Category Archives: Audio

Sounds and music.

Review: And One – Virgin Superstar (2000)

I originally wrote this review for Darksonus.com, which no longer exists.

  1. Virgin Superstar

  2. Wasted

  3. You Don’t Love Me Anymore

  4. Goodbye Germany

  5. Wet Spot

  6. Panzermensch

  7. My Story

  8. Life To Lose

  9. Not The Only One

  10. Don’t Need The Drugs

  11. Mr. Jenka

Vocals: 4.5 of 5

Sounds: 3.0 of 5

Composition: 3.5 of 5

Overall: .733

And One is a fairly popular EBM group whose tunes are heard on goth/industrial club nights around the world. It’s not surprising, because it’s very difficult to listen to And One without some part of your body wanting to move around. Sure, being EBM some of their stuff is a little too techno for my liking, but they are quite good overall.

“Virgin Superstar” isn’t what I would call the strongest opener. Although the vocal harmony is great (which you’ll get used to on this disc), there’s not all that much to the music.

The song “Wasted” starts off the disc with a nice hard danceable beat. The line “Get out of my way because you know that I am totally wasted” is a classic and tends to stick in your head. Good for stumbling through a bar to.

“You Don’t Love Me Anymore” is a synthpoppy sort of tune that really fails to grab me. It’s put together well, but it just doesn’t stand out, sounding a little bland to me.

“Goodbye Germany” doesn’t stand out too much musically, and the vocals don’t do much until the chorus. All in all, this is a “take it or leave it” song, but the chorus does tend to stick in your head if you let it.

For this album, And One absorbed Annelie Bertilsson from Cat Rapes Dog and I’d bet that she was glad to get out of that pseudo-musical abomination (see our review of Trojan Whores). Listening to “Wet Spot”, It becomes obvious that Annelie has more musical talent than is deserved by Cat Rapes Dog. It starts off with an ambient feel and then the synthesizer line starts with an almost a James Bond “The World Is Not Enough” feel to it. Both vocalists sound great on this song and the man sitting behind the mixing console certainly earned his paycheck.

What can I say about the song “Panzermensch”? Well, I can say that the synth sounds are absolutely amazing and the vibe of the song is intense. It hits hard and is one of the most danceable songs I’ve ever heard (and if you’ve ever been to a club where most everyone knows this song, the dancefloor tends to go completely nuts). I’ve never been one to buy a disc based on hearing one song, but in this case I would make an exception. The lyrics are in German, but it’s my opinion that most good industrial lyrics are in German. There’s something about the language that just sounds more factory-fresh than the same phrases in English. It’s no wonder this song has become one of their hits.

“My Story” has a nice string line, but there’s not much to say about it. It’s not terribly interesting, nor terribly worth my time talking about. Too techno.

I love the crystal bell synth sound that opens “Life to Lose”, but it gives no indication what to expect for the song itself. Unfortunately it looks like very little effort went into the music, but the vocals almost make up for it.

“Not The Only One” is yet another song that has a more of the “James Bond” essence to it – in the string line at least. This song is much more synthpop than EBM, which seems to be the direction And One is moving in slowly but surely.

“Don’t Need The Drugs?” I love the song. It is a little on the Depeche Mode side, though, which isn’t my cup of tea. Even so, it is an excellent song with a great arrangement and sound all over the place.

And One does a very good job of filling up the sound palette. The vocal harmonies are very good, with Annelie blending so well with Steve Naghavi that in some places their voices might as well just be one.

If you like EBM, you’ll probably like And One, although this disc is a bit patchy with only a few of the songs qualifying as great (which seems to be an ongoing habit of And One). If you don’t like EBM and/or synthpop, it’d be a good idea to pass this disc by, because that’s exactly what this disc is.

And One is Steve Naghavi on vocals and “machines”, Rick Schah on keyboards, Annelie Bertilsson on vocals, and Joke Jay on drums. This disc was produced by Steve Naghavi and Christer Hermodsson.

And One’s website is at http://www.andone.de/

Review: Cat Rapes Dog – Trojan Whores (1992)

I originally wrote this review for Darksonus.com, which no longer exists.

  1. Trojan Whores

  2. Everything’s Gone Green (New Order cover)

  3. 909 Whores

Sounds: 3 of 5

Vocals: 1.5 of 5

Composition: 2.5 of 5

Overall Rating: .467

Most people probably have not heard of this Swedish group. The name might have something to do with it. The fact that they’re not very good might also contribute. One source refers to them as “punkelectro”, while another refers to them as industrial. Cat Rapes Dog is, however, a truly industrial band. Their early jam sessions were conducted in a factory where member Joel Rydstrom was working. At night, they would spend hours banging on sheets of metal with iron poles hoping the boss would not catch them.

While the lyrics to Trojan Whores are nothing short of brilliant with lines like “Open the doors, open the doors, I have a horse full of whores” and “This war ain’t no game anymore, this is a horse and it’s full of whores”, Everything’s Gone Green is nothing short of awful. The distortion does very little to hide how off-key singer Joel Rydstrom is (in fact, in an interview he admits that he had the idea to hide his awful vocals using distortion while seeing Ogre at a Skinny Puppy show), while the female vocalist sounds like she has had one too many Valium. In fact, either one sounds like they could throw up on themselves at any time during the song. The accompanying music is typical of European electronic dance music of the era, neither brilliant nor awful, just “average” drum-machine-and-synthesizer background. The accompanying guitar work is noticeably out of time in places, but blends into the mix fairly well.

Although they are influenced by Skinny Puppy, Cabaret Voltaire, and Einsturzende Neubauten, they somehow manage to completely fail to take the music to the next level. Had they not included the butchering of New Order’s Everything’s Gone Green, this disc would have scored higher. You may find it amusing, but Cat Rapes Dog likely to only find a permenant home in a music collection based on its novelty value. Although not very mass-marketable, the name has a certain ring to it.

If you want more information on Cat Rapes Dog, their official website is: http://crd.se/CRD.SE/HEM.html