POUND OF FLESH
Label: WuLi Records/INgrooves Music Group
Release Date: Out Now
Apparently POUND OF FLESH (aka: POF) has been around for some time, releasing their (or, initially, I should say his, as this is DARRELL JAMES’ of MINISTRY and REVOLTING COCKS own project), the POF debut being in 2000, JAMES then the only member.
This is decent, throbbing, dancey industrial rock, quite unique in both it’s approach and sound, including twisted lyrics interlaced with bits of sick wit and midnight-black humor. It is also their first release as a “complete band,” says DARRELL JAMES.
As for those maybe not quite familiar with Mr. James, he’s been an integral part of MINISTRY’S touring lineup since their “FornicaTour (2003)” and following “Evil Doer (2004) Tour.” Since then he’s added both his programming and keyboard skills to the MINISTRY albums “RANTOLOGY” and “RIO GRANDE BLOOD”, as well as the REVOLTING COCKS’ (REVCO) album “Cocked and Loaded.” Not a bad resume to have.
Recorded at Drakehaven and Paragon Studios, “ the album was produced by POF vocalist and lead programmer Darrell James and keyboardist Steven McIntosh, and was mastered by Doug McBride at Gravity Studios in Chicago.”
So, how does this stand up to such a personal legacy, and several previous albums? This is pretty fukking good, in my opinion. It’s something completely different, yet manages to retain certain aspects of it’s initial birthing grounds: Chicago, IL, home to the once famed WAX TRAX Records, that great industrial/experimental homegrown label of yore that brought the world SKINNY PUPPY, PAILHEAD, 1,000 HOMO DJ’s, REVCO, PIGFACE, THRILL KILL KULT, and for a brief time, a virtually endless onslaught of consistently new and wonderful death-dance industrial/aggro/noise projects, collaborations, and one-offs. Chicago is where POF are from and that is a hell of a series of great legacies to live up to. And they seem, in fact, to manage this.
I found the use of elements from different genre’s refreshing (for a change — POF somehow managed not to overdo it), and the sounds that seem to unexpectedly snake their way in and out of the sometimes deep, often sarcastic tales of addiction, angst, and of the heart that has once again been stomped to oblivion — and the consequences thereof, definitely new in approach. There is a sinister edge to some of this, but mostly it’s a quite melodic, catchy slab of occasional brutality, but with a bit more emphasis on *(the good, the bad and the ugly sides) of “fun.” There are a couple tracks that seemed a little radio friendly, but were still not bad in the least. In fact, it’s listenable from start to finish.
The production, the sounds, everything about this seemed to come together just right. DARRELL JAMES is more than happy with the project: “I’m very proud of Pills, and it’s the first POF album recorded with a full band. We’ve been working together for over two years with almost the same line-up and I couldn’t have asked for better people and such great musicians to work with. This is what prompted a new set of recordings that appears on Pills—the difference between what was originally written and performed by me and the energy, depth, and drive of the band. POF has always taken an in-your-face approach but with a sense of humor to the music, and Pills is no exception. There have always been aspects of POF that are industrial, but we’ve avoided being pinned into that category. The tracks on Pills have a broad range of influences with a lot of driving beats and dance aspects that allow us to bring energy to the tracks in our own way without losing the melodic elements.”
As for reactions to the new material, JAMES has stated: “The response to the new material has been great, and we’re ready to play shows in support of it throughout 2015. We have several music videos that are in various stages of planning that we will start shooting soon, and as always, we are writing and working on new material.”
Personally, my favorite track is the all-too-identifiable “One-Time Offer,” one of the more melodic, lyrically masochistic songs on the album. The harsh, nihilistic, misanthropic opener “Everybody” pretty much seems to espouse my own personal worldview, the catchy chorus being “Fuck You / And You / Fuck You All / Everybody.” Cliched? Sure, but equal opportunity hatred is something to be shared, especially this time of year. It is about sharing, right?
So do just that: give the glowy-fleshed mutant in your life something useful in their Xmas nylon this Helliday Season: A copy of “Pills” *(and if you really care, a bottle of them too, heh) by POUND OF FLESH.
On one final sidenote, I love the cover to this album.
This is the band’s first release via WuLi Records and INgrooves Music Group, and can be ordered here via iTunes.
Listen to new music from Pills here via ReverbNation.
Catch POUND OF FLESH at the Copernicus Center in Chicago, IL on January 11, 2015. For more info, visit www.copernicuscenter.org.
To learn more about POUND OF FLESH, please visit these websites:
Vincent Daemon, writer and rabblerouser, can be followed on FB @https://www.facebook.com/vincent.daemon.1 , and join his blog The Writings Of A Depraved Mind @http://vincentdaemon.blogspot.com/?zx=e40931ba40511a11