Nothing to do, by all appearances, with a lead singer and guitarist from Cheap Trick, though given Mick Harris' sometimes extremely dry sense of humor, who can say? With the switch from a duo to a solo effort fully done, Harris took Scorn from Earache to other labels while still pursuing his particular bloody-minded vision for this particular musical incarnation. Namely, drones, haunting textures, crawling bass, and above all else, steady, doom-laden beats, all of which add up to an album that is perfectly serviceable but contains a near-complete absence of surprise (the most might come from the fact that there's a one-minute song, "Those Who Know," among the generally longer works). If most of Scorn's albums since the mid-'90s have followed a particular path, it's a good one when it comes to instant, unsettling mood, which Zander does right from the start with "Twitcher." Harris' love for dub as filtered through On-U Sound remains clear, though at the same time it's very much the colder/crueler side of things as sometimes collaborator Kevin Martin would view it -- lovers rock this is not. The lack of Nick Bullen's vocals continues to be felt, and the fact that Harris doesn't add any doesn't help -- while Harris wants to convey more of the focus on the music first and foremost, it was still the sometimes roared/spat rampages from both that helped add an extra level of tension. In contrast, Zander plays out more as dank mood music at points -- and indeed, "Strand," with its pretty bursts of almost melody, could almost be downtempo trip-hop with louder drums.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Ned Raggett