Junkie Kut - T.H.E.Y

12 songs
60:37 minutes
***** **


When I grew up, rock and electronica were two diametrically opposed musical styles, and someone who was listening to the one rarely found themselves enamoured by the other. Then came bands like Atari Teenage Riot and The Prodigy who just like that started to merge these two different genres into something new. Junkie Kut can easily be seen as a successor to these pioneering bands, even though his modus operandi is even more extreme.

After a couple of EPs and his first album Terror, Rage & Liberty in 2010, the artist is back with his second longplayer T.H.E.Y, which stands for The Hierarchy Enslaving You. After the ominous intro which is also the title track, we get a bunch of tracks that perfectly illustrate this crossover mash-up. The first two tracks, Wormz and Secret Society, are grandiose in their merciless mix of techno and punk, all of this performed at a speed that is unparalleled. The ultra-fast beats meet punkish guitar riff and highly distorted vocals, and still Junkie Kut manages to come up with recognisable melodies underneath all this cranky noise. The following Pixel Picture is the album’s single, and therefore a little more discreet, but then things become crazily fierce again.

The music is actually better than you would expect. Junkie Kut definitely knows how to write a great song and disguise it in a hellishly extreme sound sculpture. All this by itself would have warranted a higher rating, but I find myself not so happy with the production that often puts too much emphasis on the drum tracks, and there are not enough bass notes for my taste, making listening to T.H.E.Y more trying that it actually should be. Apart from that, I really do like this album, and also the concept behind the artist, who comes with camouflage face paint and a politically charged message. A simple look at the cover artwork will make you see what I mean.

Junkie Kut may not be as revolutionary as Atari Teenage Riot were in their heyday, but they are in my opinion definitely more rewarding that the overly streamlined The Prodigy. If Junkie Kut decides to head into a more bass heavy direction the next time, I will not only be looking forward to his future output, but even hope that he will get all the attention and fame his blatantly extreme music deserves.

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