Electrawnika. I think I just made up a new word. These guys are great. Shawn Wilson and Sam Sage of Mechanical Joints. They cover a lot of ground within a small confined area, kind of like a cue ball bouncing around on the surface of a pool table, each bounce vectoring off in a new direction but always within the context of the green felt table top.
Part of what makes this album interesting and the achievement by the two musicians noteworthy is the distance between them. This album was produced by sending digital files back and forth over a thousand miles. And yet despite the distance, this album is amazingly tight, coherent and focused on each composition.
Running through styles ranging from Neo-Psychedelia and Industrial to an interesting kind of Retro Glitch sound, it feels like they’ve been influenced by bands as unique as The Knife, Depeche Mode and Nine Inch Nails.
Attractive Glass and Monkey both sound very retro, like electronic music filtered through the late 60’s psychedelic style. Insigdifferent strikes out strongly in the Glitch mode, with an abrasive edge that’s both challenging and satisfying. Long Goodbye features a burbling synthesizer line and has a very 80’s feel. Failure starts out spare and minimal then opens out into a tightly driven drum n’ synth finish. Appetite For Life has a real early Pink Floyd style to it while Civilization has a fuzzed out guitar sound reminiscent of Beck.
I Don’t Care finishes out the album and is a great big anthem for today’s disaffected, alienated society. “I can’t be everywhere, I can’t see everything. World just moves too fast for me.” The guitar solo that follows seeming to capture and sum up all of the anger, sadness and frustration the modern world instills in every one of us these days.
The numerous layers within each of the songs, and the varied styles and sounds of each song, make this a truly great album. Whether it’s an angular electronic attack, a tightly coiled synthetic drumline or the soft, slightly morose psychedelic style that seems to hold it all together, it’s really the textural juxtapositions that makes each repeated listening more rewarding. If these guys could accomplish this by being more than a thousand miles apart, just imagine what they’ll achieve when they finally work together in the same room.