Kommunity FK's debut slots alongside the debut of 45 Grave and Christian Death as landmark L.A. post-punk/goth winners, though The Vision and the Voice tends to the more serious side of things, or at least the less obviously jokey for most of the time. Mata's singing, often kept low in the mix to sound like some strange clarion call, cedes precedence to the music, a melange of the kind of heavy bass, dark tribal drumming, scraping, squealing guitar clatter, and more that ran plenty rampant at the time. It wouldn't have been too surprising in retrospect if Kommunity FK came from the U.K. rather than the U.S. -- hints of everyone from Bauhaus and Siouxsie & the Banshees to even Gene Loves Jezebel come through The Vision and the Voice. There's even a full-on punk thrasher, "Fuck the Kommunity," to close things out in a flash of humor. There are enough individual touches to give both band and album definite character, though, and at their best the group makes for an intense listening experience. The droning keyboard whir throughout "We Will Not Fall" ratchets up the clipped, threatening mood, Mata coming up with a catchy, abbreviated chorus to match his punchy guitar snarl. The percussion/keyboard-only backing on "Incompatible Decision" makes for a nice contrast to much of the album, the most defiantly unsettling thing on it. Even "Anti-Pop" is catchy in its own dank way; Kommunity FK wasn't Einstürzende Neubaten or even Throbbing Gristle, but then again, that was never their goal to begin with. Though the overall formula wears a bit thin toward the end of the album -- the trio has a good combination of sounds to draw on but then rarely varies it track per track -- The Vision and the Voice definitely needs a listen from those interested in the gloomier things.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Ned Raggett