Rocket Science Ventures / THC : Music
It’s been a long time since the release of Black Light Burns‘ debut bow, “Cruel Melody“. So long in fact that dubstep wunderkind Skrillex was still going by his birth name of Sonny Moore when he made a guest appearance on the effort.
The brainchild of Limp Bizkit‘s costume clad/make-up adorned guitarist Wes Borland; Black Light Burns comes off as an outlet for the ever-colorful multi-instrumentalist to pay homage to his inspirations.
Nine Inch Nails‘ detached electronic indifference is a recurring theme. As is an invigorating rock n’ roll swagger reminiscent of Queens Of The Stone Age‘s more eccentric moments.
A defiant punk attitude that fueled groups like the Dead Kennedys also rears its head. While the oddball enthusiasm and bouncy rhythms of Frank Zappa seem inherent as well. Sporting crisp guitar work and creative riffing, the modestly subdued Borland consciously avoids the effect-laden squelches and divebombs he is famous for.
The bass playing takes note of this, delivering a cagey and focused performance that eagerly fills in the gaps. While the drumming remains sharp and intentionally limited—favoring momentum over superfluous fills and rolls. In addition to the lead guitar work, Borland once again assumes the vocal duties. While not necessarily the most unique singer, his commitment and fervor generally win the listener over—even if he is repeatedly guilty of Trent Reznor worship.
A truly abstract collection of songs, you never know what you’re going to get with this album. “The Colour Escapes” sounds like a bastardized ethnically augmented pairing of David Bowie, Nine Inch Nails and Beck. Meanwhile, “Scream Hallelujah” finds eccentric vocals bouncing against the walls overtop of bottomed out rock n’ roll and new wave synth. For as eclectic as the material is, focus is surprisingly one of the bands strengths.
The body of work is invigoratingly diverse, but the tracks themselves generally have a persistence to them that keeps the album pushing forward. Given the conviction behind it and the breadth of the songs included upon it, “The Moment You Realize You’re Going To Fall” is a peculiarly enjoyable listen.
Its quirkiness ensures it’s not for everyone and it does play the Nine Inch Nails card quite heavily. But despite its familiar starting points, the end results are amusing, unpredictable and bizarrely catchy.
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