Ängst – The Null Hypothesis

Ängst
The Null Hypothesis
1995 137 Records
New Haven, Connecticut, USA

Matthew M. Nordan – vocals, instruments

Side 1:

  1. Descent
  2. Who am I to Question God?
  3. Warm Dry Cell
  4. Exactly Precisely
  5. Godshaped Void
  6. Shades of Light
  7. Positive

Side 2:

  1. Lollapalooza
  2. Boiling Point
  3. Effexor (Venlafaxine HCl)
  4. Persistence
  5. Five in the Chamber
  6. Nothing Else

Ängst was one of a few industrial bands that didn’t make it onto a label for a full release, but gained considerable visibility with compilation appearances and underground releases. It was also one of many one-person projects. This appears to be the last Ängst demo, released the same year as their second demo Black And. The sound on this demo is a bit of a mixture of several sounds – house, techno, rock, metal, etc- wrapped in an industrial shell. The vocals are clearer and more pop-oriented than your typical industrial bands. “Warm Dry Cell,” “Godshaped Void,” “Lollapalooza,” “Boiling Point,” “Effexor (Veniafaxine HCL),” “Nothing Else,” and a live version of “Five in the Chamber” were all included on the 1999 Ängst compilation Anger, Lust, Frustration, Fear, And Fun from Flaming Fish Music. This means that just under half of the songs are exclusive to this tape.

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New Society – Updated Versions of Older Tapes

For those that weren’t aware, New Society albums are usually up for download somewhere online. However, some of them have been disappearing here and there, so it seems Rick Roman, Jr. has fixed that, as well as tweaking/updating some releases. If you haven’t heard of New Society, it was an electronic project run by Rick Roman (with others joining him from time to time) that mixes industrial, techno, metal, trance,you name it. There are many more New Society albums than the ones up online now – not sure if they will be added or not. Also of note are NEW songs from 2019 in there are well. But currently up on Soundclick for free download:

  • A Taste of Black (Anthology 1990 updated 2019)
  • So Red a Revelation (Anthology 1990 updated 2019)
  • True Faith (Anthology 1990 updated 2019)
  • Eternity (Anthology 1992 updated 2019)
  • E.T.S.G.A.N.W. (Anthology 2003 updated 2019)
  • REG.NO.2615161 (Anthology 2004 updated 2019)
  • New Life (Anthology 2008 updated 2019)
  • Collective (2019)

Blank Face – Three Free

Blank Face
Three Free
1996 (no label)
Elmwood Park, Illinois, USA

David J. Pisciotto – vocals and instruments

  1. Sin Disease
  2. On the Cross
  3. Thirst

If you listened to many industrial compilations back in the day, especially those that were on R.E.X. Music, then you have already heard 2/3 of this tape and know it is a great tape. Blank Face got some attention for their songs on the comps and then seemed to vanish. The sound here is guitar-driven industrial, more hard rock/heavy alternative in style than heavy metal, but still well made. This was the second of two known demos from Blank Face, the other being Trinity. I haven’t heard that one, so I don’t know if any songs repeat from here to there. The third song on this tape that most haven’t heard fits in great with the others stylistically.

Ben Hardwidge – The Rhyme of the Flying Bomb

Ben Hardwidge
The Rhyme of the Flying Bomb
1994 Bloated Rhino Records
Tring, England, United Kingdom

All music written, arranged, played, produced, engineered, mixed, and raked by Ben Hardwidge
Words by Mervyn Peake

Tom Carding – Narrative voice-over
Jill Kettle – Child on part 2
Ian Arkley – Sailor

  1. Rhyme of the Flying Bomb part 1 (15:04)
  2. Rhyme of the Flying Bomb part 2 (18:15)

Ben Hardwidge might be better known as the main person behind Metropolis. Well, there were several bands named Metropolis – this is the industrial prog rock one from England. Metal fans will notice that Ian Arkley of Seventh Angel / My Silent Wake fame plays one of the vocals parts on this album (or actually, I believe he growls the parts of the sailor with some death metal vocals). Don’t think of this music as an industrial version of Rush. The “prog” part means there are complex structures to the music with atypical vocals parts over music that is part instruments and part computer. The sound is kind of hard to describe – it’s like a metal industrial rock opera with spoken words instead of singing in many places. But the music is still some cool driving rock music – experimental in most places, but still with recognizable riffs and sounds you can rock out to. After this, Hardwidge gave his project the name of Metropolis, and put out a self-titled full length in 1996 and a cassette ep called Only Yours in 1999. I have never heard Only Yours, but the Metropolis S/T does continue with the sound started here.

Centre of Gravity

Centre of Gravity
1985 Stride
Cheshire, England, United Kingdom

Side 1:

  1. Pacific 231 – Psycho Moon
  2. Pacific 231 – Gare De L’est 1943
  3. The Dangerous Bros – On 45
  4. Vox Populi – Pygmies in the Park
  5. Vox Populi – Mind
  6. Vox Populi – Glassy Stare
  7. Face in the Crowd – Clown
  8. Face in the Crowd – Love is Like a Cancer

Side 2:

  1. Griff – Wrant – U – Wrant
  2. Griff – Poser
  3. Griff – Match’s Mate
  4. Celestial Orgy – Pig to the Abbatoir
  5. Celestial Orgy – Feminist
  6. Celestial Orgy – Maths
  7. Inlaws and Outlaws – Foot Inside Your Door
  8. Face in the Crowd – Summer Fool
  9. Face in the Crowd – A Strong Voice
  10. Face in the Crowd – Justice

This is a mysterious compilation from Stride that serves up several songs from mostly noise/industrial/experimental bands – with a few exceptions. So who is on it? First off is Pacific 231, a noise/experimental project by Pierre Jolivet of Paris that has been going since the early 80s. If the band name sounds kind of familiar to you, Pacific 231 has been on some split albums with Psyclones, also an early noise/industrial band that was composed of Brian Ladd (aka Blackhouse) and Julie Frith. I can’t find these songs listed on any Pacific 231 releases, so they might be exclusive to this comp? I can’t find any information on The Dangerous Bros, but they appear to be an experimental free-form band with guitars. Vox Populi has also collaborated with Pacific 231, but is a band from France that has been around since the early 80s. They have an experimental noise sound as well, with some vocals and instruments. Face in the Crowd has released many tapes in the Christian tape underground, usually of a more experimental band sound, with some spoken word parts, some sung parts, random instrument playing, etc. Griff has also been featured here before, but he is experimental folk rock with an extreme British sense of humor. Don’t know much about Celestial Orgy, but it seems they only have compilation appearances listed on Discogs. They appear to be the closest thing to a rock band on here – definitely some alternative guitar and drums, but still more experimental than most alt rock. When they hit the high pitched vocals, it almost reminds me of Danielson. Inlaws and Outlaws is another band I can’t find much on, but they also are the most traditional industrial/electronic band on the compilation (although many others use industrial elements).

Prazzer – Dominate Me

Prazzer
Dominate Me
198? Pekuliar Muzzik Rekords
Biloxi, Mississippi, USA

Mike Liffick – Vocals
Punq Hedgez – Guitars, bass, keyboards
Jason Lykins – Drums

  1. Ascension
  2. Justabitanoize
  3. Cylents
  4. No Lone Wolves
  5. Dominate Me
  6. R-U Battle Ready
  7. World of Confusion
  8. Sin is Destruction
  9. Marchinthroo
  10. He Walks Upon the Water

So based on the name, they sound like hair metal. The cover looks more like a noise band. But the pictures of the three guys shows them with choir robes on, looking like a metal band. So what are they? All of the above….? The first song in a keyboard instrumental, followed by a guitar solo song, followed by a found noise track that transitions directly into a found noise track with wolves howling. Then… a metal track? Well, it sounds more like gothic metal, but it is actually a full band rocking out with vocals. Then another found noise song, followed by another full band rocking song, but without vocals. That is followed up by a spoken word with noise background, a track that is basically a drum solo, and one final keyboard tracks. Every song is short – they whole thing clocks in at less than 19 minutes. It is difference, but the two gothic metal tracks make it worth the weird ride.

Crazed Bunnyz – Blutgasse

Crazed Bunnyz
Blutgasse
1988 Plan 7 Dist.
Cerritos, California, USA

Shaka – Vox
Futch – Vox, Axe, Keys, & TV
Rezzen – Analog Bass
Boxx – Rhythm Computation

Side 1:

  1. Blood Street
  2. Days of Our Lives
  3. Shine, You’re Scrambled
  4. Yes Thank You, I Will
  5. No N—–s
  6. [interview]

Side 2:

  1. Earth (The Demon Seed)
  2. Letter From Kristin
  3. Vomit
  4. That Sucks
  5. Sex Nazi
  6. [message from the band]

This is the final Crazed Bunnyz demo (both to review for this site, as well as the actual last one they recorded). This is lo-fi indie punk electronic alt rock weirdness at its best. This really just shows that lo-fi budget recordings can be good if the people behind the music know how to make something interesting. I have always wondered with these guys could have recorded if they were placed in a big budget studio with a full band at their disposal. Would it ruin the songs? Would it produce a genius record? The world will probably never know. But, anyways, because of the way they recorded this – with lots of samples, a drum machine, chainsaw guitars layered over keyboards – many people see Crazed Bunnyz as an “industrial band.” Songs like “Shine, You’re Scrambled” (with a noticeable influence from Suicidal Tendencies’ “Institutionalized”) come across as closer to punk. Its all really just hard to classify.