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Twitch The Ripper
Bodiless
(self-released)
www.twitchtheripper.com


Twitch The Ripper (TTR), comprised of Jon Dobyns and Lonn Bologna, released their debut album Bodiless on February 1st. Bodiless was mixed by Grammy-winner Phil Magnotti and mastered by Emily Lazar (Vampire Weekend, Depeche Mode). The album is an industrial tribute to hard-hitting electronic acts like NIN. Fans of Blaqk Audio, an obscure electronic side project of two AFI members, might find TTR comparable. Both acts use sequenced drum beats and synthesizer melodies as a foundation for their moody meddling. Bodiless is undeniably well furbished, but being catered by award winning audio technicians does not warrant artist merit. The majority of Bodiless is vapid and apocryphal; a collection of generic electronica that fails to digress from preset sounds and unmemorable arrangements. This lends to difficult listening, for the audience is unable to distinguish one song from the next.

Frequent references to "death" and "breath" (something Jon Dobyns' vocals need) cast umbrage over the album's nine tracks. "Bodiless," the title track, is the first single taken off the album. A billowing string pad creeps behind Dobyn's dry and airy voice as he recites cadaverous lyrics. "Bright Is Impossible" contains cliché trance synths that flutter down from above while "Nurse Price" describes a foray into a fever. "Never Got You Anywhere" begs to be the next Twilight movie theme as a growling bass line preludes nocturnal lyrics: "this whole place stood with forgotten gloom / you sucked me in toes curling, reaching for the moon."

Credit is placed where deserved; the production of Bodiless is acknowledgeable, but can not account for, or disguise, the conventional song-writing. This becomes apparent in the misuse of several studios "tricks". Several songs contain a looped introduction ("Bright Is Impossible," "Blue Body," "Eternity"), a production technique that gyrates a listener's expectations of future temporal events and evokes an element of surprise. However three accounts of this technique leave such impressions rather dull. Thus TTR should not wage the impact of their music on the events in the studio, but rather on the craft of their writing.

-Parker Tichko

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