The whole genre of industrial music has been an enigma to me for some time. Years ago I would have called myself a big industrial head, never to the point of wearing black 24/7, but it just held elements that were not present in other forms of music: a carnal level of sexiness tied up with deep down dance grooves to keep you going all night long. 16 Volt, Hate Dept., Snog, Download, Spahn Ranch, Machines of Loving Grace, Sister Machine Gun, and of course the classics from Front 242, KMFDM, Ministry, and Front Line Assembly were all regular visitors to my CD player. Dance nights like So What! and Bondage A Go-Go in San Francisco or at Club FX in San Jose were weekly rituals.
After a while, like everything else, more and more releases coming out were just stale, almost to the point of being comical and contrived. Industrial seemed to loose its way, but the light is starting to shine itself on the disco ball again. NIN is back with a new release, Pigface is gathering their troops for their Free Form tour, and Die Warzau is showing big signs of ingenuity with Convenience, released on their own Chicago based label, Pulseback.
At first listen, tracks like “Crusaders” and “Permission” are more akin to Dirty Vegas than anything from the Die Warzau back catalog. Although it may alienate the true fans of the group’s hardcore material of the past, I see it as a brave, creative, and welcomed move instead of taking the predictable path, as with “Bliss” and “Linoleum.” Not that those tracks don’t provide a provocative hold, it’s just refreshing to hear a group that’s been around since 1988 reinventing themselves and the genre itself. And in 16 tracks, they make the full round of soft grooves and to the wall abrasiveness, leaving one spent and fully satisfied.