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Destroy 2000 Years Of Culture
, March 28, 2006
This review is from: Future of War (Audio CD)
Digital Hardcore huh? Atari Teenage Riot, once the darlings of the "alternative" musical press, are the champions of this self-defined genre. There might be a bit of a Hardcore attitude here but, musically, this owes more to Throbbing Gristle-type deconstruction and unfettered chaos.
None of this album makes much sense, which is also it's most endearing quality. You can almost hear the music being constructed: "Cool! We got a drum beat! Let's speed it up! And slow it down! Um, do ya reckon we should do something else with it, like introduce some melody or something? OK, so melody didn't work. Let's just shout a lot!" The resulting cacophony is pretty much indescribable, structureless electronic noise over an intermittent backdrop of frenetic Gabba beats, all covered by shrieks, shouts and occasionally singing. You can dance to it, if you're simultaneously having an epileptic fit, but generally it's best to stand back and let the sound flow over you.
It seems the same lack of coherence affected the lyrics. The band is German, but all the lyrics are English. Any time Alec Empire couldn't think of the right word in English, he'd add "!!!!!!!!" The exclamation points are important, because they make up approximately half of the lyric sheet. However, look past Empire's awful grasp of English and you'll find a pretty smart message. "Get Up While You Can", the breakthrough single of this album, has all three band members railing against the state of music and the industry surrounding it. "**** All!" carries a similar, simpler sentiment, with Hanin Elias screaming "**** All!" over and over in a vicious manner which even Henry Rollins would be envious of. Basically, this band is after a new world order, and think they have the musical anarchy to spark the revolution.
A couple of tracks take a more measured approach. "Destroy 2000 Years Of Culture" is a Hip Hop style track, with a repetitive guitar line which sounds like it was borrowed from Slayer's "Angel Of Death". Alec Empire and the now deceased Carl Crack trade lines, although Crack is the more competent Rapper. "Redefine The Enemy" sees Empire ranting over a basic beat, while on "Death Star" Elias breathlessly recites a simple mantra over a distortion soaked Dub track.
Furthermore, there are three unlisted, untitled tracks at the end of the album. These tracks are a little different from the rest of the album, sounding far more conventional and more like simple Dance tracks. They don't detract from the album, but just seem a little out of place amongst the overall disorder and confusion of everything else here.
Despite the band's best efforts, there was no great musical revolution and no storming of the corporate Winter Palace. Atari Teenage Riot were forced to become the underground resistance rather than the revolutionary coup leaders, due to equal doses of apathy and confusion from the great unwashed. It is still hard to understand quite where these guys were coming from, but `The Future Of War' is a great pick-me-up for jaded and listless Rock fans.
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