There are two ways to deal with the music on this record – “You either react with your body or feel totally threatened by it.” That’s what Justin Broadrick and Kevin Martin reckon anyway, and they should know – they are Techno Animal, and they want to deaden your head by giving you temporary ‘bass concussion’.
If that sounds appealing, be aware that Broadrick and Martin have spectacularly succeeded in their aim. ‘The Brotherhood Of The Bomb’ is abrasive, confrontational, and is festooned with the kind of growling basslines that could remove plaster from nearby walls. This is good news. In a world where so much music is either wilfully apologetic or just pathetically meek, ‘The Brotherhood…’ is a wild thug, a violent, intimidating volcano of noise distilled inside a compact disc.
Despite the duo’s moniker, this is not ‘Techno’, at least, not in the expected sense. Rather, it is Technological, a hybrid of hip-hop, harsh beats, and feedback, interspersed with several terrifying noise collages. Often the tracks are mere ruins of songs, collections of disjointed sounds fuelled by a desire to “make the machines scream and speak,” and bearing such telling titles as ‘Robosapien’, ‘Hypertension’ and ‘Piranha’.
Selecting vocalists to front such turmoil can’t have been an easy process. Step forward Anti-Pop Consortium’s Priest and El P, ex of Company Flow, both of whom deliver suitably stirring performances on ‘Glass Prism Enclosure’ and ‘We Can Build You’ respectively.
In truth though, ‘The Brotherhood…’ is most effective when there are no traces of human activity to distract from the intense mechanical cacophony which rages underneath. ‘Freefall’ and ‘Monoscopic’ don’t need words to accompany them – much like a scream, they are simplistic enough to be understood by anyone, whichever language they speak.
9Jonathan Rawcliffe's Score