Post Industrial Boys

Trauma

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The second Post Industrial Boys album finds the Georgian collective continuing to work in their own version of avant pop -- at once a series of meta-references (hinted at via their cover versions) and exploratory electronic experiments. The slick if haunted, urbanist-on-the-go feeling of much of Trauma calls to mind the work of Barry Adamson as a strange parallel -- the British musician's John Barry-inspired work is its own kettle of fish, but both have the feeling of a dramatic cityscape as seen through the eyes of a flâneur. Gogi Ge.Org, aka George Dzodzuashvili, remains chief vocalist and center of the band as such, and his speak/singing approach feels almost like shards of poetry or ruminations delivered over a restless pulse. As such, his style perfectly suits a cover of Lou Reed's "Walk on the Wild Side," but equally so on an adaptation of Kurt Vonnegut's "Paradise." Other singers such as Maia Sumbadze add, but everyone sings in a style of restraint and calm reflection, like ghosts condemned not to haunt but to recount, even as nervous, hollow beats and textures skip low in the mix. The general mood is established so firmly early on that arguably much of the album becomes a variation on a theme (or an arrangement), but it makes changes such as the lighter, brighter sound of "Stay Mute" and "Benzilina," the latter featuring nearly all the singers on the album, or the almost goofy, giddy melody of "Flowers on the Wall" more dramatic in context. Lyrics come from any number of members, plus max.E label boss Thomas Brinkmann.

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