Chemlab

East Side Militia

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Chemlab (an outfit with a changing membership that has revolved around vocalist/lyricist Jared Louche and programmer Dylan Thomas More) prefigured the aggressive electronica sound that would later be popularized by bands like Prodigy and, to some degree, Nine Inch Nails. This digitally remastered reissue of the band's 1996 swan song shows them to have been sonically prescient but a bit too nihilistic and vulgar for prime time. There's more than a hint of late-period Ministry in "Exile on Mainline" and more than a hint of early-period Ministry in "Pyromance," but the almost dubbed texture of "Lo-Grade Fever" and the corroded wah-wah guitar on "Latex" are all their own. Louche's lyrics are sometimes unintentionally hilarious ("Roulette's spinning, the wheel of distinction/Darwin's selected you for total extinction"), but that's sometimes a welcome relief from the unrelieved heaviness of the band's sound. [This reissue of East Side Militia includes three remixes.]

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