There is a certain, contrived, element to this CD that, while
seemingly by design, tends to work against it and not for it.
That element is the relegation of lead vocals to the background
of the music's layering. It sounds as if Neil Dez is singing
from 20 or so feet behind the drum kit. This might be a subtle
statement about people becoming lost in the machine to the point
where we constitute only so much background noise, but my ear
keeps trying to resolve what merely sounds like improper mixing.
If nothing else, it was an interesting idea to try out, but I'd
rather not have to experience it again. I've simply become too
accustomed to the idea that a vocalist has something important
to say and that they should be heard above all other instruments.
The test pattern cover to the CD is reminiscent of something
I might find on a Man Or Astroman? album, and the content
isn't terribly far removed, either. There are some definite '80s
new wave pieces to this puzzle, and some sinister surf lines to
boot. The punk influence parallels some of the lines of the Misfits'
tunes from the Legacy Of Brutality days; "Terrorvision"
might just be a Depeche Mode rework of "TV Casualty."
In Orwell's 1984, Winston Smith's tormentor told
him that if he wanted a vision of the future, he would give him
one: "imagine a boot stomping on a human face; forever."
I thought that the most shocking image of interminable suffering
I'd ever encountered, but Instant Camera gives that a run
for its money in depicting a world of people ground down by the
various machinations of their everyday lives; existing in a state
of eternal ennui yet gripped with paranoiac delusions over unseen
foes, perhaps real but just as likely imagined. Many works of
art have depicted the uneasy times of the world's periods of instability,
and Alive On Departure is another good (but not quite spectacular)
example. It was also the best of my last lot of CDs to review
and still has a chance of finding its way into my "10 best"
list for the year, based largely on the merits of standout tracks
"Another Suggestion (For White Noize)", "Shadowman"
and "Existing to Cease."
1. Beyond Infinity
2. Another Suggestion (For White Noize)
3. Dr. Glass
4. Style Over Substance Abuse
6. Social Anxiety
7. Working Class Zero
8. Existing to Cease
10. Hearing is Disbelieving
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