Inner Ear Records releases the brand new Crux LP by Mechanimal on Monday, January 27, and both the label and the band allowed us an exclusive premiere of it! The album is a stunning record of 10 tracks describing in the most cynical way the vulgar ways and the pathogenic circumstance in current Europe. Crux is not only the artistic annotation on the subject ‘Europe’ but it mirrors and reflects the nasty socio-political mien of our continent-in-decay. But who is Mechanimal?
Introducing this peculiar team from Athens GR, Mechanimal comprises of American-born singer Freddie Faulkenberry, captain Giannis Papaioannou (ION) on electronic beats and tapes, Antonis Charalambidis on drums-on-stage, and Angelica Vrettou on art direction and the video graphics-on-stage. The whole of the music is written and produced by ION while the lyrics were composed by Freddie and also ION.
With considerable effort by Jimmy Polioudis and George Theofanidis on the guitars, Henrik Meierkord on cello, and Vasiliki Mazaraki on violin, Mechanimal present a pretty edgy sonic manifesto in their fourth album.
The music of Crux is a kaleidoscope of synth-punk with electronic post-punk music tips and it is all fronted by Faulkenberry’s pointed spoken word discharge. Believing that everything is political and that we are all guilty of what is happening, Mechanimal, without any limitation, uses a fragmented sound palette to describe ten stories of reality deconstructed. This narration started to reveal itself in last summer’s single “White Flag” which was the first taste of the album, (track no.4 in it now) their most crossover LP so far, and with lyrics of particular importance.
And even though we also heard the team’s outstanding and lucent synthesized haze in the tracks “Sharon” and “Stolen Flesh” where they blend their DNA with the darkwave delight, it was “Scavengers” which nailed us for good. Here the band testifies its members’ industrial synth punk menace for good. The song is aggressive and dark while the singer is preaching his parable “And we’re all standing here/ On the edge of doom/ With no exit strategy/ Just a ticket to gloom”.
The complexity of the team continues in “Razor Tube” where they disappear in the industrial music maze in order to resurrect their sonic Proxima into EBM. Here also, the lyrics are awfully true. And the storm goes on in “Red Mirror” where they perform as an electronic post-punk band, furious and groovy as hell. In ‘Hospital Of The Storm’ they manifest their evident keen on industrial ambient music and the result is simply amazing for once again the music interacts wildly with the lyrics. This song is lyrically a warning toward Europe and a curse that ends up a bloody incident.
And there are many more bizarre elements in this album that you will discover alone and believe me, this record is not only a food-for-thought album in its whole avant-garde ‘belles-lettres’, but also a stunning musical achievement that doesn’t sound like a collage of influences and likes but a complete album with a purpose. Crux is an in-depth exploration of the past, present, and (possible) future of everyday life with the aim of personal awakening. It focuses on an idea that can account for the melding of seemingly incompatible musical worlds and theories with respect to the mechanisms of each one of them. Drone n’ Roll!!!