Techno Animal

The Brotherhood of the Bomb

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Excepting 1998's Radio Hades collection and the same year's Versus Reality concept/experiment, it's been a grueling six-year wait for the proper follow-up to Techno Animal's grueling, Alien Queen-size Re-Entry. The Brotherhood of the Bomb doesn't quite possess the daunting lurch of it's predecessor -- and indeed it's far from a retread of past stomped-upon ground. But oh, how it pounds and pummels. The record features six ballast-blasting instrumentals and six tracks with vocals, with those vocal contributions arriving courtesy of some of underground hip-hop's elite. It might come as little surprise that Kevin Martin and Justin Broadrick continue to adhere to a maxim that states, "When in doubt, push the drums further up in the mix and add some more noise; when not in doubt, push the drums further up in the mix and add some more noise." The instrumentals would evoke a sub-zero climate to a listener located in a tropic region, conjuring visions of endlessly barren and pothole-ridden boulevards dotted by boarded-up buildings. (Monolake fans should be pleased to hear a tip of the hat to the German duo on "Monoscopic.") As far as the vocal tracks are concerned, they hardly add any warmth or temper the record's pungency. During the fruitful collaborations with Vast Aire (Cannibal Ox), El-P (Company Flow), Anti Pop Consortium, Toastie Taylor, Dälek, Sonic Sum, and Rubberoom, you can't help but think that the cracks on their lips must be widening with the delivery of each line. At the end, the only problem is the reality that Martin and Broadrick aren't able to make a record like this every year.

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