Genghis Tron
Board Up the House

Genghis Tron are such a unclassifiable, hard to review act, that any attempt to give a reader an idea of the band’s sound just seems redundant lip service, but as it may, one of Relapse’s newer signings have released their sophomore album, and it deserves your ear despite my forthcoming clumsy attempt at describing it.

While the debut EP’s tech, grind, screamo, techno pop-punk fusion was a happy go lucky, psychedelically discordant affair, the follow up album, Dead Mountain Mouth merged the elements more symbiotically, while being a bit darker and this album continues that route with a more somber and less trippy, less colorful take on the band’s unique and creative melding of modern grind and programming.

While still at times having caustic spasms of chaotic screamo cum grind melded with off the wall beats, 64 bit FX and Moog programming, the album, at times comes across as more introspective with longer moments of spacey emptiness and drifting insular eclectics rather than sheer noise with the occasional dance beat. Tracks like “Recursion”, post rock meets Pet Shop Boys styled “I Won’t Come Back Alive”, “The Whips Blow Back”, “Ergot” and 11 minute, orchestral/choral closer “Relief” clue you in on the band’s slightly more expansive thought process, with rangier, more atmospheric hues.

Of course, there are bursts of feral, techno tinged screamo/grind furor as heard on “Endless Teeth” and “The Feast” (aided by Dillinger Escape Plan’s Greg Puciato) and which allows the Kurt Ballou production to blister skin. But the focus is on the sublime tracks that meld the two such as standout tracks “Board Up the House”, “Things Don’t look Good”, “City On a Hill” and “Colony Collapse”. Generally, I like the more somber Church like/orchestral tone that some of the programming direction has taken, though some of the clean vocals I could have done without, though they are sparse and the main vocal assault is the expected harsh howls of Mookie Singerman.

Board Up the House is a convoluted, challenging, eclectic and yet brilliant listen, and definitely a listen for OCD, neurotic, paranoid individuals whose synapses are firing on all cylinders all the time as the band can shift from jarring, techno grind spurts of abrasive noise to dreamy electronics and back again in a heart beat.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by E. Thomas
May 7th, 2008

Comments

  1. Commented by: Jobby

    I really looked forward to this one, after being absolutely gobsmacked by ‘Dead Mountain Mouth’. But in the end I think it’s quite disappointing.

    I can understand their desire to put more emphasis on focused song-writing, but this album lacks the blistering discordance and scorching aggression of earlier work. Without the juxtaposition between this aggressive element and the trance-like electronica sections, they’ve lost what made them an engaging and exciting listen in the first place.

    Your review said that the sound is more ‘symbiotic merged’. Sadly I think it’s this that ruins it for me. There are a ton of bands that play music that merges A with B. Earlier Genghis Tron didn’t merge A and B, it took disparate elements and smacked them around each other, with sparks flying as the edges clashed.


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