The Neon Judgement

Blood & Thunder

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Once in a while somebody somewhere will take two violently diverse musical genres and slam 'em together to see what sort of result emerges. This seems to have been the intent on the part of Belgian band the Neon Judgement, who take synth-driven industrial music and train wreck it with elements of Tex-Mex, producing what appears to be the world's first real live imitation Texas industrial bar band, complete with wailing blues harp and slide guitar. It almost works, too; side one of the album is terrific as Texas twang roars along with crunching drums from a Korg DDD1 drum machine. The opening "Facing Pictures" is a raw, mean, slow-stomping blues number while the following "1313" is a helluva nasty tune about a nasty woman, driven from a dance beat with that whoop-up Tex-Mex overlay -- it begs to be extended and remixed to some insane length. Unfortunately, the album doesn't maintain the image it starts out with and begins leaning more and more into the synth-driven side of things, burying the voices as it goes; aside from being sung and spoken in French, the closing "Le Suicide Du Beau Serge" is musically and vocally incomprehensible. It's a shame, because so much of the album really is excellent and fascinating, not to mention driving.

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