When you mix foreign sand with Roland electronics, the result is a formula that takes you back to the future, where camels have been replaced by something closer to the Star Wars set but people are still dressed in desert attire. It’s this atmosphere that allows Last Pharaoh stretch away from the industrial and Goth clichés.
Yes, the classic dance pulsations are permeated within every track. Yes, vocal effects are used to add robotics to the mix. But where they stray in a good way is this Cleopatra pose of seduction, with ventures that take you closer to the Far East instruments including the drums on “Crook and Flail,” which creeps across the Sahara like a serpent scouting out its prey. They saved the best for last on “Taste,” a stew of drum and bass propulsions heated to a hissing, liquid mercury boil.
Project 12:01 paid homage to pioneers Front 242 on their rendition of “Headhunter,” which the duo pulla off with creative finesse. I’m not sure if vocalist Melissa London is able to stretch her voice to a grittier path, but as whispy in provacative as it is, that could have made the cover a bit meatier. The same could actually be said for the other tracks on Last Pharaoh, which if she were to go in that direction, could further set them apart from the black and vinyl clan.