Hustle and Mate
Matt Fanale’s evolution as an artist has been fascinating to watch. From chaotic, raucous and raunchy rhythmic noise, through to produced club industrial and then back towards DIY as an aesthetic, the Wisconsin based artist continues to craft his own vision of what modern industrial can be. As implied by the extended “punk itself isn’t inherently rock” sample that opens his latest release Hustle and Mate (or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love to Bomb), Caustic’s appeal lies in his attitude, and his dedication to doing it himself with whatever means he has at his disposal.
That’s a long way of saying that the music on Hustle and Mate is pretty raw, but that’s a feature, not a bug. Significantly, a large portion of the release was originally released on a per-song-basis for Patreon supporters, and the Bandcamp release is pay-what-you-want, both of which factor into its casual DIY nature. As an interstitial release between major Caustic albums, its aims are different than, say, a release like American Carrion. Namely, it’s a way to for Fanale to do Caustic without attaching the conceptual expectations of his recent major releases, again a luxury afforded by the digital marketplace.
So what does the music on Hustle and Mate sound like? A bit of a mixed bag to be completely honest. There’s a few throwbacks to earlier iterations of Caustic with the rhythic noise of “Industrial Still Owes Hypnoskull $38.50”, and a new version of “Incendiary” titled “Protest Monk”, and a new-beat styled track (complete with orch hits), “Chubby Bunny”. As a release its most compelling moments are the ones that match its remit, such as “Boredom Bedlam”, a two minute blast of synthesized hardcore, a lurching chug complimented by a layer of production grit shoveled onto it. Similarly appealing is a cover of Suicide’s “Rocket USA” and “Whatever”, the latter of which finds Fanale channeling The Jesus & Mary Chain. Specifically referencing those artists (along with Nailbomb on a cover of “The Sum of Your Achievements”) is no accident; they’re bands who refracted the purported values of rock music – rebellion, freedom, youth – in ways that were dangerous and bracing. It’s a clever bit of positioning that speaks not only to Fanale’s influences, but what he’s bringing from them to his own music.