It’s been a while since the last truly new material from Cyanotic – debut album proper Transhuman goes all the way back to spring/summer 2005, the re-built (as opposed to remixed) Transhuman 2.0 goes back to summer 2007 – so it’s no stretch to suggest that new material has been a long time coming. However this is only a six-track EP in advance of the second album proper The Medication Generation following in the Spring, but as a stopgap it’ll do nicely.
That’s not to say Sean Payne and his cohorts have been resting on their laurels in the meantime, though. There have been numerous tours, compilations, and remixes; almost single-handedly, it seems, pulling up the rest of the US industrial underground with them blinking into the glare of wider attention. The compilations (Modern Destruction, Hordes Of The Elite and Gears Gone Wild in particular) have done a great job in providing me (and many others) will a whole load of new bands to investigate, and the last of those three had the first taste of this new EP on it, of which more in a moment.
So how does the late-2008-model Cyanotic shape up? Pretty fucking well, it seems. Opener The Static Screen starts slowly, before cranking into a heavy-as-fuck roar deconstructing the idea of wasting your life in front of the TV, and it features in addition a kick-ass drum’n’bass breakdown, as well as about three false endings, making it fun to DJ with…
However, it’s Alt.Machine that really, seriously, kicks ass on this CD, and is the reason alone to buy it. I predict this to be the track that is going to gain Cyanotic lots of new fans, as it’s a stomping, rampaging track that will tear some serious shit on the dancefloor (if you liked Cubanate, for example, or late-90s industrial of that ilk, do yourself a favour and check this out), and compared to their previous material, this really does feel like a heavy duty hardware upgrade to an already formidable armoury.
The middle two tracks are where I’m a little confused. The cover of 16Volt‘s Two Wires Thin, while great, has been available on the band’s website as a free download for as long as I can remember, so I’m finding it hard to understand why it has been put on here (surely most fans of the band will already have this?), while the rebuild of mindFluxFuneral‘s Dream It Dead doesn’t sound an awful lot different to the version released on Gears Gone Wild only a few months ago. That’s not to say it isn’t good either, it just feels a little redundant.
Efficiacy makes for a surprising and refreshing change. A totally instrumental track, shorn of the sheets of guitars and aggression that makes Cyanotic’s sound so distinctive, this could perhaps act as a pointer for an intriguing and unexpected new direction, perhaps, or simply just a breather from the rest of the band’s fast-paced material. Either way, it’s great – not to mention a perhaps brave move – and seeing as it is hinted in the liner notes that this isn’t the finished article, I’ll be interested to hear what else is done with it.
The closing track is the track that featured on Gears Gone Wild – Brutal Deluxe. A savage, bruising track that opens with a primal roar from Sean, before an avalanche of breakbeats and guitars surge out of the speakers, with the whole sound of it so full on it’s nearly jumping out of the speakers to drag you into the moshpit with it.
Overall, this is another solid release from a band that can seemingly do no wrong with their own material. Yes, I find the inclusion of the two covers questionable, but it’s not those that we are here for – it’s the new tracks, and these deliver on every level, and leave me waiting with baited breath for the new album, and hopefully – finally? – some live dates here in the UK…