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The Greek synth punk project Mechanimal is back with the new album "Crux" released today January 27, 2020 on Inner Ear records. This is Mechanimal’s fourth album following the 2016 album "ΔΠΔ" that had featured Eleni Tziavara on vocals. Here we have the return of original singer Freddie Faulkenberry back on vocals with his characteristic spoken word.

The album starts with "Ghetto Level", a synthwave track with a very urban vibe. Headman Giannis Papaioannou, who is responsible for the electronic beats and tapes, is very experienced in this field of electronica in general, combining post-punk, darkwave, industrial and urban elements in his music. With "Sharon" we have a track that has a taste from the 90s and 00s, trippy electronica with shoegaze elements. On the acoustic rhythm guitar track "Stolen Flesh" that follows things get poppier musically, although lyrically it deals with lose, dedicated to the loving memory of a dear friend of the band. Next up is "Easy Dead" that was released on "White Flag Single" 7" vinyl in June 2019. Here we have the album version that is included only on the cd/digital format. Here we have a more industrial track, motorik drone n’ roll which Mechanimal has defined, with Jimmy Polioudis (Vigina Lips, Mazoha) playing distortions on guitar. This more industrial feel continues with the intense "Scavengers" that has a monotonous rolling beat and some eastern flairs with violin and cello added to the mix.

With "Razor Tube" we have a swift change to a more techno styled track. While on "Red Mirror", another track from the "White Flag Single" they return to their rawer sound. According to Freddie F. “Red Mirror is a hymn to reconstruction, rebirth, and all that comes hand in hand with that, destruction, erasing and rebuilding. It’s about decline, but not necessarily with a negative outcome”. Here the guitars are provided by George Theofanidis. On "Hospital Of The Storm" we have a more atmospheric track while with the trancy "Vanquish" the beat returns. The album closes with the atmospheric "La Poverina Della Ossa", a classical cinematic piece showcasing violin and cello with Freddie’s spoken work heard more in the distance.

With the album "Crux" the band does an in-depth exploration of the past, present and possibly the future of everyday life with the aim of personal awakening. Inspired by the harsh reality of today, “fake news”, climate change and at the same time criticizes. An album that has a broad pallet of sounds, crossing over many genres, providing the listener with something so up to date and modern.


Review: Nick Drivas

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