In the Skin

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In the Skin Review

by Theo Kavadias

Incorporating the More DK EP, In the Skin sees the Psychopomps walk between EBM and coldwave influences. Psychopomps turn their backs on predictable power chords for most tracks, programming an attitude of energetic, underground industrial reminiscent of acts like KMFDM or the Electric Hellfire Club, with a solid electronica informed by Leather Strip or Penal Colony. It is an apparent conflict of interest that works well for listeners who don't mind a bit of diversity in tone. "Torso" marks the serious pole for the release with smooth, driving EBM synth bass and an unlikely wah-wah guitar accompanied by the expected amplified tin-can vocals. The very next track, "Doggy Style (X-Rated)," overturns this mood with an explosion of ravey, siren-driven techno overlaid with explicit samples and lyrics. Other tracks take a route between the two opening markers. "Godshit" and "Drunk City" leverage tough electro voices to build electro-style houses for organic vocals and effects, while "Pissed Off" brings back a standard coldwave guitar to sustain an energetic drive. Overall, the success of In the Skin lies with Psychopomps' ability to use their machines to create organic sound structures and weave the guitars into the mix only when it helps give a track the extra kick. This move away from guitars as a simple standard practice gives In the Skin extra flavor, but electro fans beware -- this has not crossed over completely to the domain of the synthesizer.

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