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Saturday, Jan. 08, 2011 at 6:22 PM
CD Review: Making Monsters, Combichrist
I like writing about Combichrist because I can say things I want to say, without worry of offending anyone. If I do happen to offend someone, which is about the slimmest possibility in the world, I don't have to apologize, I can say what I really feel, express my real feelings, as it were. Something along the lines of: Hey Buckwheat, Fuck YOU, get a fucking life.
And I can smile while I do it.
Among many other things, the music of Combichrist is liberating, and the latest compact disc by them, Making Monsters, is no exception. Making Monsters is allllllll about liberation, a very good thing, because as far as I am concerned liberation is most important in this world, especially now, with almost everyone jumping to the puppet strings of God Dollar, begging for TV and pennies. . Life is too short to do what other people want. Do what YOU want. That is the message from Combichrist, and the message is most worthy, in fact, the message is worthiest.
The first song I ever heard by Combichrist which really grabbed my head and stretched it like a rubber band was Get Your Body Beat. I sent the link to that video to a friend with the note: THIS IS ME. AS LOUD AS YOU CAN MAKE IT. THIS IS WHAT I LIKE BEST. Since then I have heard the majority, if not all of Combichrist' music, and the rest of it is also Me.
Just as loud as I can make it.
The CD Making Monsters takes all that to new levels, because it posesses a musical wholeness that I have found to be very rare. There is nothing lacking, in fact. Combichrist is what I always imagined Industrial music would be: fulfilling in a riotous sort of way; busy and intricate, smart and meaningful. I would love to take the CD Making Monsters into a nice quiet church full of misguided people praying on their knees to the tortured man, and play it loud enough to snuff all the candles, and make the statues do the fucking jitterbug. I think it would be delightful to witness the shock, and trembling awe, that a deed like this would precipitate; I imagine the annointed scurrying hurriedly away, with more than a few running around in panic stricken circles, frantically waving both hands above their heads. Frightened glances and indignant snorts would no doubt accompany this exodus, as the alarmed herd animals, imagining smoke and crackling flames, flee en masse the musical conflagration which is Combichrist.
And yes Jesus Loves me. The bible tells me so...heh heh hehhhhhhhhhhh.
My favorite song from the Making Monsters CD is "Just Like Me", though I can honestly say that all of the songs on the CD hold certain allure and definite attraction for me. There are none I dislike. I think I like "Just Like Me" because of its basic kick-ass Rock n' Roll sound; its like the greatest rockers of all time channeling their combined efforts, nuance and blatant, together, into the mind of Andy Laplegua, who is the front man, originator, song writer, and vocals for the band Combichrist.
Andy has repeatedly stated that this newest CD of his, Making Monsters, is the most personal work yet from Combichrist, most of it being written on the road, versus in the studio, and the live presentation of the band has begun to reflect a more personal facet as well. There is somewhat less dressing up like zombies, and more presenting as actual people during performances, although the show must go on, and the theme and flavor of the bands costuming seems to depend somewhat on the venue, and the type of crowd in a given area.
Either way, Andy Laplegua has major style, and though I think many of the lyrics would have to be toned down for mainstream success according to record companies and Radio Stations, I don’t know if thats in the overall Combichrist program. Everyone wants more money, but Laplegua has always held the music closer than most, its what he lives for, and I really don’t know if the mainstream definition of stardom is what he is after. In fact, I hope it is not, I hope he holds out and makes independent promotion work for himself and his band, because whoever taps that initially, really taps it, will blast way beyond the so-called mainstream and there will be large chunks of All media available, because there will be new leaders, new movers and shakers, and the world will never be the same. This will all take place rather quickly too, a tsunami of change, as the status quo unravels, and Light Happens. I can’t wait. It is starting to happen now I think. Making fucking Monsters indeed. I see this possibility more with Combichrist than any other band at this time.
The second member of the group Combichrist goes by the name of Z Marr, and he is is an industrial electronic keyboard player of almost incomparable caliber. Z Marr seems to let his music do the talking, and that works just fine. We got it man, and thanks a lot.
Also, Wes Borland, guitarist from the group Limp Bizkit, has joined Combichrist on tour and in the studio during 2010.
The other two members of Combichrist are Joe Letz, and Trevor Freidrich, both drummers extraordinaire, who are also becoming well known for their exploits on tour which are highlighted in the Combichrist blog here: http://vampirefreaks.com/journal/combichrist
On the CD making Monsters I have detected some similarities to other music I know and like. I heard things which remind me of Skinny Puppy (Through These Eyes Of Pain), and of Nine Inch Nails (Reclamation). On the track "Trail of Blood" the bands Pantera and Sepultura come to mind, but overall these musix still definitely belong to Combichrist, again, because of the aggressive complexity and structural integrity inherent there-in. That to me is the hallmark, the real signature of this band, and most other groups, even the most popular industrial bands everyone knows, do seem somewhat lacking in comparison. Combichrist is the next level. That is plainly clear.
Though based out of Atlanta Georgia, Combichrist has had a much greater success touring in Europe, and thats probably because Europe, to their eternal credit, is more hip to certain good music, and pretty much always has been. This is witnessed in many ways, not least of which being the fact that Europe generally spurns the intellectual cadaver known collectively as Country Music. I mean country music is not real popular there in the Old World, and that says a lot about Europes overall mind set. This shunning of hillbilly shennanigans throughout most of the Eurasian continent highlights the fact that musically and perhaps socially they are a more advanced people, although this makes Americas love affair with ignorant slimy tripe that much more embarrassing. Oh well, and yee-hah, you all.
Combichrist has been working with the group Rammstein in Europe, and their fan base there seems to be large, appreciative, and growing. They are touring Australia as this is being written, and getting ready to tour more in Europe soon. It seems Combichrist are on the cusp of breaking out large in the USA, and the fact that some of their music is finding its way into film work is a definite indication of upcoming ascendency here. That can only mean good things all the way around. Pick up the Making Monsters CD. See for yourself. You will not be disappointed.
Making Monsters (Available at iTunes and from Combichrist online)
Follow The Trail Of Blood
Throat Full of Glass
Just Like Me
Slave To Machine
Through These Eyes Of Pain
Monster: Murder: Kill
OK to reproduce in entirety
review by Bill Gallagher
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