on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, etc.

www.linktr.ee/programmableanimal – Links to everything Programmable Animal.

We are optimistic about 2021 and touring / playing, though we will see what happens with the pandemic. Most important, we want our fans to feel safe.

Q: Empower another artists and tell us why they inspire you?

Drepsea: The artist that inspired me the most would be Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails. Apart from the unique sound, what intrigued me the most was one person composing each part in a song. It was the same approach Prince had; I fell in love with this idea. It led me into learning multiple instruments, eventually making my own songs.

The End

CONNECT WITH THE BAND:

‘One Step to Hell’ (Official Video)

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Stephanie Stevens and East Coast Romper, and has been released to Ever Metal on this basis. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, unless you have the strict permission of said party. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Static-X – Project: Regeneration Vol.1

Static-X – Project: Regeneration Vol.1
Otsego Entertainment Group
Release Date: 10/07/2020
Running time: 40:36
Review by Dark Juan
10/10

Hiya, you dark and seething proud beauties! I am Dark Juan and I am here to use this very powerful electric cattle prod to force you all onto the path of righteousness. What was that, Miss O’ Brien? The cattle prod? No, won’t hurt a bit. What? The Geneva Convention? What about it? No, Miss O’ Brien, it doesn’t count because we are not at war. Now, get in line or so help me, Satan, your arse is going to smell like a Burger King kitchen when I use this prod on it at some length. I’ll even supply my own special sauce…

Do forgive me, my most loyal and tolerant readership. I had recalcitrant neophytes to deal with. I doubt Miss O’ Brien will be troubling me again soon.

We are here for a most somber occasion. It is to review the last works of Wayne Static before his untimely death, which robbed me of one of my favourite vocalists. This record (“Project: Regeneration Vol.1”) features the last vocals recorded by Wayne and new music that was in production at the time of his death. Laudably, the rest of the original Static-X line-up (Tony Campos – Bass, Koichi Fukuda – Guitar and Ken Jay – Drums) spoke to Wayne Static’s family and were given their blessing to create and release this album in honour of him. Now, Static-X always had an utterly unmistakable sound and whether you’re a purist or you’re open to new (s)experiences, you’ll instantly recognise the music. It is a staccato, industrial tinged, danceable melange of pop hooks and crushing metal with added electronic flavours. It is a highly polished stiletto shaped attack vessel painted in the shiniest reds and blacks letting loose with directed energy weapons. It kills but it kills cleanly, cauterising hideous wounds instantly with directed laser beams. The guitars are sharper than a diamond edged sawblade, flaying skin and flesh from bones with surgical precision and Tony Campos’ bass is a particular point of note (on previous releases the bass tended to be suppressed in favour of more sexy guitar based stuff) as it sounds just like the ominous rumbling just before that mountain side over there comes crashing down in a glorious welter of destruction. This immediately adds a new level of heaviness to the familiar glacial, crystal clear sound that Static-X normally employ. The record sounds exactly as you would think it might – A heady mix of “Wisconsin Death Trip” era howling and spitting and the later, more considered sonic fury of “Cannibal” and “Shadow Zone”, where Wayne got to spread his vocal wings and actually proved he was a very good singer instead of just an extraordinarily coiffed howler.

A nice touch on the record is on the intro track “Regeneration” where the famous “Yeah, it was very stupid” sample that started “Push It” (the band’s first single) creeps in. Honestly, I nearly cried (Lies and slander! I have no emotions and to say otherwise is patently libellous!) I have loved Static-X ever since they first broke through and their technology-fuelled metal spoke to me in a big way and satisfied a need that was gnawing at me at the time, the need for originality. Metal was a fairly stagnant place back in the nineties (nu-metal and rap crossover were the common flavours of the month back then) and Static-X didn’t just break the mould, they booby trapped it with a metric fuckton of gelignite and rode the resulting blast wave of destruction to ever greater heights. Everything that was great about Static-X has been distilled into this album – the metronomic and complicated drum patterns, the extremely highly produced and distinctive guitar tone and the unusual vocal patterns of the verses and choruses with added thunderous bass and much more electronics then previous releases. You know what I’m like for electronics… Static-X always sounded arctic and cold and this is not the case for this album. This is warm and almost intimate compared to other releases. I wonder whether this was a deliberate choice, reminding us that we have lost a friend…

Standout songs? Ah, fuck it, the entire record is fucking brilliant. It is literally everything I loved about Static-X. It’s big, it’s bombastic, it’s shockingly danceable. It’s metal. It’s electronic. It’s evil disco! It’s strobe lights and Gatling guns and tracer bullets and mirror balls and laser beams. It’s glittering and lethal and beautiful and unique and special and Static-X will always remain one of my favourite bands. Every song is a perfect Static-X song, from the out and out rapid fire insanity of ‘Otsego Placebo’ and ‘Terminator Oscillator’ through to album closer and the nearest Static-X will ever get to a ballad, ‘Dead Souls’ with Wayne dialling back his usual rabid delivery in favour of an almost croon (don’t worry, the man still sounds like he is being tortured with anguish and uncontrollable rage.) It is also produced by the man that understood the band best, Mr. Ulrich Wild – the man responsible for the antiseptic sound Static-X primarily employed on “Wisconsin Death Trip”.

I can’t help thinking the brevity of this review is not doing the record justice. It’s an absolute fucking killer 3am blast down the motorway record. It’s an ultra-polished, original sounding heavy metal record from a true band of innovators. Without Static-X there would be no King Satan and that would be a very bad thing indeed. It’s machine music for organic lifeforms and it twists genres and metal itself into such interesting new shapes I can’t help but have my breath taken away by it. Even if I wasn’t already a fan, this record would have turned me into a squealing fangirl instantly. The guitar riffs are things of deconstructed perfection. Yes, metal purists will whinge their fucking studded leather panties off that it is “not metal” but which motherfucker set them up to be the arbiters of taste and judgement? I AND MY FELLOW REVIEWERS AROUND THE WORLD ARE THE ARBITERS OF TASTE AND JUDGEMENT! They are still listening to fucking Accept records from 1986 and not seeing the irony in slightly homoerotic lyrics such as “Surprise attack, coming from the back…” and refuse to accept that metal is a diverse and exciting genre encompassing all kinds of sounds and influences – Christ, Static-X list everything from Mortician to The Crystal Method and the Sisters Of Mercy as influences and a style of music that evolves has to be better than one stuck in the 1980’s, in a corner of a bar, beer belly straining over the skinny jeans and biker boots it is still wearing, and the same Motorhead Bomber t shirt, lamenting how metal stopped when Metallica released the Black album. Give me cyber metal like Static-X any day over the tired rehashing of the same songs again and again. Metal has grown into so many different new things. Give Static-X a go if you haven’t before. It’s heavy and it’s violent and oppressive but it is also shiny and fresh and exciting. Kinda like the first time you discover you’re incredibly submissive and you need a Dom/ Domme…

Static-X – music to have disturbingly kinky and violent sadomasochistic sex to involving shiny black PVC and lots of oils and unguents. It is the perfect soundtrack and I am quite sure Wayne would approve!

The Patented Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System has listened to this album so many times he will be singing it when he’s dead. Static-X are awarded an untouchable 10/10. Absolutely flooding the local area with sex wee ready for Vol. 2. RIP Wayne. You were taken from us too soon.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Regeneration
02. Hollow
03. Worth Dyin For
04. Terminator Oscillator
05. All These Years
06. Accelerate
07.Bring You Down
08. My Destruction
09. Something Of My Own
10. Otsego Placebo
11. Follow
12. Dead Souls

LINE-UP
Wayne Static – Vocals
Tony Campos – Bass
Koichi Fukuda – Guitar
Ken Jay – Drums

LINKS:
www.static-x.org
www.facebook.com/staticx/
www.twitter.com/OfficialStaticX
www.instagram.com/staticxofficial/

Photo by Jeremy Saffer

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of ‘Dark Juan’ and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.