Self-release, IODA (2011)
2006 / March 1st, 2011
Release length: 11:34
The single consists of two tracks that push the five minute mark, leaving it a total of over eleven minutes worth of material. The production isn’t the clearest you’ll find, having a rougher, slightly raw quality to it that accentuates the aggressive side of the Electronic/Industrial sound. Those sounds come through loudly, and really work hard in the background to create a very unnerving sensation against the deep, heavily distorted guitars. The vocals have a good deal of distortion to them too, pulling the pitch down against the shouting approach that is tackled here, and having them more of a supplemental layer in the mix. The guitars do manage to drown them and the some of the Industrial elements out, much in the way the drums do. These also come through as heavily electronic, replacing any realistic snares with a distorted and altered rendition. The same goes for the cymbals that feel a little washed down through the distortion, and the bass kicks are present with a thud, but pretty hard to spot when everything is going full force.
Right off the bat with this release, it can start to get on your nerves. Psychological Warfare isn’t a bad release, but shortly after the alarm sound effect kicks off in the background, the guitar feedback readies the marching Industrial music, and it’s just an obnoxious shrill that comes through and gets louder the longer it’s held. It’s not bad the first time, but it keeps happening over and over through the track, and eventually it becomes enough to give the listener a migraine. But, that too-loud-for-it’s-own-good Noise influence doesn’t really destroy the track. The rest of the music does feel commanding, and in a sense carries a post-apocalyptic police state atmosphere to it. The dirty, angsty music and it’s rougher atmosphere really comes through feeling rebellious, and overall presents a good package that is as catchy as it is commanding.
“Psychological Warfare” bleeds into the following track, “God Smacker,” which really pushes the Industrial and Noise elements further. There’s no high pitched migraine-enducing distortions or feedback here, and the guitar really plays more of a role in pushing the track along from start to finish. The simpler chords work to allow the rest of the electronic elements to continue setting an atmosphere that would be sadly lost without them. However, this track doesn’t really carry much of a commanding sense, and the tone of the music is far less grim. “God Smacker” does still feel rebellious, but that’s about it, and given how the guitars sound here, you’re left feeling like something is just missing from the equation, which could easily be a lack of a deeper bass sound to give the track a sense of urgency for said rebellion.
For the 2011 reissue, IODA and Marc Broude have taken the Psychological Warfare seven inch vinyl and turned it into a digital download through the label’s site. Both songs are available in their original format, and artwork is available with the download as well. I’m not certain if it’s the original artwork though, or if it’s expanded in any way. Other then the format and perhaps the artwork, it’s the same music you get from the original pressing, so fans who already have the initial pressing may not want to bother with this digital version. It’s great to have, but chances are good that devoted fans have probably already done the vinyl to MP3 transfer already. If you don’t own it, this is a good way to experience Marc’s earliest works.
Both tracks have their faults, but at the same time they have their positive elements. The atmospheres here are something to take note of, and can really send you off into a dark and grim futuristic world, though the latter of the two doesn’t quite capitalize on that. The use of Noise with additional Electronic and Industrial overtones does make for a suitable pallete for this kind of sound, but at the same time the title track goes a bit too far with it and can leave the listener scrambling to turn the speakers down here and there. But in the long run, Marc Broude definitely shows off some talent with this release, and it does seem fitting that such an early project be resurfaced given the underground credentials he has picked up over the years. If you’re into the underground scenes of these styles, then by all means check this one out, especially since it’s being reissued in digital format and easier (and cheaper) to come across. It may not be the most amazing release, but it’s one that shows potential that obviously has been recognized over the years.
01. Psychological Warfare – 5:52
02. God Smacker – 5:42
|Initial Pressing Score: 6.5/10
2011 Reissue Score: 6.5/10
Digital review copy of this release provided by Marc Broude.