Tag Archives: 2000

Review: Suicide Commando – Mindstrip (2000)

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

Track List:

  1. Jesus Wept

  2. Hellraiser (Psychopath 01-Version)

  3. Body Count Proceed

  4. Raise Your God

  5. Mindstripper

  6. Run

  7. Comatose Delusion (Overdose Shot Two)

  8. Blood In Face

  9. Love Breeds Suicide

  10. Slaves

Sounds: 3.5 of 5

Vocals: 3 of 5

Composition: 3 of 5

Overall Rating: .633

My overall reaction to Johan Van Roy’s Belgian project was indifference.

The sample quality of Jesus Wept is fairly low. Yeah, industrial is supposed to sound dirty and noisy, but there’s a difference between noisy and low-quality. I like distorted vocals. Most industrial takes a few listens to really understand what the heck they’re saying. Suicide Commando may have taken it half a notch too far into the unintelligible range.

Hellraiser starts off with a great synth sound until it turns into techno. By this time I was beginning to think this was a techno or synthpop group that had picked up a distortion pedal at a pawn shop. I will say the actual sounds used in this song are quite cool and the vocal quality is a bit better than Jesus Wept.

The techno-esque extravaganza continued with Body Count Proceed. The drone synth sound made me feel like I was having a hole drilled in my skull. In a bad way. Even so, the beat was rather contagious and I couldn’t help but tap my appendages on the nearest solid surface. Since I was at work I had to keep it to a minimum. Can’t have the boss walking in while you’re tapping your bits on the monitor, you know. That’s more explaining that I’d care to do.

By the time I reached Raise Your God, something was starting to bug me about the whole Suicide Commando formula. Yet again it was an average song that didn’t particularly stand out for me. It wasn’t something I loved nor was it something I hated.

I can honestly sum up the rest of the disc fairly easily. Just like the first few songs. Nothing that stands out as overly good or bad though I would say that Comatose Delusion is the best song on the disc and Blood In Face came the closest to trying my patience. Although this is nothing but your run of the mill industrial, it is decent overall. Anything’s better than Paula Spears or Britney Abdul or whatever they’re calling that pseudo-musical genre now. Will I see them live if they come around? Yes. Will I tell all my friends to pick up this disc? No.

Suicide Commando sounds a remarkably large amount like Velvet Acid Christ, and if you like them you might as well pick this up. Overall the music isn’t terribly creative and more follows the EBM/industrial “formula”, obviously influenced by their tour with Velvet Acid Christ, though Suicide Commando doesn’t do it as well. Don’t get me wrong, I still like the stuff, but as filler rather than foreground.

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/