Bile

Sex Reflex

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AllMusic Review by

Sex Reflex was originally issued in 1999 as the maiden release of the band's own Bile Style imprint. This was after Energy went down the toilet, taking their contract with it. The move to D.I.Y. didn't limit Bile's reach -- Web sales thrived -- and it certainly didn't dilute their acidic concoction of industrial sleaze. A partnership with Martin Atkins proved quite fruitful for the group. Mastermind Krztoff became a guest player with Atkins' veteran industrial collective, Pigface, and Bile Style gained distribution through Atkins' Underground Inc syndicate. That deal led to a series of reissues, including this version of Sex Reflex, which features a slightly altered track listing, and a 2003 version of "In League," Bile's contribution to the Strangeland soundtrack. Krztoff was never known as a lyricist, and Reflex doesn't change that perception. However, Bile's brand of assaulting, full-on industrial doesn't really leave any room for deep thoughts -- to that end, Krztoff's words are like fuses, precision-timed to explode the next demonic dirty bomb. And he makes this intent clear in Reflex's blunt, effective liners. "No Hip Hop! No Sports Metal! This is pure evil!" "Betty Page" seems to emerge from a thousand-foot wall of black static -- the distortion doesn't end with its roaring guitars, but engulfs everything from the vocals to percussion to your very own speakers. The aforementioned "In League" is as taut as vintage Ministry, while the fabulously named "Rock Is Dead [In Bed]" momentarily chokes off the skuzz-hose to allow in a truly danceable groove. True, it's dance music for the black vinyl and PVC set. But the subtle stylistic shift points to Bile's knack for keeping the evil shtick alive even as a sly eye monitors songcraft closely. Ultimately, that's what makes Sex Reflex effective. After all the vampire references, weird sex come-ons, and spilled buckets of distorted industrial solvent, Krztoff and his crew are writing effective pop songs.

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