Once more unto the breach then, with a new EP from Europe’s favorite hardcore political noisemakers. Well, more of a single than an EP really, containing as it does two versions of one new song, one old song and a Video which I can’t watch cos my computer’s shite. Still, there’s not much point splitting hairs when you’ve got 15 minutes of ATR goodness to blast the neighbors with..
It’s immediately obvious from the word go that this is Digital Hardcore’s most commercial release to date. Rage is, amazingly, an ATR track which isn’t going to make your average citizen run for cover clutching their bleeding ears and, even more amazingly, it has a foot-tapping tune which you could dance to pretty well (and that’s dance in a disco manner rather than a “thrashing violently against corporate injustice” manner). The presence of RATM’s Tom Morello on guitar (not that you’d notice) and of The Arsonist’s MC D-Stry rapping over the extended version of Rage suggests that Alec Empire and pals are trying to insert themselves directly into the minds and CD collections of the millions of kids who are currently digging the similarly aggressive, but dumber and less interesting, likes of Korn et al.
While the hardened anarcho-punks out there are probably already yelling “SELL-OUT!”, this EP still features plenty of good old fashioned sledgehammer political sloganeering (“YER GOVERNMENT’S ARE FACKING MURDERERS” Alec sneers in a rather cool manner halfway through) and a heavier beat pattern than I’ve heard on any nu-metal records – they’re still a long way from MTV whores and they still look like the replicants from Bladerunner, only scarier.
The inclusion of brilliant previous single Too Dead For Me also gives first time listeners a welcome taste of ATR at their riot inducing best – the most brilliantly furious assault on the senses I’ve heard in ages. It also highlights how comparatively light Rage actually sounds – while previous ATR records sound like an apocalypse of wanton destruction with giant robots fighting and buildings collapsing and hate crazed kids ripping out the throats of riot police and things of that nature, Rage just sounds like Leftfield in a bad mood, which isn’t quite the same somehow.
Still, while this may be watered down Digital Hardcore, it’s still a damnsight more invigorating and forward thinking than just about anything else you’re likely to hear on the radio. Buy it kids, it’s your duty! And if you like it, seek out the back catalogue and REALLY give your parents a headache..
6Ben Haggar's Score