Reviews of the Death Trip album by Alien Sex Fiend
This corking review of Alien Sex Fiend's DEATH TRIP album
by highly respected long-term music journailst & DJ, Kris Needs, appeared
in the Christmas 2010 issue #383 of Record
Collector. Although Record Collector does not usually include reviews
of new albums, they have made an exception for this Alien Sex Fiend album!
Nik Fiend says :
|ALIEN SEX FIEND - DEATH TRIP
- Pure classic Sex Fiend!
Review by MICK MERCER
God I’m good sometimes! We will come back to this arrogant claim shortly but for now let us backtrack and remember a time of comparative imbecility, as I failed to correctly take into account what was involved in playing a vinyl album. As ‘Erazerdrone’ sped by I was thinking to myself, ‘ Well, I’ve heard dronier!’ and when we hit track two Pinky or Perky hit the mike. Ahem, 45rpm! Having made the relevant changes I settled back and reconsidered everything.
‘Erazerdone’ is a raw slice of Industrial Ambient really, setting a basic mood before drifting into ‘ Land Of The Living Dead’ with a wobbling ether spirit on vocals like a punch-drunk ringmaster, a lighter keyboard spread and an interestingly spare rhythmical purpose, the background vocals trapped behind glass. The cries of ‘roll up!’ implies something is coming but as the keyboards flared outwards I started thinking that if they ever made a zombie version of James Bond this would have to be the soundtrack. Not long after there’s a Bond guitar! Unbelievable. That’s me being good, you see? “No Mister Bond, I expect you to pick up that arm you’ve dropped and fuck off.”
‘One Way Ticket’ is zippier, bright and choppy with synth tracer overlying yearning guitar from Gonzo, then urgent keys plinking meet jabbering vocals. Fantastic stuff. ‘The Hills Have Eyes’ than gushes out as gloopy chiming, clattering weirdness, a gentle melodic shape gradually emerging from the pool of sound. This tricks us, because next they sideslam you with the wirey punk spree that is ‘B.B.F.C.’ and you can sing along to the demure chorus in a dignified fashion, like a curate walking on eggshells: ‘Bastard Bastard, fucking cunt. You’re a cunt, you know you are!’
‘Intensify The Treatment’ has a stuck repeat phase bristling behind escalating bleepiness, then ‘ Dance Of The Dead’ sucks us into a dalek disco, with bracing guitar lashing out, the song sidling by like some giant singing metal crab full of good intentions, the vocals mad and rasping. ‘Voodoo’ is some sort of squidgey dungeon, dripping with suspense in a vibrant outbreak of tectonic plates, bubbling leisurely in lugubrious cool. ‘Beyond A Psychic Evil’ does the distorted echoey wilderness thing with guitar seemingly ready to explode but keeping control as an abusive question is repeated.
It isn’t actually until they reach the closing ‘Oops! Wrong Planet’ that they revert what would be commonly be regarded as something formulaic, with subdued pulsing and clipped vocal frenzy coming in short phrases over a rolling rhythm, the song itself yelping as the sonic tourniquet is applied.
So there you go. I’ve always enjoyed Alien Sex Fiend albums and through the years they have introduced many different electronic styles and moods, from harsh to trancey, and then an assortment approach with those sounds creating nervous neighbours on one release, but on this record there is a governing mood and the variety is then expressed within that, which ensures a sharper focus and you’ll love it.
You remember how ‘Maximum Security’ surprised everyone after their first two earthquakes? This record has the same effect and it’s the best record they’ve made since the 80’s.