May 31, 2007


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Black Strobe, Burn Your Own Church
Play Louder Records/Beggars Banquet, 2007

Outside the incestuous Metropolis universe where all the Front 242s and Assemblage 23s play, electro’s dark side has its own cabal of highly sought-after remix gurus. In between fits and starts of releasing their own industro-metalpunk creations to mezza-mezza success (“Me and Madonna” generated a few ripples in 2004), Paris-based Black Strobe have redone songs from Depeche Mode, Rammstein and Bloc Party. That, in brief, brings us to the band’s latest attempt to solidify their position as the Deep Dish of vampire rock, an album titled like a black-metal album accompanied by press blurbs that claim you’ll hear distinct black-metal-ness within the stuff. BYOC is indeed heavier than what they were doing before, and at first listen there’s an odor of sulfur and Slayer in the air, but closer inspection reveals a few Things That Make You Go “Keep Your Day Job,” first and foremost the reckless abandon with which they leg-hump “Closer To God” in “Shining Bright Star.” “Girl Next Door” and “I’m a Man” are worthwhile Black Snake Moan-inspired blues vehicles suitable for fans into today’s Iggy Pop, both tunes serving as decent-enough respites from the band’s Laibach fixations. The let’s-beat-this-to-death progressive-house breaks on “Buzz Buzz Buzz” and “Last Club On Earth” score big. B-Eric W. Saeger