Flesh Field

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Strain Review

by Rick Anderson

Hey, here's something someone should have thought up years ago -- industrial music that's rhythmically interesting! Where most of their colleagues stick to generic, club-derived, four-on-the-floor beats and equally generic synthesizer chord washes, Flesh Field brings breakbeats, loops and samples to the party and buttresses them with genuine electric guitars; when combined with the usual guttural vocal roars and snarls, the result is like a bracing combination of Gang of Four's stuttering punk-funk and, say, Front 242's hectoring Teutonic rants. The best moments on the band's third album come when new member Wendy Yanko steps up to the mic; female vocals are almost as rare in this genre as interesting beats, and the combination of the two (particularly on the very fine "Reflect the Enemy") is enough to make you weep with relief. Then there's the distinctly funky groove of "Recoil," not to mention the near-balladic "Epiphany" and those tasty little drum'n'bass interludes on "Seethe." Very nice.

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